Osprey Project07/04/2022

Osprey Diary 2022

Our Osprey Diary provides a daily summary of Osprey activity in Poole Harbour this season. Please join us on our Osprey Camera YouTube livestream for our weekly Q&As on Mondays at 10-11am to ask any questions relating to the Osprey Project.

Friday 6th May

The last two days have continued to be consistently good for the pair, with 022 regularly bringing in fish to the nest and supporting CJ7 with incubation. Today, he delivered a Grey Mullet at 10:40am, and another fish at 3:28pm.

A relaxed 022 (incubating) and CJ7 on the nest this afternoon

Wednesday 4th May

Another nice day with an Osprey seen from our Spring Safari Cruise this morning, soaring high over the Wareham Channel. 022 put in an appearance in the Middlebere Channel also this morning, so it could well have been him that we saw from the boat. The behaviour on the nest has continued well today, with both CJ7 and 022 contributing to the incubation.

022 incubating on the nest this morning

Tuesday 3rd May

CJ7 and 022 seem to be really getting into the swing of managing the nest now, with 022 taking on a reasonable amount of incubating duties. He took over shortly after 5 this morning, and was sporadically on the nest throughout the day, seen building up the nest and bringing in breakfast at 08:21am. 1 Osprey was also seen from our Spring Safari Cruise this morning, visible distantly from Swineham heading in the direction of the Wareham Channel.

Early morning incubation changeover

022 incubating with CJ7 resting beyond

Monday 2nd May

After a full night shift of incubating by CJ7, 022 seemed more than eager to take over early this morning. They carried on their recent pattern of frequent changeovers, though CJ7 rarely strayed far from the nest, often supervising from the adjacent branches. During early afternoon she seemed to grow tired of all this toing and froing, sitting firm in the nest each time 022 arrived. He eventually seemed to correctly interpret this as cue to go fetch some dinner, and returned with what looked like a Brown Trout at 5:20pm, which CJ7 quickly carried off.
CJ7 overseeing 022’s incubating duties

Sunday 1st May

There’s been lots of activity on the nest today in the form of changeovers. Now 022 has learnt to incubate he can’t seem to get enough of it! Throughout the morning he rarely left CJ7 on the nest for more than 30 minutes before coming back to switch places. Without her usual morning fish delivery CJ7 was left with only the scraps of fish tail from yesterday evening to satisfy her hunger, until late afternoon when 022 returned with a large fresh catch, which she swiftly carried off. She ate almost the whole thing in less than half an hour, returning to one of the lefthand nest branches to finish it off.
Interestingly both birds are still making adjustments to the nest, each bringing in some substantial sticks and clumps of grass. We hope 022 was careful to avoid the eggs when he was moving a particularly large log around the inside of the nest, but we’ve no way of knowing for sure!
Egg inspection at changeover time

Saturday 30th April

Today was notable for two reasons. Firstly, 022 started incubating the eggs for the first time, after a week of standing over them when CJ7 was away from the nest! This is really encouraging progress and should allow CJ7 more flexibility in her own routine (though she will still be predominantly responsible for incubation). Secondly, the Osprey Project was featured on this morning’s BBC Breakfast News! Liv shared all the latest project updates via a live video link whilst viewers enjoyed images of the pair on the nest. It’s wonderful to see our pair getting the attention they deserve and to be able to share their story with such a wide audience!
Liv & CJ7 live on BBC Breakfast News!

Friday 29th April

CJ7 laid her third (and probably final) of this years eggs this morning at 08:57 am! The early afternoon we had a real surprise with an un-ringed intruder osprey (possibly female) landing on the nest whilst 022 was protecting (mantling over) the clutch! The visitor was possibly one of the three migrant birds seen in the harbour yesterday, and quickly flew off with the half eaten fish it was carrying. CJ7 quickly returned to the nest with her own half eaten meal, and the pair remained on guard for some time afterwards before relaxing once more.
It’s so encouraging to see other ospreys finding our pair on a clutch in a local nest, it will no doubt completely change their perception of the harbour, and make them more likely to return to the area and potentially even try to establish here themselves.
CJ7 just after egg laying

