Osprey Nest relocated to save from potential fire, or worse, at Tea Gardens

Essential Energy’s ground team preparing to relocate the nest from the 11,000v pole (right) to new pole (left).

VULNERABLE birds of prey have been successfully rescued from a potentially horrific outcome, thanks to the actions of Essential Energy ground crews on Friday 13 March.

Motorists and pedestrians heading out along Limekilns Road may have noticed an avian eyrie constructed by a breeding pair of ospreys, precariously perched atop an active 11,000-volt power pole.

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Osprey nests are among the biggest of raptor constructions, reaching up to 2m wide, and while the rental market may be tight for humans, the very real danger of a catastrophic fire or power outage prompted the company to build a new domicile across the road for the nesting resident raptors.

“Large nests, such as those built by ospreys, that are located on top of power poles and other electricity assets not only pose potential safety risks to the ospreys, but could also cause unplanned power outages and pole-top fires,” Rob Ridley, Acting Operations Manager for Essential Energy, Mid North Coast, told NOTA.

“Following a report from a Tea Gardens community member, Essential Energy supplied the new pole and nest cradle for the relocated nest, which is located adjacent to the original nest.”

Waiting for the right moment when both resident ospreys had left the nest to go fishing, the ground team brought in the cherry-picker to make the delicate move.

“Essential Energy’s teams followed an operational procedure developed by an environmental specialist ensuring Essential Energy meets with its statutory obligations and all necessary steps are taken to protect this vulnerable species when relocating nests.”

“In addition, Essential Energy liaised with National Parks and Wildlife, Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park (Department of Primary Industries) and MidCoast Council.

“A short power outage affecting some customers in Tea Gardens enabled field team members crews to safely complete the necessary work and Essential Energy thanks the community for their understanding and patience,” Mr Ridley gratefully added.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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