Here’s lookin’ at you, chick

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THE first osprey chicks were spotted in the Tweed Valley on Sunday, writes Sally Gillespie.

Staff at the CCTV centre at Kailzie Gardens do not yet know how many eggs are in the watch nest.

Osprey information officer Diane Bennett said: “This is really exciting news for us all and a nice surprise.

“There are two chicks. One of the volunteers – John Scott – spotted two heads up, while food was being offered by mum at the nest on Monday.

“We are still hoping for a third, as behaviour suggests further incubation, rather than just snuggling with the nippers. We have been excluded from viewing the interior of the most intimate part of the nest, as the parents added loads more sticks after laying eggs.”

The proud parents are the same couple that have used the nest since 2004 and have raised 17 chicks between them.

The male is from Aberfoyle originally and is 12 years old. The female’s age is unknown as she has not been ringed.

The Tweed Valley Osprey Project, a partnership between Forestry Commission Scotland, Kailzie Gardens and RSPB Scotland, has helped safeguard ospreys and allowed the public to enjoy them through two viewing centres.

The CCTV visitor centre is open at Kailzie Gardens, near Peebles, where visitors can see live camera action from the nest and a new centre is expected to open shortly at Glentress.

Kailzie Gardens also has a number of other CCTV feeds for other bird species, including herons and blue tits. For more information about the Tweed Valley ospreys see www.forestry.gov.uk/tweedvalleyospreys.