News about a couple of Kielder males

Although UV had a day off visiting Kielder on Wednesday he was back on Thursday and displayed his usual close interest in Nest 2. Inspection of footage didn’t find even a distant dot but comparing his data with the nestcam showed his impact late in the day.

On Thursday EB spent more time on the nest than any of the juveniles but the nest was empty most of the day. In late afternoon EB, who had been preening, started mantling as an intruder approached – from the times that bird was UV.

EB mantles as UV approaches (c) Forestry Commission England

EB mantles as UV approaches
(c) Forestry Commission England

By early evening there were less frequent fixes showing UV’s position. But he was in the Nest 2 area when EB decided action to escort an intruder away was required and she took off. UV left Kielder Forest a little later.

EB about to fly after an intruder, probably UV (c) Forestry Commission England

EB about to fly after an intruder, probably UV
(c) Forestry Commission England

The other ‘Kielder’ male is 2011 Nest 1 hatch Blue 39/Bracken, who has been seen at Derwent Reservoir several times recently. Gary Nicholson has sent these great photos of Blue 39, taken this morning. Eventually he left with his sizeable catch to eat elsewhere, but gulls not crows or herons were the final straw! Many thanks to Gary for the information and permission to share his photos.

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

(c) Gary Nicholson

 

 

Posted in Blue 39, Blue UV, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 3 Comments

UV visits youngsters at Kielder!

On 15 August UV paid a relatively short visit to Kielder Forest – under four hours. The next day he returned for about eight hours. His presence was noted by ospreys at two nests at least, Nests 2 and 4. He – or his impact – may be visible on footage at Nest 3 when it is downloaded tomorrow. The first part of this post will cover the Nest 2 intrusions then Paul will describe events at Nest 4.

UV’s battery has been very near shut down because until this week the weather has been overcast or wet and he has been sheltering in woods which has exacerbated the situation. So on 15 August fixes were infrequent but some were very near Nest 2 and Nest 3. On his first pass across the Nest 2 site no ospreys were on the nest but it was a different matter an hour or so later. The fix at 13.03 BST showed UV perched on a clear fell near Nest 2. Before he arrived there he annoyed Y4 and Y6.

Intruder alert! (c) Forestry Commission England

Intruder alert!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Is that UV? (c) Forestry Commission England

Is that UV?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Given the number of intrusions at Nest 2 why do we think that was UV? On the next image you can just make out the tracker on his back.

UV flies away (c) Forestry Commission England

UV flies away
(c) Forestry Commission England

The intruder circled over the immediate nest area for several more minutes but wasn’t caught by the nestcam.

Between the 13.03 fix and the next one at 13.54 UV moved position. At 13.18 Y4 and Y6 appeared to react to an instruction from an adult to lie flat – thanatosis. They couldn’t resist following some action in the sky.

Are the juveniles watching UV being escorted away? (c) Forestry Commission England

Are the juveniles watching UV being escorted away?
(c) Forestry Commission England

This could have been either 37 or EB escorting UV away from the clear fell, where he would have been very visible to an over-flying bird. His next perch was in a block of timber out of line of site of the nest. This interpretation is speculation but the next day there is clearer evidence thanks to a combination of more fixes and UV cooperating better with the nestcam!

UV arrived around 11.00 BST. A few minutes later a fix showed him apparently perched on Nest 2 and the nestcam confirmed it.

UV lands on the nest edge (c) Forestry Commission England

UV lands on the nest edge
(c) Forestry Commission England

Here’s the footage of the event.

The next fix showed UV perched a short distance away; almost certainly on the tree that housed the nest platform from 2011-2013. The Nest 2 family still use it to perch and eat.

UV didn’t stay long but returned in the afternoon. Shortly before 14.00 for about 30 minutes he was around the area and at times close to the nest. Like this time!

UV flies low over Nest 2 (c) Forestry Commission England

UV flies low over Nest 2 and Y6
(c) Forestry Commission England

He then perched on clear fell. The nestcam showed an intruder in the sky during this period, yet fixes were quite close together. Did UV have another quick sortie? No, the osprey flew close enough to determine it was unringed.

Not UV (c) Forestry Commission England

Not UV
(c) Forestry Commission England

Neither the fixes nor the nestcam suggest UV re-visited the immediate surroundings of the nest.

On 16 August he spent more time near Nest 4 than Nest 2, which is usually his focus.  All the information is from tracking which uses UTC for fixes, so add on an hour to convert to BST. Over to Paul…

On Tuesday morning, Y8 had flown away from the nest and was down in a nearby valley, when he had some uninvited company… It was UV! The two young birds remained within 30m of each other for about half an hour before both flew off in different directions. Y8 landed further along the block margin, where he was again joined by UV a few minutes later…

Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

This time, the track indicates that both were on the same perch or in adjacent trees. They remained together for a few minutes until 12:45 UTC, when UV flew off again in the direction of Nest 2.

This behaviour confirms many observations of young ospreys being quite relaxed in each other’s company, when well away from any nest. It is comparable to their behaviour down in Africa during the winter, where ospreys seem to be much more companionable and even roost overnight in small communal groups.

