Osprey Project22/05/2020

Osprey Diary 2020

Keep up to date with any significant Osprey happenings in the harbour. To view previous entries, please scroll down through the post.

Tuesday 2nd June

Two Ospreys were seen over Lytchett Bay early in the morning, with a strong likelihood that one of them was CJ7. She arrived on the nest at 08:45, but no other Ospreys landed on any of the monitored nests today.

Due to reduced activity on the nest, we will now focus on delivering detailed blogs when significant events occur rather than daily updates. You can also keep up to date with any sightings through our twitter pages: @harbourospreys and @harbourbirds.

We also want to express our gratitude to everyone who has donated to Birds of Poole Harbour and has supported the Osprey Project. Our income has of course been affected by the temporary closure of our HQ and the cancellation of our events, and we have been amazed by the support people have shown for us. We are pleased to announce that we have a new donations platform on our website, which makes it simple to make regular donations to Birds of Poole Harbour and to support our work across all our projects and the running of the charity. If you wish for your donation to be used for the Osprey Project only, you can still donate through out Just Giving page. Thank you.

Thursday 28th May

We are seeing less and less of CJ7 on the nest, but rest assured she is still in the area. She arrived at 06:45 in the morning and left shortly before 08:00. It’s not unexpected for CJ7 to be spending less time on the nest now, as the window for breeding in 2020 has closed and she doesn’t need to pay as much attention to maintaining the nest. She will still be around, however, and it’s clear that she’s still tied to the nest through her visits most days, and her defence of the nest from PT0 last week.

Wednesday 27th May

CJ7 arrived at 06:45 this morning but left shortly after. She spent half an hour on another platform this morning between half 8 and 9am. An Osprey was seen hunting over Brand’s Bay later in the day, which is not a usual fishing spot for CJ7 so it’s likely that another bird was in the area.

Friday 22nd May

Windy weather meant that CJ7 was distant from the nest today, arriving at 08:04 this morning and only spending a few brief periods in sight.

This morning during the Q & A, we discussed 014’s arrival in Wales, and whether it was likely she stopped off anywhere else first, or whether she would come down to Poole later in the season. In their first year back in the UK, Ospreys will typically have a season of “exploration”, finding good areas to nest in the future. Naturally, they are attracted to areas where Ospreys are already present, as they are a semi-colonial species, as well as having preference for using established nests themselves. It could be that 014 finds an ideal location for breeding to return to in the future, such as in Rutland, where there are several “available” males without partners. Females are less bonded to their fledging sites, so she won’t necessarily return to Poole, despite being translocated there – as is the instance for some males too. Just as CJ7 was first seen in the UK in Poole late in the season in 2017, she has continued to return here every season since. The presence of the artificial nests and juveniles in the summer has shown her that it should be a productive area to breed, which makes it very attractive to her – one of the indirect benefits of translocation.

Thursday 21st May

CJ7 arrived this morning at 06:20. She paid a brief visit to another nesting platform in the harbour at around 10am, but otherwise activity was low. Elsewhere, 014 hasn’t been seen at the Dyfi nest again today, but we’re looking out for more reports of her. You can read our blog about the return of 014 here.

Wednesday 20th May

Writing “Who knows who we will see this season?” seemed to have kicked off a flurry of Osprey-themed drama, including the amazing news that 014 BACK IN THE UK! 014 is a translocated female from the Poole Harbour Osprey project in 2018 and today she has turned up at the Dyfi nest in Wales! Fortunately the Dyfi team were able to zoom in on the leg ring and discover it was her, which naturally has caused very high spirits amongst everyone involved in the project. Females are more prone to wander away from their release site, so it’s not completely surprising that she’s turned up in Wales. We’re so pleased to see another translocated bird return, and we’re looking forward to seeing what she gets up to this summer – hopefully we will get more reports.

014 on the Dyfi Osprey Project camera

Back in Poole, we saw CJ7 and 2-year-old female PT0 both on the nest this morning shortly before 07:00. We haven’t seen PT0 appear again since the morning, but you can read all about her in our new blog post.

