Good year or bad year for Ospreys?
As we celebrate our 10 day old single chick here at Loch of the Lowes- hopefully our veteran females 50th fledgling in her 23rd breeding year- it is a good time to take a look at other ospreys in the UK this year and how they are doing.
Firstly, it is very sad and frustrating to report that there have already been three serious osprey nest disturbance incidents this year in the UK- despite all the awareness raising and dedicated protection work going on by many different organisations and volunteers.
After the suspected Osprey egg theft attempt at NTS Threave, this week has also seen ignorant visitors threaten the birds at Cors Dfyi in Wales and an unscrupulous photographer endanger the birds at the Lake District Osprey Project.
It never hurts to remind everyone that these birds have the highest level of legal protection in the UK and it is an offence to disturb them at their nest,. The are very vulnerable to human disturbance and this can cause total breeding failure- a tragedy for this still rare species in the UK. Never approach any osprey nest too closely and if in doubt, seek expert advice. There are now many places in the UK with special viewing facilities where you can enjoy the birds without putting them at risk.
Q: Is it a good year or a bad year for ospreys in the UK?
A: It is really too early to say , but we do know it hasn’t been easy so far. Many birds struggled with the atrocious spring migration conditions, and many established birds did not make it back to their habitual nests. There are a lot of new, younger birds on established nest sites this year such as at Bassenthwaite, Cors Dyfi in Wales and so on. Some nests are also unoccupied for the first time in a long time.
Many birds have also been late in nesting, and laying eggs, so the hatching dates at Osprey nests around the county are very divergent this year. Some nests such as Rutland Water will have fledglings just as others have newly hatched chicks and the latter will undoubtedly be at a disadvantage come autumn.
Q: Do Blue YD’s parents have chicks again this year?
A: Yes, they have now hatched three young on their Angus nest and are doing well.