Posted in Blue UV, Nest 4, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 2 Comments

Look who didn’t migrate!

At 09.55 this morning Mrs YA who hasn’t been seen since early on 7 August landed on her nest as if it was a couple of hours later.

Hello again! (c) Forestry Commission England

Hello again!
(c) Forestry Commission England

She was closely followed by YA and their behaviour took us back to courtship in March -although Mrs YA was rather more submissive than YA.

Submissive behaviour (c) Forestry Commission England

Submissive behaviour
(c) Forestry Commission England

Is it really her? (c) Forestry Commission England

Is it really her?
(c) Forestry Commission England

The conditions over the weekend were very good for migration so quite why Mrs YA didn’t leave is a mystery. She seems in good condition and was soon requesting a fish.

Mrs YA 'chats' to YA (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA ‘chats’ to YA
(c) Forestry Commission England

YA flew off soon afterwards. Y1 landed but Mrs YA didn’t stay on the nest long after his arrival.

Mrs YA leaves (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA leaves
(c) Forestry Commission England

This would have been a very early departure for Mrs YA who migrated in the last week of August both of the last two years. Her chicks fledged early this year so she may leave soon but hopefully we’ll see some more of her over the next couple of weeks.

Posted in Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 3 Comments

Nest 3 update

The latest download of footage from the Nest 3 camera plus field observations indicate the family spend long periods away from the nest although it is still the focus for food. The female was last seen on the nestcam on 12 August.

The female finishing off a remnant (c) Forestry Commission England

The female finishing off a remnant
(c) Forestry Commission England

Given limited coverage she may not have begun her migration yet but more and more ospreys are heading south. This may be our last view of her this year.

The youngsters are eating well with plentiful supplies even in the recent poorer weather.

This is VH's fish, no argument... (c) Forestry Commission England

This is VH’s fish, no argument…
(c) Forestry Commission England

... and this is VR's! (c) Forestry Commission England

… and this is VR’s!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Down goes the tail.

VR finishes his meal (c) Forestry Commission England

VR finishes his meal
(c) Forestry Commission England

On a couple of clips an intruder has been in the area; in this short video of part of one incident a distant osprey can be seen heading left, then a pair of legs hover over the nest. Press HD for best quality.

The juveniles are over 80 days old – the age regarded as the start of the migration period – but often youngsters remain for another two or three weeks. The next download at the end of the week will show ‘what happened next’ on Nest 3.

Posted in Nest 3, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Osprey Watch Report: 14 August

It was a fairly incident free day re ospreys for the last Sunday of Osprey Watch. But Tim, who stayed behind, had a great ‘spot’ of a passage bird of a different species:-

Today was overcast all day and, while drizzle threatened at one point, it remained dry so almost 140 visitors enjoyed generally good conditions.

Most of the time Y1 and Y3 were in view, with fish drops from YA.

Y3 enjoys one of several substantial meals (c) Forestry Commission England

Y3 enjoys one of several substantial meals
(c) Forestry Commission England

A full looking Y3 watches Y1 eating (c) Forestry Commission England

A full looking Y3 watches the world as Y1 eats
(c) Forestry Commission England

There was no sign of Y2. An adult male flew directly over our watchpoint at about 13.00, giving good views.

As usual, there was a mix of day visitors and those on holiday, from all corners of the UK. One parent, whose youngsters joined many others making wooden Ospreys, was from Zimbabwe. He talked of his father’s long term study of Black Eagles back home, a study which has international significance. Another couple, from Sussex, said they’d seen Ospreys on all six continents where they occur, but that this was their first trip to Northumberland-they were loving it!

Again, a steady trickle of folks arrived as we were starting to pack up, so leaving one scope up, we weren’t really finished till well after five.

After sending so many visitors to the squirrel hide and wondering how often they are really seen, I went along myself. A month earlier I had drawn a blank, but this time, two were present all the time. The silence was then broken by a constantly calling Greenshank, my first for Kielder, flying over the canopy and heading south, and a sure sign that the migration season is underway.

Another great year for our Ospreys.

Tim, with Chloe and Pauline

Posted in Osprey updates, Osprey watch, UK | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Osprey Watch Report: 13 August. And other news

The two streamed nests are emptier much of the day now – especially in the wet and windy weather experienced over a few days last week. This will be the last weekend of Osprey Watch. The team yesterday enjoyed their last few hours with the osprey families. Here is their report:-

This is our final OW report, so today was a chance to see our regular birds and their offspring. So here’s hoping it’s “Au Revoir!” rather than “Good bye!”.

Variable breezes kept the midges away but kept us guessing what the weather was going to do for most of the day. A heavy rain shower around lunchtime had us cover up the scopes and obliterated any view across to Nest 1A. This changeability meant visitors were either absent, or arrived in squadrons! Total numbers reached 165+; most were on holiday and staying locally with only a few families on a day trip. UK visitors predominated but we did have a German family and a group from the Netherlands. Most visitors had sought us out as one of their “must do” list items.

On arrival, Nest 1A was empty so we switched to Nest 2 which was also empty. We played some videos which helped things along. By late morning, both nests had activity when fish arrived.

