Action – or not – on Nests 1A and 3

As the end of the season nears, activity on the nests reduces as the juveniles spend time exploring – and perching – elsewhere. The nest is still a focus for food, but little else.

On Nest 3, the male has continued his prolific supply of Rainbow Trout for his 3 youngsters plus Ayle from Nest 1A.

no takers
(c) Forestry Commission England

Ancroft had been eating the remnant at the rear (in the male’s shadow) just before this delivery. Even when juveniles are on the nest, they don’t always take a new fish and the male will fly off with it.

Ayle is on the nest as much as the resident chicks. She is no longer dominant.

Ayle no longer dominant
(c) Forestry Commission England

Archer was not going to let Ayle have breakfast until she’d finished! But there are still squabbles over fish, entirely normal on any nest.

we’re starving…
(c) Forestry Commission England

… the male provides, Ayle and Ancroft scrap over the trout
(c) Forestry Commission England

A juvenile often takes a meal away to eat some distance from the piercing food soliciting noise.

Archer goes to eat on an area of clear fell
(c) Forestry Commission England

Tracking data showed Archer flew to a clear fell with some stumps with this fish. She often sits in Sitka Spruce of varying heights in different locations. Her data shows she has ranged over 180 sq kms, not bad for a late fledging female.

Ayle was alone on the nest on 15 August when an intruder flew around the area, very close to the nest at times.

is this W6?
(c) Forestry Commission England

It is tempting to think the osprey was Blue w6, the Welsh male who intruded on Nest 1A earlier that day. But we haven’t been able to decipher the ring. Here’s a video of the nearest passes if anyone wants to have a go.

Streaming from the Nest 1A camera has been patchy, with none some days and only a few minutes on others. But the only juvenile to be seen is Amble. Ayle seems to have completely abandoned her natal nest, rather than just taking advantage of free meals on Nest 3. Acton’s fate is unknown.

Mrs YA may have left on migration. She was last seen on 12 August.

was this Mrs YA’s last day at Kielder?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Last year she was absent for a few days before returning briefly, so we won’t write the date on the timeline yet.

YA is delivering plenty of food for Amble.

at least the 2nd fish of the day for Amble
(c) Forestry Commission England

The nest is often empty. On 14 August, an unringed female took advantage of nobody being around to tidy up the nest for a few minutes.

an unringed female makes herself at home
(c) Forestry Commission England

There’ll be an update on Nests 2 and 4 over the weekend.

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UV still roaming. But a hover at Kielder!

UV isn’t showing any signs of staying in a relatively small area and building up reserves for his migration. On 13 August he began his day at Tindale Tarn before heading up to the Longtown area. In late afternoon, he was flying along the Esk estuary. The times are UTC on the image, add an hour for BST.

the Esk and Eden meet the Solway Firth

UV’s area
courtesy Street View

Did he return a few km upriver to roost? Not UV, it was a 90 km round trip into Scotland to the Black Esk reservoir to find his overnight spot.

UV had a quiet day after returning early to the Longtown area on 14 August. Yesterday he was off again, visiting Kielder then Tindale Tarn.

There were few fixes as UV reached Kielder, but he was possibly seen by Aydon on Nest 4 soon after arriving. He was definitely visible over Nest 4 30 minutes later.

UV on a rain spattered lens
(c) Foestry Commission England

Here is the whole ‘event’, press HD for best quality.

After UV departed, the next arrival was Blue CN2, not seen at Nest 2 – or by other Kielder nestcams – since 3 August, although he may have been one of the ‘distant dots’.

CN2 on the nest for a few seconds
(c) Forestry Commission England

Aydon arrived to restore order soon after CN2 flew off.

MY nest!
(c) Forestry Commission England

UV is likely to be around for a while.

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Blue W6 returns

The Nest 1A camera is working intermittently some days, not at all others. Today it was on and off for over an hour and captured a Welsh visitor.

Blue W6 just after landing
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue W6, a 2015 male from Welsh nest B/M also known as ON4, landed on Nest 1 in May.
He may have been at Kielder between then and now – we’ve seen right leg blue Darvic ringed intruders at other nests, but too far away to read the ring.

This morning, Blue W6 settled in straight away.

some nest work
(c) Forestry Commission England

a semi-scrape
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue W6 was on a few more very short clips until 10.47. When the camera streamed again, Amble was on the nest. It wasn’t long until an intruder appeared. Press HD for best quality.

The intruder had a blue ring on the right leg, so it was probably W6.

the ring can’t be read
(c) Forestry Commission England

Amble left after enduring a few more flights around the nest area by the intruder. The nestcam stream dropped out soon afterwards. But we saw some valuable footage when it was working.

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UV’s recent activity

UV’s landing on Nest 2 on Monday was a highlight of the season. It’s so much more of a thrill to see ‘him’, rather than a red dot on Google Earth. Here is another image.

UV looks across the fell
(c) Forestry Commission England

He left just before Aln arrived back on ‘her’ nest and flew around, to her annoyance.

UV approaches Nest 2
(c) Forestry Commission England

We know from UV’s data that he then perched on the old nest tree for a few minutes. Aln didn’t seem to mind.

Aln dozes whilst UV is perched on the old nest tree
(c) Forestry Commission England

Over the last couple of weeks, UV has mainly been at Tindale Tarn, Kielder Water & Forest Park and in the Longtown area. On 31 July he spent much more time than usual near the reservoir during an overnight visit to Kielder. Here is a view of the area he perched in over several hours.