Tuesday 26th April

We are very excited to say CJ7 has laid a second egg! Three days after laying egg their first egg, the speedy laying of the second took place between 11:37 and 11:41 this morning. Could there be a third in a few days time?! Ospreys typically lay a clutch of three, and the eggs are incubated for 35-40 days before any potential hatching, so the wait continues…
The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation have also written a fantastic blog exploring the origins of 022 and CJ7 and what we can hope to see from them: https://www.roydennis.org/2022/04/25/osprey-dynasties/
CJ7 laying the second egg

Saturday 23rd April

AFTER YEARS OF WAITING, IT FINALLY HAPPENED!! At 14:58 this afternoon CJ7 laid her first egg with a mate! After standing up to inspect and turn it, ten minutes later she lay down and began incubating (something she never did for her unfertilised eggs over the past two years)! At 15:17 022 arrived and actually tried to mate with her, until she stood up and revealed the treasure she had been guarding. It was a very touching moment to see him descend into the nest bowl and move gently around as he took his first inquisitive look. Once he had satisfied himself that it was indeed an egg and was indeed his, he departed and CJ7 resumed her incubation. Throughout the evening they were both on and off the egg, although it looks as though 022 could use some incubation practice… something we’re sure will come to him with time. Already we’re getting to see brand new behaviours not witnessed in Poole Harbour for centuries, such as a female settling down to incubate her egg overnight… what a reward and what a day!

CJ7 & 022 looking down at their first egg!

Wednesday 20th April

Some very interesting behaviour from CJ7 today, she seems to be spending a lot of time stood in the nest looking down into the bowl and moving small pieces of nest lining around… could she be preparing to lay?! She certainly hasn’t strayed far from the nest at all in the last few days. She also seems to be refusing mating attempts from 022, perhaps indicating that egg development is already underway. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on her in the next few days, to see if she continues preparing the egg cup or starts laying in the nest. A female osprey, presumably the one seen intruding yesterday, was seen this afternoon from Hyde’s Heath at Arne circling out over the Wareham Channel. It will be interesting to see whether her encounter with our pair encourages her to stick around.

CJ7 looking down into the nest

Tuesday 19th April

The big news today is that our young translocated female 019 has been spotted back in the country for the first time this year! She’s back in North Wales for her second summer, and making her presence known. She touched down on the Llyn Brenig nest just after half past 12, landing alongside their breeding male, LJ2. Interestingly this is a male which 014 (another of our translocated females now breeding in Wales) was seen with at the Dyfi nest in 2020. After this brief encounter 019 was quickly chased out of the vicinity by the pair, but will no doubt return to this and other nests as the season progresses. It’s wonderful to see her back for the second time and looking for nesting opportunities. Fingers crossed she find’s a male to pair up with in the coming months!

Back in Poole Harbour there was also an intruder about! An un-ringed female flew over the nest site and was seen off by 022. Two birds were later seen together over the Wareham Channel whilst CJ7 was on the nest, so presumably 022 and the mystery visitor crossed paths again. 022 later returned with a fish another fish for CJ7 which he handed to her on the nest. You can enjoy the moment from a different angle to usual in this video:

022 providing a fish to CJ7

019 alongside breeding male LJ2 at Llyn Brenig, North Wales

Monday 18th April

Another Spring Safari Cruise this morning, and another flyby from 022! He was out fishing in the Wareham Channel mid-morning when he was spotted by our boat-goers, carrying his second catch of the day. He took this off to a secluded corner of the harbour to have his half, before returning to the nest to hand the rest over to CJ7. The pair have been very active around the nest again, including during today’s Live Q&A session, which saw even more participation than usual thanks to the Charity’s Co-founder Paul Morton’s appearance on the Today show on Radio 4 this morning. Don’t forget to tune in to the YouTube chat next Monday at 10am if you have any burning questions about the project or our pair that you’d like us to answer.

022 with a fish over the Wareham Channel

Sunday 17th April

As many local people will be aware there was an illegal rave in East Lulworth overnight which could be heard all the way from the harbour! We like many people were concerned that the disturbance may negatively affect the local wildlife, including the ospreys. Fortunately however that seems not to have been the case: in fact we’ve seen a definite increase in the activity of both our pair around the nest, with lots of mating attempts and 022 taking a more active role in nest building. The only times he’s been away from the site have been to catch fish. There was an unfortunate incident this morning when he arrived with a small, still flapping fish, and during the hand over both birds let go! The fish quickly fell from the nest, leaving both birds looking down in bewilderment! Fortunately 022 went on to catch another three fish which they shared (fairly amicably) so no one went hungry. This is encouraging as we’re anticipating that a first egg may be laid in the next week or two, and want CJ7 to be in top condition.

