High winds foil osprey tagging attempt

Tuesday 03rd Aug 2010 by theWeather Club

Ospreys soaring above the cliffs are one of the most uplifting sights possible on a British coastal walk – even more so give the rarity of such sighting in recent years. However a series of protection and re-introduction programmes is hoping to make such sightings more common. But things do not always go according to plan. High winds foiled recent RSPB attempts to ring five young ospreys. The plan was to put identification rings on three of the birds and satellite tags to two, allowing the RSPB to track their migration to Africa. But the high winds made it to dangerous for the team to access the nest using long ladders. Site manager Richard Thaxton admitted that staff were "very disappointed" by the failure, but explained that the decision not to press ahead was also in the best interests of the osprey. There were concerns the fledglings, emboldened by the extra lift from the high winds, might take fright and attempt to fly from the nest before they were ready. Later, when the winds had dropped and some rain had set in, a plan was hatched to ring the fledglings as they sheltered from the downpour, but the rain stopped and the sun came out before the plan could be carried out. It seems that on this occasion the weather gods were firmly on the side of our feathered friends.