Tuesday 19th May

Tomorrow marks 6 weeks since CJ7 arrived on the webcam, and it seems like a good time to reflect on what’s happened so far this season. We’ve watched as CJ7’s built up the nest, shaped it to her liking, laid 3 unfertilised eggs which have since been buried, and seen her interact with visitors to the harbour. At this point, we are no longer likely to have a nesting attempt if a male turns up this season. Rather, if a male does arrive, we will see a similar year to last year, when CJ7 spent the rest of the season bonding with LS7 and preparing for nesting. It’s important to remember that it’s still very early in the project. We will hopefully be going ahead with the fourth season of the translocation project this summer, and to already have a female dedicated to nesting in Poole Harbour gives us a fantastic potential for the next few years. From now, we can hope to see other translocated Ospreys from the project arrive – 2 and 3 year olds, with potential for LS0, LS1, LS2, LS3, LS4, and LS5 from the first year to arrive, as well as 002, 007, 008, 011, 013 and 014 from the second year. Who knows who we will see this season?

Today, CJ7 spent a lot of time on the nest. We saw her arrive at 07:44, and meanwhile there was another Osprey sighted in the harbour, which unfortunately didn’t seem to put in an appearance. We’ve put together a photo for every day for the past 6 weeks, where you can see the changes that have been made to the nest, and reminded of CJ7’s antics:


Since writing today’s update, we had another visitor to the nest – this time a ringed individual PT0! PT0 is a ringed Osprey that fledged from Loch of the Lowes in 2018, and this is the first time she is back in the UK. When ringed on the nest, PT0 was believed to be a male, due to the measurements taken. However, later in the season as PT0 grew, it seemed that she was much more likely to be female, due to her large size and behaviour. From her adult appearance, it seems that the Lowes team’s judgements were correct. PT0 first landed on the nest at 17:21, and stayed around for around 40 minutes before intermittently returning. It will be interesting to see how she continues to behave and where she heads to next. Happy news for Loch of the Lowes!

Monday 18th May

Today, CJ7 was only the nest platform for a short period at around 08:30am, but made fleeting visits to another nesting platform at 08:59 and 09:26. Over the weekend, she behaved similarly, but spent more time on the livestream nest on Sunday morning before visiting the same platform at 11:05am.

Last night, the nest was visited by a Tawny Owl, which flew by the nest a few times. It sounds as though CJ7 was perched on the camera pole at this point, which might explain why the Tawny was proceeding with caution!

Friday 15th May

Another quiet day for CJ7. From the sound of footage, it seems that she spent some of the night on the camera pole, and we could see her take a brief flight at 05:53, and then return to the nest. She didn’t stay on the nest long, however, and was on the camera pole for much of the day. Today was the last of our series of weekday Q & As, which are now switching to weekly on Fridays at 10-11am. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact us on email at bopphq@birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk.

Thursday 14th May

Compared to yesterday evening, it’s been a very calm day on the nest. We’ve only seen CJ7 in passing, once with a fish, and she’s spent much of the time on the camera pole, occasionally calling. This morning at 07:50, an Osprey was seen heading north over Holes Bay, which could have possibly been the other Osprey that was in the harbour yesterday. The time of arrival yesterday suggests that the intruder was possibly just stopping over before continuing on migration this morning.

Wednesday 13th May

CJ7 arrived on the nest at 06:07 this morning, but didn’t stay in view for most of the day. Excitement on the nest in the evening, however, made up for the lack of activity in the day. At 18:51, and intruder Osprey flew by the nest a number of times, with CJ7 on the nest, displaying a defensive behaviour known as “mantling”. Although she was defensive, she wasn’t alarm calling, which is very interesting – we would expect her to do so if she felt threatened. We didn’t get clear enough view of the individual to see whether it was a male or female, but we could see that it was unringed, so not one of the translocated individuals from the project.

The intruder was heard to land on the camera pole, and shortly after they both flew off. Between 19:47 and 19:54, CJ7 was photographed on another nesting platform alone through our motion-sensitive cameras. Neither bird landed on the nest later in the evening.

The new Osprey flew by the nest several times during the encounter, and you can watch CJ7 mantling and a close flyby here:



Tuesday 12th May

CJ7 was earlier on the nest again this morning, arriving at 06:36. She was seen fishing in the harbour this morning and returned to eat on the camera pole. From next week, we will be hosting our Q and As once a week, rather than daily, due to the reduced activity on the nest. The weekly sessions will take place on Friday mornings at 10-11am on our YouTube livestream. If we see any development in activity, it’s possible we will host more Q and A sessions again.