37 delivers a headless trout for Y6 (c) Forestry Commission England

37 delivers a headless trout for Y6
(c) Forestry Commission England

YA leaves after his fish delivery for Y1 (c) Forestry Commission England

YA leaves after his fish delivery for Y1
(c) Forestry Commission England

There was some squabbling as the fish arrived, including a tug-o-war, on both nests the pecking order was established.

Y4 takes the fish from Y6 (c) Forestry Commission England

Y4 takes the fish from Y6
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 1A, Y3 had a long wait until it was her turn. Once Y1 was sated, Y3 claimed the remains and held the fish under her foot for most of the afternoon. We had sights on the nest, if only briefly, of 3 adults; YA delivering food, 37 ditto, and EB visiting to take a few morsels.

There were several brief sightings of ospreys flying around both nests, and a crow in the distance seemed to disturb Nest 2’s occupants. One bird did consider fishing in Leaplish Bay, but disappeared towards Bakethin after a hover lasting a minute or so. Several reports from campers, walkers and cyclists spoke of osprey sightings at the dam, Bakethin and other locations around Kielder.

Finally, we had no sight of Mrs YA or Y2.

See you next year, Ospreys!…and to quote from Hitchhikers Guide etc “Thanks for all the fish!”

Christine, Jeremy and Ian

Yesterday Y3 was eating on the nest when streaming started at 08.00. She flew, leaving about a ¼ of a fish behind her. It wasn’t her sibling who polished it off, though, but an intruder.

A free meal for an adult intruder (c) Forestry Commission England

A free meal for an adult intruder
(c) Forestry Commission England

The intruder leaves with a snack for later (c) Forestry Commission England

The intruder leaves with a snack for later
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA hasn’t been seen since 7 August when she flew off the nest with a fish supplied by YA. The last view of Y2 was on  10 August. He was 82 days old so within the migration window. It won’t be long before the rest of the N1A family depart. Bittersweet times!

The last view of Y2 (c) Forestry Commission England

The last view of Y2, ever keen to exercise his lungs
(c) Forestry Commission England

Posted in Osprey updates, Osprey watch, UK | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Intrusions galore and other matters

Ospreys are heading south now and Kielder is always a good place for Scottish birds to stop for a fish. Or a bit of sightseeing. The number of intrusions on Nests 1 and 2 is rising. This 2013 osprey from Dumfries and Galloway was here in May. He definitely looks in need of a fish on his return trip whereas Y1 was hoping the visitor was bringing a fish!

Blue CN2 lands on Nest 1A (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue CN2 lands on Nest 1A
(c) Forestry Commission England

Even with limited footage for Nest 3 a couple of intruder incidents have been recorded. In one the intruder was unseen, but on 4 August the osprey flew close to the nest.

VH watches an intruder fly close to the nest (c) Forestry Commission England

VH watches an intruder fly close to the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Nest 2 has had a few visitors too, one of which was UV. This is his shadow (on the top of the pole) and wing tip. Press HD for best quality.

Comparing UV’s GPS data with the nestcam recordings revealed that a couple of earlier intrusions were also by him although no bird was visible. In this image EB is leaving the nest to escort UV away.

EB flies after UV (c) Forestry Commission England

EB flies after UV
(c) Forestry Commission England

This was UV’s ninth visit to Kielder Forest. He flies around the whole area both sides of the reservoir but he is most attracted to Nest 2 and the surrounding fells. It is the most remote nest site – is this a factor in UV’s interest?

On 8 August an osprey landed on Nest 2 despite Y6’s discouragement.

We can expect to see quite a few more passage ospreys in the next few weeks.

The nests are still the focal point for food but are gradually in less use as a perching point. Sometimes the juveniles are taking the fish away to eat elsewhere.

Y3 leaves for some peace and quiet! (c) Forestry Commission England

Y3 leaves for some peace and quiet!
(c) Forestry Commission England

The males, mainly, are keeping pace with demand even in difficult conditions such as exceptional winds for August on Sunday and Monday.

Y5 takes 37's leg as well as the trout (c) Forestry Commission England

Y5 takes 37’s leg as well as the trout
(c) Forestry Commission England

Another flounder (c) Forestry Commission England

Another flounder
(c) Forestry Commission England

EB is bringing in one fish a day during streaming hours – from timings of her and 37’s deliveries she must be foraging herself. Mrs YA and the Nest 3 female haven’t been recorded provisioning the young from their own catches. When they make them!

YA leaves a fish for Mrs YA (c) Forestry Commission England

YA leaves a fish for Mrs YA
(c) Forestry Commission England

Finally, we have been contacted by Gary Nicholson, a regular birdwatcher at Derwent Reservoir. On Monday evening he saw 2011 Nest 1 male Blue 39/Bracken catch a roach in front of the bird hide. He ate at the water’s edge, despite being pestered by carrion crows trying to distract him by pulling at his tail! He then enjoyed a leisurely bath and preen. Gary has been watching one or two ospreys at the reservoir for a few weeks now. Our thanks to him for sharing his experience.

Posted in Blue 39, Blue UV, Nest 3, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 4 Comments