Flanders Moss NNR
A recent check of the osprey nest at Flanders revealed a sad story. It appears the windy weather we have been having brought down a large part of the nest with the two nearly fledged youngsters inside. Unfortunately neither chick survived, which is a great shame as they were fully feathered and getting towards being ready to fledge.
The tree that the ospreys have used for the last two years has been a very wobbly, dead pine and both years parts of the nest have collapsed. As there are plenty of other trees across the moss we will fell this tree during the winter so this sort of unfortunate accident can’t happen again.
An osprey nest is an amazing structure. It is only when it is on the ground can you see just how big it is and just how many sticks are used. Each one represents a collection and a journey. Interestingly in amongst the forest of twigs were some pieces of dead giant hogweed, an invasive non-native plant that is found along the River Forth nearby. These must have been picked off the ground but luckily the plant can’t spread from dead stems.
The ospreys of the area have had a lot of interest this spring with Gordon Buchanan and the BBC Springwatch team filming at the Lake of Menteith just a couple of miles away. It is possible that the ospreys of this nest were some of those filmed during Springwatch at the lake. We know that the Flanders ospreys use the Lake where there is a handy trout fishery but also the River Forth and even the Forth estuary for feeding.
We will keep our fingers crossed that Flanders will host ospreys again next year, but next time with a much stronger tree.