Monday 11th May

Another long weekend has seen some more developments on the nest. On Saturday, close to midday, CJ7 broke one of the unfertilised eggs and ate some of the contents, which is not unusual for birds to do. Later in the afternoon, all of the eggs became buried in the nest and so are no longer visible on the livestream. Since then, she has been spending less time on the nest, arriving later in the day and spending time on another nesting platform in the harbour over the weekend. Although she is visiting other platforms, that doesn’t mean that she no longer favours this nest. This morning, she didn’t arrive on the nest until 12:49, when she seemingly appeared to arrive in order to protect the nest from corvids, so it is likely she is still in close proximity when not on the platform itself. She is still spending a lot more time on the livestream nest, with the other visits being fairly brief or to eat a fish. Over the weekend, another 2 Ospreys passed through the harbour and we have had reports of Ospreys still on migration abroad, so we’re hoping we may see other translocated birds return this year.

Thursday 7th May

This morning saw the early arrival of CJ7 at 04:54, before she laid a third unfertilised egg at around 07:26 this morning. It’s not unexpected that she laid another, as Osprey usually lay clutches of 3. She is continuing to not incubate the eggs, though is maintaining the depth of the nest through regularly egg cup scraping and adjusting the nest material.

Another feature on the nest this morning was a visitor at 04:09, when a Nightjar came to perch. As it was a male, it will be interesting to see if he returns back to this post in future to sing from.

Wednesday 6th May

Similar to usual, CJ7 arrived on the nest at 05:07 this morning. She was seen on the nest for the majority of the morning, only leaving for brief periods of time. In the late morning, while CJ7 was on the nest, another Osprey was seen in the harbour, but was not identified and continued on through. Younger birds are now arriving to the UK, so there is the possibility of seeing more translocated Ospreys arrive this year! Tomorrow evening, we will be hosting an additional Q & A on our YouTube livestream at 19:00-19:55, before the Clap for Carers, with the aim of making the event accessible to more people, including key workers. We hope you can join us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTIe41ZvtS4

Tuesday 5th May

CJ7 arrived on the nest this morning at 05:38, but has stayed away from the nest for most of the day. Hopefully, we will see her back on the nest tomorrow morning. You can watch our new Osprey Video Diary about CJ7’s laying and Osprey Identification here:

Monday 4th May

A new week and a new egg – CJ7 laid another unfertilised egg on Sunday evening at around 20:32. This wasn’t unexpected as Ospreys will typically lay an average of 3 eggs in a clutch, so we could see another in a few days time. She spent the rest of the weekend both on the nest and visiting different platforms in the harbour. On Monday morning she arrived on the nest at 05:45 and hasn’t been incubating the eggs, though is still taking time to scrape the egg cup occasionally. Last week saw the arrival of more 3-year-old Ospreys back in the UK, so there is still potential for LS7 coming through soon!

CJ7 defending her meal on another nesting platform on Sunday

Friday 1st May

CJ7 arrived on the nest at 05:14 this morning, with the egg still present. She had a busy day as she visited two other nesting platforms in the harbour, eating a fish on one in the early afternoon. It’s good to see that CJ7 is prioritising her own health rather than attempting to incubate the egg. As of yet, she has not buried or pushed the egg from the nest, but it may be so that this happens over the weekend. The egg is definitely unfertilised, so there’s no need to worry if you see her doing this behaviour. We look forward to getting back to the Osprey Live Q & A again on Monday!

Thursday 30th April

A very unusual early start to the day saw CJ7 revealing an egg on the nest at 03:35 this morning. We believe the egg is unfertilised as she doesn’t currently have a mate, and is instead a result of CJ7’s readiness to breed, causing a surge in hormones. Please read our new blog post about CJ7 and the egg here.

