Excitement for bird watchers as ‘celebrity’ osprey visits

An osprey named in honour of Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir has been spotted in the isles, causing great excitement among bird watchers.

Doddie was first spotted at Sae water, east of Voe, on Saturday and has since moved to the Loch of Voe.

The osprey hatched at a nest at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber, and the family became a huge hit during the first lockdown – with chicks Doddie, Vera and Captain being raised in front of an online audience of 400,000 people.

Over 10,000 viewers of BBC Breakfast voted to name the chicks in honour of figures in the news at the time: Doddie Weir, Dame Vera Lynn and Captain Sir Tom Moore.

A flurry of photographs of the osprey, which will turn two on Sunday, appeared on social media over the weekend, and local naturalist Kristofer Wilson said he had been alerted to its arrival while photographing butterflies on Saturday.

Doddie enjoying the spotlight. Photo: Kristofer Wilson

“It was just over the hill from where I was working so I quickly headed over.

“I was really pleased to capture shots that showed up the ring number and when I looked it up online huge amounts of material came up.”

Other wildlife photographers have been snapping Doddie over the weekend, including Tim Smith, who said: “I’m visiting from Norfolk. It was spectacular to witness a bird as magnificent as this hunting in the true wild.”

George Anderson of Woodland Trust Scotland said: “This is the second time Doddie has found the limelight since leaving Loch Arkaig.

“He has found a keen audience amongst Shetland’s birders. It is almost as if raised on camera as he was, this bird was born to be a celebrity.”


Add Your Comment
  • Elizabeth Owen

    • May 23rd, 2022 19:08

    How lovely to see Dodie back safely, I watched him hatching out, was so excited.
    Good to se him safely in this country again
    Only so sorry that his mum, ilia did not return this year, the male dad, Louis has another mate in the same nest and we are waiting for the eggs to hatch , any day now.

  • Doris Van Natta

    • May 25th, 2022 17:09

    This from the States – we lived on a lake in New Jersey, and had an osprey regularly visit,
    especially soon after the lake had been stocked with trout. We joked that it had read the
    news of the stocking and rushed over. It was a treat to sit at our front window having our
    meals and watching the osprey’s graceful and athletic swoops and dives, having its own
    lunch with us. They are marvelous birds and deserve preservation.


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