TWO resident ospreys have made the return trip from Africa to Scotland to their purpose-built nesting platform.

The two birds have returned to their home near SSEN Transmission’s substation in Alyth in Perth and Kinross.

Named Harry and Flora by pupils from Meigle Primary School, they’re back in Scotland after migrating south for the winter.

Female osprey Flora was spotted first in early April and was soon joined by male osprey Harry a few days later. 

The National: The ospreys have returned to Scotland after migrating south for the winterThe ospreys have returned to Scotland after migrating south for the winter (Image: SSEN Transmissions)

A special live osprey camera is up and running again for this year’s breeding season so avid bird-watchers can keep track of the famous Alyth residents. Last year the live channel attracted over 2000 subscribers, as fans flocked to check on the progress of the ospreys. 

SSEN Transmission consents and environment manager Ewan Jelly said: “It is fantastic to welcome home Flora and Harry back to their nesting platform again this year after their long journey from their winter migration area in Africa, and already we’re closely monitoring the birds as they prepare the nest for this year’s breeding season.

“They are firm favourites with the teams here working on the Alyth substation project, and it’s a real joy seeing them return to the nest and take to the skies as they hunt for fish in the nearby rivers and lochs."

In 2022 Harry and Flora reared three healthy chicks – named Rowan, Holly and Bonnie – who all successfully took flight from the nest to make the long journey south for the winter in September.

The Alyth substation team are hopeful for more chicks this year, which will take the number of osprey chicks successfully reared from the new platform to 17 since it was built in 2014.

As with previous years, the birds are carefully monitored by an on-site ornithologist throughout the nesting season to ensure any construction work doesn’t cause any disturbance to the ospreys. 

The nesting platform was first created in 2014 as an alternative home for the ospreys ahead of the start of a programme of upgrade and reinforcement work to the transmission East Coast network, after the birds were spotted nesting at the top of one of SSEN Transmission’s 48-metre-high electricity towers which was scheduled for maintenance as part of the project.

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Jelly added: “The live camera link means we can continue to keep a close eye on the much-loved ospreys, and share them with a wider audience including the local community and ospreys enthusiasts alike.

“The pupils at Meigle Primary School did a terrific job in coming up with names for Harry and Flora as well as their three chicks last year, and I know they’ll be excited to hear that their favourite birds are back from their migration.

“As ever we’ll continue to observe the birds closely to check on their progress and monitor for any signs of distress, and we look forward to hopefully welcoming more chicks again later this year.”