Bute Osprey returns to Scotland after African adventure

Iris pictured on Saturday at RSPB Loch Garten. Picture credit: RSPB
Iris pictured on Saturday at RSPB Loch Garten. Picture credit: RSPB

Bird enthusiasts on Bute were delighted this weekend to hear of the return to Scotland of a familiar feathered friend.

Local birdwatchers heard from the mainland that a female osprey known as Iris appeared at RSPB Loch Garten in the Cairngorms National Park on Saturday, May 28.

Iris nested on Bute in 2014 and was given an identification ring on her leg in July of that year by Ian Hopkins, who has ‘rung’ seven other chicks on the island in recent years.

Ian rings Ospreys and other birds of prey as part of a scheme organised by the British Trust for Ornithology.

He said: “Iris is about three years old and would have fledged the nest in early-mid August 2014.

“I last saw her on August 27 that year and last heard her calling for food on September 6. Her first migration would probably have started soon after this date.

“We can only assume where she migrated to, however Senegal or the Gambia in West Africa are usual areas for Scottish Ospreys.

“We all hope that she makes it safely back to West Africa this autumn, hopefully to return to these shores next year to breed herself.”