CJ7 at sunrise

Saturday 16th April

It looks like the long-staying Middlebere female has finally departed, with no sightings since midday yesterday. Meanwhile, CJ7 and 022 are starting to look very settled on the new livestream nest. We don’t think CJ7 has left the nest site since 022 arrived six days ago on Sunday 10th April, as he has been provisioning for her and himself ever since he arrived back, and is doing an excellent job! This behaviour bodes very well for the season ahead, as should they breed he will be responsible for feeding the whole family, catching at least 4 or 5 fish each day.

CJ7 and 022 mating attempt

Friday 15th April

A stunning day in the harbour today meant perfect conditions for our pair. CJ7 took up her nest building duties once more, focusing her efforts on lining the nest cup with grass and moss, having built up the surrounding sticks to a considerable height now. Just after 11am 022 returned from the harbour with a medium sized fish and began a stunning Skydancing courtship display over the nest, his beautiful high pitched call carrying across the landscape. Though not the first time he’s done this each makes us quite emotional each time to hear this sound that’s been lost from our landscape for so long. His performance lasted for about four minutes, all the while followed by four inquisitive (and no doubt hungry) common buzzards. He then dropped quickly down to the nest and handed it over to CJ7 who took it to a nearby tree to feed. Just a few minutes later 022 was off again, an incredibly he returned less than 20 minutes later with another fresh catch, which he keep for himself. During this first fishing foray he was seen from another of our Spring Safari Cruises, along with an un-ringed female who returned with her breakfast to her usual spot on the Middlebere nest.

Un-ringed female landing at Middlebere

Thursday 14th April

Thank you all for your patience today whilst the new livestream camera was down. A power cut overnight had mean the internet connection had been lost. All back working again now at this new link! CJ7 and 022 continued their daily activities of nest building, mating and feeding. We weren’t short of opportunities to watch ospreys though, as the recent un-ringed female was perched on the Middlebere nest almost all day today, giving excellent views to visitors to Coombe Heath at RSPB Arne. She left on two occasions, both times returning with an enormous mullet which she ate in situ. She must be crossing paths with 022 on some of these hunting trips, so we wonder whether his presence might affect how long she stays.

Un-ringed female at Middlebere with Mullet

Wednesday 13th April

An early start for the pair today, with 022 appearing at the camera at around 5:30am, being replaced by CJ7 shortly after. 022 caught and made a fish delivery to CJ7 at 7:05am, which she then took away to eat off camera. We’ve seen some nest shaping activity again today and the pair have been on and off the nest throughout the day. 022 was seen over the Middlebere channel this morning, and it seems that there is at least 1 or 2 unringed birds still in the area.

CJ7 visits the nest early this morning

CJ7 (left) and 022 (right) on the second livestream nest

Tuesday 12th April

A rainy start to the day kept the pair hunkered down early on, and 022 didn’t hunt until shortly before 1pm, bringing back another flounder for CJ7 not long after. They’ve made a few mating attempts, and have been on and off the nest throughout the afternoon. An unringed Osprey has been on the Middlebere nest platform with a flounder for a large proportion of the day again.

Today, we’ve also released a new press-release about the impact of returning Ospreys and White-tailed Eagles to the local area. You can find it here.

022 (foreground) and CJ7 on livestream camera 2

Monday 11th April

The activity on the nest has continued today, with further mating attempts from CJ7 and 022 on the new livestream nest. 022 has brought at least 2 fish to the site today, offering a share to CJ7 and continuing their bonding. He was active on the nest this morning, even doing some egg-cup scraping at around 06:41am. Elsewhere, an unringed Osprey was seen in Lytchett Bay today, and the large female that’s been seen recently on the Middlebere nest was present again this morning, with a huge fish in tow (likely a Mullet?).

