Resident Alyth ospreys given new names thanks to local school pupils

The site of SSEN Transmission’s new Alyth substation has long been home to a pair of resident ospreys who return from Africa each year to breed on top of a special purpose-built nesting platform on the edge of the substation.

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The site of SSEN Transmission’s new Alyth substation has long been home to a pair of resident ospreys who return from Africa each year to breed on top of a special purpose-built nesting platform on the edge of the substation boundary which is owned by SSE.

The resident ospreys are called Harry and Flora, with the three chicks called Rowan, Holly and Bonnie named by a local school in Alyth. All pupils were also given their own osprey soft toy as a thank you from the teams for getting involved and for showing such enthusiasm about the ospreys. 

The winning names were selected from a list of suggestions from pupils at Meigle Primary School, who earlier in the year visited the substation to have a closer look at the nesting tower through the custom-built viewing platform and telescope.  The pupils were then tasked with helping to come up with names for the birds, with the winners finally revealed on Friday.

rchie Munro, SSEN Transmission Lead Project Manager, said: “A huge thank you to the pupils at Meigle Primary School for coming up with such brilliant names for our resident ospreys and their three chicks.  With so many great suggestions we had a hard time narrowing it down to the final five!

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“We were delighted to hear that the pupils were enthusiastically following the chicks’ development by tuning into the live webcam, so it was great to welcome them along to the substation earlier this year to learn more about our work and to see the ospreys for themselves through our telescope at our special viewing platform.

“We’re extremely happy with how the chicks have grown and gained more confidence throughout summer due to their excellent diet of readily available trout and flat fish from the Tay estuary. 

“The live webcam has been a brilliant way of introducing our much-loved resident ospreys to a wider audience, and I know the team here have really enjoyed following their progress up close. 

“We’re seeing the birds make far fewer trips to the nesting platform as they begin to stretch their wings and explore further afield, and we don’t think it will be long until they take off completely to begin their migration south. 

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“As ever, we look forward to resident ospreys Harry and Flora hopefully returning again next year, where we expect to continue with our live webcam as before and hopefully welcome even more chicks.”

The nesting platform was 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.

The construction of the Alyth substation is part of a wider scheme to upgrade the East Coast Transmission network the company says.

Once complete it will enable the connection of new renewable generation to the grid, helping to facilitate the transmission to net zero emissions.  The project at Alyth is on course to be completed in autumn 2023.

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