It seems there really is no place like home for a history-making Angus osprey after a birthplace visit years after dropping off the satellite radar.
The male became the first recorded Angus osprey chick when he hatched at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Balgavies Loch reserve, a few miles east of Forfar in 2012.
He was raised high up in the island nest at the attraction and, in a lengthy and tricky operation carried out by SWT experts, was ringed as Blue YD when just weeks old.
The Balgavies parents have gone on to raise a double-figures family in the years since – including a rare brood of four in 2016 – but due to the difficulties of getting up to the nest and the risk of frightening the adults off, Blue YD remains the only ringed Angus osprey.
He was also satellite tagged and tracked thousands of miles to Senegal in West Africa after fledging and flying south with his mum and dad.
In 2014, Blue YD surprised SWT chiefs by becoming only the second recorded two-year old to begin a return migration to the UK, but after 20,000 recorded kilometres on his tracking schedule, the youngster dropped off the radar.
There were fears that he may have met a sad end, but raptor fans clung to the hope the issue might have the simpler explanation of being a technical problem which had led to the loss of signal.
Those hopes were realised when Blue YD made an subsequent appearance in Fife, and in recent days he has home been seem back home, circling around the Balgavies nest where his parents – Mrs and Mrs Green BF – have settled in for the summer.
The adult birds had an interesting start to the 2019 breeding season when they were forced to evict a pair of greylag geese from the loch eyrie, and Balgavies fans believe the indications are there that the female is already incubating.
Balgavies Loch regular Darren Dawson was photographing the pair when he heard Mrs Green make an intruder alert call.
“It was none other than Blue YD, who did a wee fly-by of the nest,” said Darren, whose photos are widely shared through the Balgavies Loch Ospreys Facebook page.
The satellite tag on the 2012 chick is clearly visible in Darren’s photographs and one theory is that the bird has made a return to his home territory in the hope of finding a mate.