No, you haven’t been imagining and empty nest – our third chick has finally flown the nest!
KP2 fledged on Saturday morning just before we arrived on site at around 9.10am. He was seen awkwardly flying around the big silver birch tree before landing again, strengthening the muscles in his wings in preparation for his migration.
We would expect the chicks to leave by the end of August, so there is still plenty of time for you to get some sightings in before they leave. The female on the other hand, will be departing fairly soon as her job has now been completed: she has fed and protected her young to (almost) independence, and now must prepare herself for her long flight home.
It is now down to the male to continue to bring the chicks fish, to ensure they are in optimum condition to make their perilous maiden journey southwards. Most ospreys migrate to West Africa but it has become increasingly clear that some birds only go as far as Spain, Portugal or southern France.
They will return to the UK in 2-3 years, when they come of breeding age. The male is often the last to leave, once all three chicks have departed (separately). He should then also be the first to arrive in March next year, although that wasn’t the case this year when our female LF15 was kept waiting.