Tweed Osprey Group Report


Tweed Osprey Group has monitored the Blackrocks  Sportsfields Osprey nest since 1996. Our records call the site "Mooball Trig" because we originally viewed the nest from the top of the nearby trig point. The nest has a code T9 which relates to the NPWS Tweed region, the nest being number 9 in the series of nests identified by NPWS and subsequently monitored.

The T9 nest was probably in existence for a couple of years before monitoring started but it was only found in 1996. The breeding pair may have relocated around 1994 from a site originally located on a property along Kellerhers Rd (Dunloe Park) where breeding was apparently successful for a number of years, not far from the homestead on the hill. I don't have any records for the site on Kellerhers Rd.

Tweed Osprey Group has been concerned about disturbance to breeding Ospreys for many years, particularly ones located in more isolated locations as T9 was until the Black Rocks development got underway. Our concerns have been expressed to Council on several occasions but really to little or no avail. The T9 site is one of only two only natural Osprey nesting sites left in the Tweed, the other being on Clothiers Creek Rd.

Notes for T9:

1996   One, possibly two fledged

1997   Breeding attempted, unsuccessful

1998   One fledged

1999   Two chicks, still seen in nest late Nov, probably fledged successfully

2000   One fledged

2001   One fledged

2002   One fledged

2003   No breeding attempted

2004   Two fledged

2005   No young fledged - no info as to whether breeding was attempted

2006   One fledged. As Co-ordinator of Tweed Osprey Group I contacted TSC re my concerns about the distance of the Black Rocks development to the nest. Was informed the buffer distance was only 50m. In response I pointed out the vulnerability of this Osprey pair to disturbance from development as they had always been a very wary pair, easily disturbed from the nest.

2007   Birds present during breeding season, but no young fledged.

2008   Consistent disturbance from motorbikes close to and under the nest through breeding season, chick sighted mid-August, but not subsequently. Ospreys often absent from nest for hours at a time.

Allan Goodwin from NPWS and myself were in contact with TSC regarding concerns for Ospreys early in 2009.

2009   Continued disturbance, including from Rally cars practicing in the area. No obvious attempt to breed.

2010   Nest protected by high locked fence. Two chicks July to mid August, not subsequently. White-bellied Sea-Eagle nested successfully along road into sportsfield (one chick, presumed fledged) - may have predated Osprey chicks?

2011  One chick fledged. White-bellied Sea-Eagles in vicinity but did not attempt to nest.

2012   Chick suspected mid August, but none seen subsequently. White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Brahminy Kite also did not breed in the area this year.

2013   One fledged. No attempt by White-bellied Sea-Eagle - assume nest site completely abandoned.

2014   Apparently incubated, but no chicks ever observed. White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest located within Pottsville wetland. No info on breeding outcome.

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