There was supposed to have been two winners chosen from classes of primary pupils from Innerleithen to see the Tweed Valley ospreys.
But organisers relented and Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) conservation manager for the south of Scotland, raptor ringer Tony Lightley and Ronnie Graham of the Raptor Study Group took all of the children to see the three young birds from the main nest being ringed earlier this week.
The 10-year-olds of St Ronan’s Primary School are researching and writing a coffee table book about the Tweed Valley Ospreys Project (TVOP), which is also 10 years old this year.
And the best two were to have won the prize of going to the main osprey nest.
But project officer Diane Bennett said choosing was too hard because all of the children were so enthusiastic. And she said of Monday and Tuesday’s nest visits: “It’s so kind of Tony to arrange for the children to have the trip of a lifetime. The kids had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the osprey chicks in real life.”
The pair of birds on the main nest have raised 26 chicks, including this year’s brood, in the last 10 years.
The young birds ringed this week are six weeks old and will be flying within the next two weeks. She said: “July is an exciting time, watching and waiting for them to make their first flights.”
The 32-page anniversary book is scheduled for publication later month and set to be launched at the Kailzie Wildlife Festival in August.