CJ7 and 022 on livestream nest 2 this morning

Sunday 10th April 

022 HAS RETURNED!! Only 5 days behind CJ7, and 38 days earlier than his arrival date last year of May 18th! He touched down on the livestream nest at 09:16 for the briefest moment, before heading over to Arne where he perched briefly alongside an unringed female, watched eagerly by onlookers from our Spring Safari Cruise. As we returned down the Wareham Channel we were further rewarded with stunning views of him carrying a flat fish and briefly skydancing just over the boat. From here he flew north towards Wareham Forest circling higher and higher, which is when we think CJ7 collared him, as when she landed on another artificial the nest at 11:30, he followed only moments later still clutching his half eaten fish: our first sighting of them together since they both sat on the very same nest together on September 3rd last year!! We’re delighted to announce that over the winter we had another camera installed on this nest, and it’s available to view LIVE NOW on you Youtube channel:

Friday 8th April 

With the wind dying down, CJ7 spent the morning on one of the nest platforms today, though wasn’t reported to be seen any nest platforms during most of the afternoon. The unringed Osprey that was on the Middlebere nest yesterday was present again this morning, still seemingly working on a fish that was caught late yesterday! The same individual put in an appearance back on the nest later this afternoon, photographed by one of our motion-sensitive cameras.

Unringed Osprey – Middlebere Nest

Thursday 7th April

Just a few brief appearances made by CJ7 today, appearing shortly after 6am on one of the nest platforms she’s previously visited this year already, but left by 7am. Interestingly, she made her first appearance on the Middlebere nest platform this morning at 9:20am, leaving before an unringed Osprey landed on Middlebere nest with a fish. With more activity in this area today, the best place to view the Middlebere nest platform is from Coombe Heath at RSPB Arne. With the high winds today, conditions haven’t been ideal, so we expect that CJ7 has been largely inactive – hopefully we will see more of her tomorrow!

CJ7 lands on the Middlebere nest platform

Wednesday 6th April

CJ7 returned again to one of the other artificial nests in the early hours of this morning before heading off, presumably to the harbour to fish and explore. As many of you will remember from her behaviour in 2020 this is usually a very nomadic time for her and we expect she’ll visit all the artificial nests around the harbour over the next couple of weeks, hopefully including the livestream nest! Excitingly, CJ7 was seen from our Spring Safari Cruise this morning, before landing on the nest platform pictured below. Later in the day an Osprey was reported over Arne in the early afternoon.

CJ7 landing on a nest platform in the harbour

CJ7 from the Spring Safari Cruise – Wareham Channel – John Thorpe

Tuesday 5th April

The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived! CJ7 returned, landing on one of our other artificial nests not long after 17:30 this evening.  She stayed on the nest for less than an hour before departing. It’s fantastic to see her back for her sixth year in Poole Harbour – could this be the year we have breeding success? We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the safe return of 022. Though she didn’t first appear on the livestream webcam, it’s still worth watching as she could put in an appearance at any time. You can find the link to the channel here.

Elsewhere, an unringed individual was seen feeding on a dead tree in Wareham Forest, as well as another bird photographed on the Middlebere nest with a fish at around the time of CJ7’s arrival.

CJ7’s return!

Monday 4th April

No sightings reported

Sunday 3rd April

Excitingly, an unringed Osprey gave a stunning flyby on our Spring Safari Cruise this morning. The same individual appeared to later put in a couple of appearances on one of our nest platforms shortly after 1pm.

Unringed Osprey – Wareham Channel – Mark Wright

Unringed Osprey – nest platform

Wednesday 30th March

During this morning’s Spring Safari Cruise, we had some of the first Osprey sightings of the season, with 2 seen during the trip. One of the birds was perched feeding in a dead tree on the Arne shoreline, while the other was seen in flight also over Arne as we cruised up the channel. Later that day, we received photos of a ringed Osprey Blue FE on one of the nest platforms. It’s likely that this individual is a 2012 fledged bird from Scotland, but we are awaiting confirmation.

Osprey ringed “FE” – PH Nest Platform

Tuesday 29th March

Glaslyn female hatched in 2014 An exciting day with the first appearance of an Osprey on the livestream nest – ringed Blue 8C. She first turned up in Poole Harbour last autumn on the 23rd August, and it’s fantastic to see her back again. Before this, she had only been seen as an adult three times: once not far away in Ringwood on the Dorset-Hampshire border in March 2019, and twice on wintering grounds in Senegal in October 2017 and November 2019. No one knows if she’s breeding somewhere but it’s really encouraging to see her again.

Blue 8C (Glaslyn, 2014) on livestream nest

Monday 28th March

Today we had the first Osprey sightings of the season! From reported sightings, there appeared to be 2 or potentially 3 Osprey in the area, with one catching a fish in the Wareham Channel around 8:30am, with a second seen in Lytchett Bay a few minutes later.

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