[Bristol-Birds] Have we found another layover Osprey on SF Holston or a mating pair ?

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2012 01:47:09 -0400

 Riverside Rd near Rockhold United Methodist Church
 South Fork Holston River
 Sullivan Co., TN
 14 April 2012

 It is becoming evident possibly two layover Ospreys are
 frequenting a short stretch of the South Fork Holston River along
 Riverside Road, across the river from Rock Hold Rd. (TN Rt. 44).

 In the photo above, A indicates the area frequented by an Osprey
 that has been staying at that site for about a month each spring,
 starting in 2009.  It was still there Saturday, 14 April.

 BBC member Lois Cox reported 10 April 2012 that she had
 observed two Osprey soaring together above her house which
 is nearby.  Lois and Wilma Boy are also tracking these birds.

 Lois wrote: "Maybe a mate has been found by the lone one seen 
 the last few days."

 She was making reference to the lone one being "Osprey One" 
 which has been at area A.  

 A few days before she saw the soaring birds,  I had been staked
 out watching "Osprey One" at its usual perch when I noticed another
 Osprey flying up the river towards "Osprey One" which had begun
 to call from its perch and look up to watch the approaching Osprey.

 The approaching bird quickly veered over the tree line, crossed 
 Rock Hold Rd. (TN Rt. 44) and then over a pasture field.  It caught
 a thermal and soared higher and higher before immediately leaving
 the area and flying well out of sight up the river towards South Holston
 Dam.  "Osprey One" did not leave its perch.

 I assumed this was a migrant or passage Osprey which became
 aware of "Osprey One" and left the area rather than have a clash.
 I believed this intruder into the river space was probably another male.
 "Osprey One" appears to be a male.

 While driving along Riverside Road on Saturday (14 April), I was
 watching the trees along the river and surrounding area in the vicinity
 of the intersection of Riverside and Sharps Hollow Rd.  There another
 Osprey was seen on a perch where I had seen an Osprey since 2010.
 Previously, I had hoped that an Osprey seen there would mate with 
"Osprey One".  At least once, in a previous year, I saw an Osprey
 fly down the river towards where "Osprey One" was perched but as
 it arrived, maybe 200 yards up stream or more, it turned and flew back
 up the river.

 After finding the bird at Sharps Hollow Rd., I immediately drove down to
 area A and found "Osprey One" at its usual perch.

 It did not occur to me to see if the Sharps Hollow intersection bird
 was a male or female.  As I drove along thinking about what Lois had
 posted a few day before, it suddenly dawned on me that this is the third
 year there had been an Osprey at that same site which I am now calling
 area B,  The bird found there will now be "Osprey Two" until all of this
 becomes more clear.

 Is "Osprey Two" another male and keeps a respectful distance on "Osprey
 One" which also seem to be on the prowl for a mate ?  Both birds, ever
 since I've been aware of them in recent years, constantly face down the
 river in a southerly direction.  Does "Osprey Two" call constantly all hours
 of the day as "Osprey One" does ?

 Or, is "Osprey Two" a potential mate and neither of these birds
 have been sexually mature enough to breed but are now starting to soar
 together and will pair up and nest farther north ?  Why, when there are
 many pairs with nests at Rankin Bottoms on Douglas Lake, would two
 Osprey be hanging out for a month each year along Riverside Road before
 leaving (after refueling their fat) and migrating well up north where breeding
 season is beginning ?

 Were the two Osprey Lois saw actually a migrating pair and neither was
 "Osprey One" ?  Or maybe neither was "Osprey Two" for that matter ?

 It would be wonderful to have a mated pair on territory at these sites and
 maybe finally find an active nest.

 Let's go birding . . . .

 Wallace Coffey
 Bristol, TN


JPEG image

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  • » [Bristol-Birds] Have we found another layover Osprey on SF Holston or a mating pair ? - Wallace Coffey