No-show for Wigtown Bay ospreys

RSPB Scotland's Alexa Seagrave in Wigtown's Osprey room. Photo:Paul Tarling.

RSPB Scotland's Alexa Seagrave in Wigtown's Osprey room. Photo:Paul Tarling.

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WIGTOWN Bay’s ospreys have surprised everyone this year by pulling a bit of a vanishing act.

The pair, ‘EP’ and ‘HD’, have nested in the bay since 2007, and would normally have arrived back from Africa by mid-April.

Northerly winds have caused many migrating birds delays this spring, but with other ospreys now seen in the area, it seems likely that the Wigtown pair will not be making an appearance this year.

Andrew Bielinski, from RSPB Scotland said: “It’s a bit of a mystery why the ospreys haven’t returned, but these are wild animals so you always have to expect the unexpected. Ospreys undertake an incredible migration, flying over 3000 miles from Africa to the UK, so it’s possible that something has happened to one, or both of the birds en route. Or it could be that they’ve simply chosen a new nest site this year, which ospreys are also occasionally known to do.”

Despite the lack of ospreys, the Wildlife Viewing Room in Wigtown County Buildings will remain open this summer, with plenty of events on offer.

A new RSPB Scotland information officer, Alexa Seagrave, will be leading these events, and is looking forward to working with local volunteers, as well as meeting the many visitors who come to the area.

She said: “It’s a shame the ospreys haven’t returned, but Wigtown Bay has a massive amount of wildlife to see, and I’m hoping to introduce people to some of its wonders over the summer. We’ll be running events with the local school, as well as guided walks for all, and of course, one of my volunteers or I will be in the wildlife room at the County Buildings for the majority of its opening hours, so people can come and speak to us.”

Recorded images of the Wigtown Bay ospreys can be seen in the visitor room, which is jointly managed by RSPB and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Countryside Service, and situated within Wigtown County Buildings. If you would like more information, please contact the visitor facilities in the County Buildings on 01988 402673.

If you would be interested in volunteering with the project, you can contact Alexa on 07919227854.