Osprey Project23/04/2021

Exciting Osprey Project Update – Female 014 Settles on Nest in Wales

We began our Osprey translocation project in July 2017, with a vision and goal of re-establishing Osprey as a breeding species on the south coast once more after a near 200-year absence. As many of you will know, we’ve since had numerous mile stones with the project including our first returning bird in 2019, a male with the leg ring LS7 who promptly sat up a territory with a female Osprey from Rutland called CJ7. Sadly, LS7 didn’t return in 2020 but since then, CJ7 has taken up residence on our nest cam within Poole Harbour, entertaining many thousands of people who are willing her to find a mate soon…….don’t worry, she will.

This week we received the next big milestone piece of news from Darren Moore from the ‘Friends of the Ospreys’ team. Having been seen in Wales last summer, one of our Osprey chicks we raised and released in 2018, a female ringed 014, has found a mate and set up a territory in the Glaslyn Valley with a young male called Z2 (Aeron) who is four-year old from the Dyfi nest in Wales. A recent update from the ‘Friends of The Ospreys’ group stated that 014 and her new mate have been observed nest building and copulating in the last few days and that things are looking good for a breeding attempt this season.

Female Osprey 014 on her arrival in Poole Harbour, July 2018

Ok, so it’s not breeding within Poole Harbour, however part of our feasibility study highlighted the need to encourage these new populations to interact with one another and see Ospreys expand and breed in new areas. So, with us currently hosting a Rutland female (CJ7) and a Poole Harbour female 014 now potentially breeding up in Wales, we’re already beginning to see these colonies recognising new breeding areas, which in the long term will increase breeding productivity across the UK. With 014 being a female it was always possible she could settle elsewhere other than Poole Harbour as females are far more prone to venturing beyond their natal sites to breed. Males, however, are more committed to breeding where they themselves were raised, hence LS7’s behaviour back in 2019.

This news has also provided a silver lining to what was a very tough year for the team, as 014 was released in 2018 which is the year some of our chicks died due to the heat wave and a vitamin deficiency. Despite that hardship, each of us within the team all remember saying that if any returned in 2020, then it would be 014, and sure enough, she did.

Female Osprey 014 post release in Poole Harbour, August 2018

On May 20th 2020 we received an excited message from the Dyfi Osprey Team, informing us that 014 had been caught on one of their nest cams ‘intruding’ on the main Dyfi nest. This was fantastic that she had arrived back into the UK safely, where she then spent seven weeks seemingly touring the Welsh countryside before being logged at Dyfi again and then incredibly being photographed in Devon on July 7th 2020.

That was the last sighting of her during 2020, but then late last week we received news that she was back again, but not just as an aimless 2-year old but a fully focused 3-year old looking to settle down and potentially breed. This is such great news and all of us here involved in the Poole Harbour Osprey Project wish 014 and her new mate the best of luck this season and hopefully look forward to a nest full of chicks in about a months time.

Female Osprey 014 and male Z2 at their new nest site, Wales 2021 – Darren Moore

In the mean time, we’re now entering the period where some of our 2019 chicks could reappear back in the UK, so please keep an eye out on our Nest Cam, or if you’re out anywhere around the harbour and you see any Osprey please let us know. We’re continuously learning about the behaviour of these incredible birds whilst carrying out this project, and with Poole birds now establishing in Wales and hopefully a new population colonising here soon, what will be the next exciting bit of news we get to publish soon?

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