Clyde Muirshiel is celebrating the breeding success of a pair of ospreys for the third year running. This year the pair saw one chick successfully reared and fledge from their Inverclyde home. The rare bird of prey first bred in Clyde Muirshiel in 2018, raising 2 chicks. This success was repeated in 2019 with 3 chicks fledging the nest. They are a wonderful sight if you are lucky to spot them when visiting the Regional Park.
Now fully grown, the juvenile will be learning to hunt (feeding exclusively on fish) and fuelling up for its African migration. This is an amazing six thousand miles. They will then spend the next few years of their lives maturing before returning to Scotland to breed. It is possible that if the young is a male bird, it will return to the same area in next year.
Adult ospreys will return to their breeding grounds in April and complete any housekeeping at the nest site before laying eggs and rearing chicks throughout May, June and July. They will leave Scotland soon and migrate to the warmer climes of Central Africa. When in Africa the birds spend approximately 90% of their time perching, spending the rest of the time hunting and eating. This sounds like a very relaxing holiday indeed!
Park staff were unable to ring this year’s brood due to lockdown restrictions. Anyone approaching the nest to ring the birds must have a schedule one licence. When a site visit was possible the chicks were too old to approach. The good weather earlier in the year also meant nesting was earlier compared to previous years.
It is also possible a second pair of ospreys were trying to nest but may have been disturbed during nest building. We ask that everyone keep their distance if they are aware or even suspect any birds are trying to nest, disturbance is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The Ranger Service are now looking into placing more osprey platforms over the winter in preparation for next season.