Flanders Moss NNR
Ralph Brook-Fox, one of our 2bogs… volunteer and osprey watcher is lucky enough to be able to watch the Flanders ospreys from his house. They are back so he is now settling down in his armchair for a summer of osprey watching and here he gives us our first bulletin of the action for the season:
People may remember that back in September Storm Ali inflicted some of the worst damage seen recently on the woods west of Flanders, with an ancient oak felled by the wind, and others losing up to half their branches. Of particular concern was the local Osprey nest which appeared to have lost its top layer of branches, and the adjacent half-dead Douglas Fir popular as a lookout / dining table which lost perhaps ten metres of its height.
So it was of some relief to see the first Osprey on 29th March, with both birds spotted a couple of days later. This is over a week earlier than experienced in the last three years. This seems to be a common trend – the Loch of Lowes male LM12 recorded his earliest ever arrival on 15 March, and the female LF15 laid her first egg on 4 April, 10 days earlier than last year. As ever, the SWT webcam is highly recommended.
The nest appears serviceable, although the local corvid population have been making a nuisance of themselves! Fortunately it does not seem to have put the Ospreys off, with a bit of nest reconstruction spotted subsequently.
Their neighbours a couple of miles further north are also firmly in residence, with both first spotted on Thursday, again significantly earlier than last year. Once again they will have to get the lawnmower out!