Wednesday 29th April

We were pleased to see CJ7 back on the nest again this morning, arriving very early again at 04:32. Despite the rainy weather this morning, she spent much more time on this nest today. Following the high interest in LS7 and his hopeful return in the live Q & As, we’ve released a new video this week with an exclusive look at the history of LS7, including his translocation in 2017. You can watch it here:

Tuesday 28th April

It’s been an unusual day as we’ve had almost no Osprey activity on the livestream nest camera, or on any of the other platforms in the harbour. This is likely to be due to the poor weather conditions, and CJ7 is likely to be hunkered down somewhere in a tree, so it’s no cause for concern, especially as she could be heard on the camera pole at between 06:10-06:11 this morning. Let’s hope we see her on the nest again in the morning.

Monday 27th April

Another weekend has passed and we are still waiting on the return of LS7. CJ7 has continued her usual business over the weekend, and spent time on another nesting platforms in the harbour on Saturday afternoon, but different to the one she visited on Friday afternoon. On Saturday evening, we were alerted to trespassers that walked near the nest and could be seen on the webcam. We immediately responded to check that the nest was not at risk, and found that they had already moved on. It seems they had no intent on disturbing CJ7, and fortunately she returned again the next morning.

This morning, CJ7 behaved differently to her usual routine, and arrived very early in the morning at 03:53. She spent the majority of the day on the livestream nest, and didn’t make any visits to other platforms in the harbour.

Friday 24th April

CJ7 stayed on the livestream nest for most of the morning, only leaving for brief periods, having arrived at 05:26. She spent time on another Osprey platform in the harbour in the mid-afternoon, but only stayed for around 25 minutes. We’ve been asked a number of times this week as to when it will be too late for nesting this year, depending on LS7 returning. Should LS7 return within the next week or so, they may well be able to make a nesting attempt this year. Should he return later in May, then it is unlikely that they would breed this year, and would instead spend the summer pair bonding, as they did last year, ready for a nesting attempt in 2021. LS7 is still young, and it is normal for 3-year-old Ospreys to return later, so a nesting attempt this year would be very lucky.

Our live Q & As will resume on Monday at 10am on the YouTube chat, where you can ask any questions you have about the Osprey project or the nest.

Thursday 23rd April

CJ7 arrived at 05:27 this morning on the nest camera, though made a brief visit later in the morning to another nesting platform in the harbour, just after 10am. CJ7 was on the nest sporadically this afternoon. There were also speculations today over the identity of an Osprey that was photographed flying over a garden in the early afternoon, while CJ7 was briefly off the nest. Though it’s difficult to confirm a definite ID from the photos, we believe the photographed Osprey was a female, and likely to be CJ7 due to the markings and timing. Exciting either way!

Photo of Osprey Flyover – Alison Copland

Wednesday 22nd April

CJ7 arrived at 05:32 on the nest camera this morning, but visited another platform in the harbour after catching a fish at around 11 o’clock. Watch our next video diary about the past week in the harbour, our Osprey Translocation Project, and what we could expect to see from the season, depending on LS7’s arrival:

Tuesday 21st April

CJ7 arrived on the nest camera at 06:24 this morning and spent the majority of the morning on the nest, busy rearranging material. She spent the afternoon away from the nest. There were no reports of any other Ospreys in the harbour today, though yesterday saw the return of 3-year-old Osprey Aeron from the Dyfi Osprey Project, good evidence that younger Ospreys are still making their way back into the UK.

CJ7 on livestream nest

Monday 20th April

Another exciting weekend for Osprey behaviour in the harbour. CJ7 still spent lots of time on time on the nest, but on Sunday, she was visited by another Osprey passing through the harbour.  The team watched on tenterhooks, hoping for the arrival of both birds of the camera. At 12:26, the shadows of two Ospreys flying above the nest could be seen on the camera, but the visitor did not land, and carried on through. As this new individual did not land on any platforms, we don’t have a guide as to whether it was ringed or whether it was male or female.

On Monday, CJ7 arrived on the nest at 05:32. She spent most of the day on the camera pole or away from the nest. We did see a brief appearance from her at 13:43, when she very quickly landed on the nest with a fish and then flew back up behind the camera again.

CJ7 makes a brief visit to the nest with fish

Friday 17th April

CJ7 arrived on the nest this morning at 06:30, and spent much of the morning on the nest. As the rain was fairly heavy this morning, she had a long period of inactivity, which is usual for Ospreys in rainy weather. This afternoon, she spent some more time arranging the nest.

The unringed Osprey that was seen with CJ7 on another platform yesterday has not been seen today. We expect that it was probably just a quick stopover on his migration through, which definitely gave us a bit of excitement.

