The Fernando family from Edinburgh won a prize trip to see the ospreys being ringed in Tweed Valley.
The Fernando family pictured are
Gail Fernando Naresh Fernando Reine Fernando (age 12) Lowry Fernando (Age 7)
The osprey chicks in the nest known as ‘The Back Up Nest’ were being ringed on 7th July and the
Fernando family from Edinburgh, were invited along as special guests.
The chicks were being ringed by Tony Lightley, (Conservation Manager from Forestry Commission Scotland and licensed ringer for raptors in the South of Scotland).
The special invitation was won as a raffle prize from the Kailzie Wildlife Festival Event on 9th and 10th June. Phil Cosgrove, the chairman of the Friends of Kailzie Widllife was delighted to inform the family of their special prize and attended the event also. Tony Lightley rings the osprey chicks across the whole region as part of the Tweed Valley Osprey Project to monitor their progress and distribution throughout their lifetimes.
As well as chairing the Friends of Kailzie Wildlife Group, Phil has been volunteering with the Tweed Valley Osprey Project for 6 years and this was the first time he had seen ospreys so close and he described it as a wonderful experience.
The Fernando family had a lovely time and Gail said:
“We were very excited when we heard we had won the competition and the children were really looking forward to the ringing. The actual day far exceeded our expectations and it was a magical and very moving experience and was the highlight of our summer holidays. A big thank you to Tony at Forestry Commission Scotland and Friends of Kailzie Wildlife for organising this brilliant prize’’.
Reine (age 12) said;
“It was an experience like none other. Getting to actually hold the osprey chick was really exciting, I can’t wait to tell all my school friends about it”
Survival against all the odds
The Tweed Valley Ospreys have done remarkably well to raise chicks to survive this summer of deluge and rivers mostly in a state of spate.
We have heard news of chick fatalities across the whole of the UK. Birds have simply not survived due to the cold wet summer and lack of food. One Chick from each of the nests at Caerlaverock, Aberfoyle, Loch Garten and Kielder have been reported as having died in the nest, two chicks died at the Dyfi nest in Wales.
A final count up of all the osprey nest sites in the Tweed Valley has not been reported yet but we know that at least two of the nest sites have very good healthy chicks ready to fledge. The parent birds are finding a good food source to exploit and this is looking very optimistic for the future of Tweed Valley raised ospreys.
The swallow family which was live on camera at their nest site at the back of Kailzie Fishery contained four chicks. The four tiny chicks could be seen on the camera at the osprey and nature watch centre. The parent birds worked extremely hard to take turns to deliver flies to the nestlings. We were able to witness the chicks reach their heads up from the nest as their parents flew in and delivered food to the wide gaping mouths. The chicks develop at such a fast rate and soon the mud cup nest was overflowing with four almost full grown chicks. Once they have left the nest and developed their flight and survival skills, the parents will soon resume nesting in a nearby nest to the original one and will have a second brood. They will make the most of the long summer to raise as many chicks as possible before they make their return to Africa at the end of the summer.
Other migrants have seemed to fare well at Kailzie also, with spotted flycatchers regularly seen flitting from post top perches along the Kailzie Gardens Drive. They make their characteristic leaps into the air and dives after airborne prey.
A truly interesting sight was that of a juvenile speckle breasted robin following a spotted flycatcher on his rounds to catch flies. He was clearly impressed at the birds’ successful forays after food and was perhaps following to pick up some tips!
The meadows along the Tweed Valley have been glorious in their wildflowers, with swathes of buttercups and cow parsley. I spent a few summer evenings filming roe deer grazing on the sweet delights.
I have been filming wildlife in the Upper Tweeddale area over the summer and have now created a ‘you tube’ account called ‘kailziewildlife’ for anyone interested to have a look at some of the wonderful wildlife that can be seen in the area.
One of my highlights of the summer was spotting a male hen harrier hunting over wet pasture and thankfully I had the camcorder with me and I caught some film footage of the event which can also be seen on ‘you tube’ at kailziewildlife.
The long wet summer has meant a distinct lack of butterflies and this will also mean a reduction in caterpillars. This will no doubt impact on young birds foraging for food. To try to counteract this difficult time I have continued to feed the birds in my garden all through the summer. I have been using a mix of good quality food as well as cheaper grain based products. Two collared doves have adopted me and my garden and are to be seen sitting in the food dish regularly topping themselves up with some grain. The blackbirds have 4 fledged chicks, this year and it is the male bird that is very tame and waits for me to supply chopped apple, grapes, and berries. I also provide suet, fat balls and peanuts. The small garden birds are finding it a helpful food supply once they are able to tuck in after the rooks and jackdaws have had their fill.
Diane Bennett – Tweed Valley Osprey Information Officer and Secretary of Friends of Kailzie Wildlife.