Good morning everyone. Chris here with a quick update from the Osprey Centre.

It appears that our oldest juvenile, Rowan, has departed on his migration. We have not seen him since Tuesday morning and it is very likely that he has made the most of this spell of fine weather to follow hot on EJ's heels. For most of yesterday morning there was a large portion of fish lying unattended on the nest (the remains of Willow's breakfast). If Rowan were in the area we would have expected him to come to the nest at some point and help himself to this free meal. The fact that he didn't suggests he is almost certainly on his way to warmer climes. This was, however, great news for our resident Jay who couldn't believe his luck, happily picking away at the fish all morning before eventually dragging it over the side of the nest and disappearing. We have also had a couple of Redstarts visiting the nest this morning. We were disappointed that no Redstarts nested in our nestbox this year but they have been breeding in the forest around the centre and it is always a treat to see these beautiful birds, especially as they too will be heading south for winter. 

The departure of our juveniles is always a bittersweet moment; it is tough to watch a young bird that we have seen everyday for 3 and a half months disappear into the big, wide world, his future unpredictable and delicately balanced, but at the same time, this is what Ospreys do! It's all part of their life cycle and it's great news that Rowan has left nice and early, avoiding the onset of autumnal storms and winter cold, and that his instincts are fully developed and guiding him well. The force is strong with this one! With only two young this year, there will have been more food to go around and each of our boys will hopefully be that little bit stronger when it comes to this massive journey they are about to undertake. We all wish Rowan well and I like to imagine that one late Spring day in 2019, I'll catch sight of an Osprey soaring over my head, grab my binoculars and, just before he disappears over the trees with an enormous fish in his talons, get the quickest glimpse of a blue leg ring bearing the code PP0.


                                                  Great memories...the changing faces of Rowan

Willow and Odin are still present in the area and we have seen them both this morning - Odin delivering a fish for his youngest son. We'll try to let you know when Willow leaves (Odin is always the last to go) but as usual it isn't until we don't see him for a couple of days that we can be sure he is gone. Does that make sense? Clear as mud, right? 

Have a lovely Thursday!