We’ll be back to update the diary and with our live Q & A  at 10-11am on Monday, unless there are any significant updates over the weekend!

CJ7 arriving on nest this morning

Thursday 16th April

Another exciting day in the harbour. CJ7 first arrived on the nest this morning at 05:44. Unusually, we later received photos of her eating a fish on another nest platform in the harbour from 09:38. Even more unusually, she was visited twice by an unringed Osprey, which appears to be male, though it didn’t stay around for long. It’s likely that this bird is just passing through the harbour, but it’s interesting to see CJ7 interact with another bird, and we’ve been keeping our eyes on the nest cams to see if he reappears. There was no sign of him in the afternoon, where CJ7 spent a lot of time, as well as on the camera pole.

CJ7 with un-ringed Osprey on alternative nest platform

Wednesday 15th April

It’s been a whole week since CJ7 first arrived on the nest. She arrived this morning at 05:42, and continued her typical daily routine. She again spent lots of time on the nest in the afternoon today, which is a positive sign. You can watch our new video blog about the first week of CJ7 on the nest here:

Tuesday 14th April

CJ7 has really picked up the pace with the nest-building, which we can see through the transformation of the nest since she first arrived last Wednesday. This morning, she was visible on the nest at 06:18, though it appeared that she was perched on the camera pole before that. Arriving on the nest, she continued to eat the remains of a fish. Throughout the morning and afternoon, CJ7 was intermittently on the nest, bringing in large pieces of nesting material.

Monday 13th April

CJ7 has been busy over the weekend, building the nest up considerably, and displaying more egg-cupping behaviour. The nest is now much deeper and well-prepped for nesting, should LS7 arrive soon. Today, CJ7 arrived at 05:46 onto the nest in the morning. She displayed a change of activity, spending longer time on the nest in the afternoon, and appeared in the evening. At 19:27, she flew off the camera pole with a fish, though could be heard returning to the camera pole at 19:29.

Elsewhere in the harbour, we haven’t received any photo transmissions of Beaky since Saturday the 11th, so we believe that she has moved to another area, as she did last year.

Friday 10th April

CJ7 repeated her behaviour again today, spending much of the morning on the livestream nest and most of the afternoon away. She was first seen at 07:18 this morning, and made considerable progress with building up the nest, even demonstrating some egg cup scraping behaviour. It’s clear she is highly favourable of this nest, so, should LS7 return, there will be some good viewing. At 11:31, the CJ7 displayed defensively (“mantling”) as a Red Kite passed over the nest. This evening she returned to the perch on the camera pole with a fish at 17:59.

Beaky was present again on her regular nest from early this morning. She brought a fish to the nest in the late morning and stayed there until the early afternoon.

CJ7 defending nest as Red Kite passed over

Thursday 9th April

CJ7 was first briefly seen on an alternative nest platform in the harbour this morning at 08:34, before making a quick return to the livestream nest camera at 08:41. She spent most of the morning on the nest, including on top of the camera post, and continued to bring in nesting material. Much the same as the day before, she spent most of the afternoon away from the nesting platforms, and was last seen in the afternoon at at 12:26pm, after which she sat on the camera post for a while.

Beaky was recorded again on our motion-sensitive cameras again briefly this morning, but spent most of the morning and afternoon away from the nest. She did, however, return with a fish in the late afternoon, and stayed present most of the evening.

CJ7 on alternative nesting platform in the harbour

Wednesday 8th April

* First Osprey arrival on livestream nest cam – CJ7 *

CJ7 is a 5-year-old female that has been summering in Poole Harbour since 2017, and bonded with translocated male, LS7, in the harbour last year. She arrived on the nest at 05:55 in the morning, and spent most of the morning on the nest, intermittently leaving to collect sticks to build the nest up. She made significant progress with nest building, and then spent the majority of the afternoon away from the nest.

Elsewhere, the large unringed female (presumed Beaky) was on a nesting platform in the harbour again from the morning into the afternoon, spending much of the afternoon feeding on a large fish (grey mullet). Beaky spent just over a week in the harbour in April 2019, and returned back in August again. It is possible she may spend a longer amount of time here this year.

CJ7 on livestream nest camera

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