This weeks blog has been written by our Summer Guide, Heather, about what we have been saying goodbye to here at the Scottish Dolphin Centre this week.
After their much awaited arrival at the beginning of April we are now seeing the osprey visits dwindle and soon the remaining ospreys will begin their migration of over 4000 miles to Africa.
Over the 2014 season we have had 191 sightings of ospreys during our Shorewatches. The peak of the sightings was in August, which coincided with the juveniles fledging, with 58 ospreys spotted by staff members. This is quite substantial considering just under 1/3 of the Shorewatches in August could not be conducted due to bad weather. There have also been numerous sightings during the season from our visitors, with our sighting board often full of ospreys.
The osprey is a migratory bird, with the females leaving for the migration first, followed by the juveniles and lastly the males will make the journey. They are believed to migrate 160-268 miles per day. The juveniles will not typically return again until they are mature at around 3 years of age.
In August we had lots of sightings where two ospreys were fishing together. This was the adults teaching the young to fish so that they were equipped to fend for themselves.
Although all of us at Spey Bay and our visitors will be sad to see the osprey go, the number of sightings we have had is a brilliant sign of how well the species is recovering.
© WDC/Charlie Phillips
As well as saying goodbye to the ospreys we have also said farewell to the Wild Dolphins sculptures that have been on display in our centre and all around Aberdeen. It has been a brilliant summer watching people ‘collect’ each of the dolphins along the trail. We are all extremely pleased with the outcome from the auction and we would like to thank everyone involved and everyone who donated. The three that we have had on display have made their permanent home with the schools who so creatively decorated them and we are all eager to discover where the other 52 dolphins make their permanent home.
© WDC/Aimee Burrows