Flanders Ospreys – First Flight

Flanders Moss NNR

At Flanders our resident osprey spotter Ralph Brooks-Fox reports on the first flight of this years chick:

osprey flight 1

Yesterday there was a lot of waiting around. It was day 53, the average time it takes an osprey to fledge. But in the nest not much was happening, with the two adults hanging about on their favourite adjacent tree. Activity focused on chasing off intruders – a solitary male strutting his stuff a safe distance above the nest, and a red kite minding its own business looking for carrion whilst the farmer mowed his field.

Given the deterioration in the weather, not much was expected today, but at lunchtime the single youngster made his move. Sadly slow camera work only caught the aftermath, with the youngster landing on the branch above the nest after a brief circuit.

osrpey flight 2osprey flight 3

This was followed by an inelegant crash into the nest and a final flap for good measure. Job done.

osprey flight 4

So this year a single chick has fledged, the same as last year. The Loch of the Lowes pair fledged a week ago, whilst in Glaslyn in Wales three almost fully grown birds plus two adults in a single nest makes quite a sight!

Back here, the female would be expected to leave on her journey south around mid August with the male and the youngster remaining until early September.

In the meantime, the chick will have to learn to feed whilst clinging to a branch rather than in a comfortable nest, and then the more challenging task of catching its own fish, before departing south on its own.  All in around six weeks!

Ralph

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