UV perched in various of the trees right by the water on the far shore
(c) Joanna Dailey

As you can see, there’s nothing remarkable about those Sitka Spruce trees. UV may have chosen to stay by the water as that stretch is relatively sheltered – although the ‘breeze’ on the fells doesn’t normally appear to affect him.

More often, he checks out at least a couple of the nest sites and various areas in the forest. Apart from Monday, he hasn’t been captured by a nestcam when intruding, although the ospreys on the nests have seen him.

Acomb watches UV
(c) Forestry Commission England

EB looks at UV, Aln guards her lunch!
(c) Forestry Commission England

At Tindale Tarn the RSPB Geltsdale staff have watched him both perched and flying, and saw him catch a large fish on 7 August. UV went off to eat elsewhere, so no photographic proof of his skill! He came up to Kielder after his meal. Over the day, he flew 150 km.

This image of the tarn is looking from the NW. UV usually perches in a dead tree on the N side, but sometimes he is by the water on one of the trees in the small copse on the SW shore.

Tindale Tarn
(c) Joanna Dailey

This is probably the last 3 or 4 weeks we’ll see UV in the UK this season. Last year, he set off on migration on 10 September. He had been conserving his energy over the previous few days. If we see him reduce his regular high mileage outings, it could be a sign he is getting prepared for migration.

Paul has calculated UV’s mileage in the UK to the end of July.

courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

A true roaming young male osprey.

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Nests round up

Nest 3 continues to host Ayle, the Nest 1A juvenile, in most of the footage. She seems more integrated, with less evidence that the adults regard her as an intruder when she is flying. Ayle was on and off the nest in one long clip. No adult tried to escort her away, or prevent her landing. The male is delivering plenty of fish.

Archer and Ancroft eat, Ayle stretches
(c) Forestry Commission England

Usually, the youngsters feed themselves. But sometimes the female takes charge.

Ayle is fed by the female
(c) Forestry Commission England

Archer’s data has revealed she is flying rather further from the nest than the first few days after fledging, when she stayed very close by. She was over the shore of the reservoir on 6 August, and near it yesterday lunchtime.

Radio and Electronics Branch have partially repaired Nest 1A’s camera streaming. This is all that can be done for the few remaining weeks of the season. Some days there is no local stream at all, on others it works intermittently for a few hours. Ayle hasn’t been in any of the footage, although the nest is often empty. Only Amble, the eldest  of the three juveniles, has featured along with the adults. A fish has been delivered by YA twice during recording, and only Amble has eaten. Whilst it is odd that Acton hasn’t appeared on either occasion, more footage will aid an assessment.

There have been intrusions, including a visitor from Nest 4. Press HD for best quality.

Another clip showed Blue FR1 taking a look at the nest when it was unattended.

Blue FR1 checks Nest 1A
(c) Forestry Commission England

He didn’t stay long. The next day he was at Derwent Reservoir on the Northumberland/County Durham border. A roaming young male osprey, like UV. Many thanks to Gary for sharing photographs and details.

Blue FR1 with a dead stick
(c) Gary Nicholson

Both FR1 and an unringed female (on different days) have brought sticks to a dead tree used as a perch, and dropped them haphazardly. Nest building practice?

unringed female with a stick
(c) Gary Nicholson

There are regular sightings at the Reservoir. A nest in the area must be a possibility over the next couple of years.

Nest 2 has been more peaceful in the last few days, although there have been intrusions. Notably UV last night! An unringed intruder landed on 6 August, and possibly the same one tried to remove Aln the following day.

an unringed intruder tries to dislodge Aln
(c) Forestry Commission England

Aln is absent from the nest more often. Her tracker has recorded an outing almost 5 km away from the nest and she is extending her range in all directions.

Nest 4 has experienced at least one intrusion most days. But there has been plenty of opportunity for the two juveniles to gain flying experience.

Alwinton leaves for another bit of flying practice
(c) Forestry Commission England

We haven’t seen her on another nestcam yet, though – she needs to catch up with her brother!

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A very handsome osprey

Look who landed on Nest 2 today.

anyone about?
(c) Forestry Commission England

is this my best side?
(c) Forestry Commission England

This was UV’s first landing on a Kielder nest this season, at least from footage.

Ever plucky Aln arrived, UV left.

MY nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Many thanks to Katy, NWT’s Osprey ‘star of the year’ Assistant for an alert.

More tomorrow on UV, and an ‘all nests’ update.

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A hectic few hours for Nest 2

Yesterday’s post about intrusions on Nest 2 on 1 August ended with a comment about them continuing yesterday. Over 5 hours, 4 intruders spent time on the nest. CN2, the Dumfries and Galloway male, was the most persistent. He was joined by a newcomer to Kielder and 2 known ‘offenders’. The new arrival was the first to be seen on the nest.

Blue FR1 arrives
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue FR1 was photographed at Derwent Reservoir recently. He is a 2 year old from Perthshire. When UV was at Tindale Tarn in May, Blue FR1 was there for part of the period.

He moved a few sticks then flew off. After that, the skies around Nest 2 became very busy.

Paul has made this video, which condenses over 12 minutes of ‘highlight’ footage into just over 5 minutes. You’ll get the flavour of the comings and goings!

In addition to CN2, FF1 and FR1, an unringed female also joined in. Press HD for best quality on embedded clips.

You can see ospreys flying around in that clip. During most of the intrusions there were ospreys in the sky at some point, but not near enough to identify. Some of the mantling was defensive behaviour but at other times it was more submissive, as during courtship.

37 and EB were possibly trying to escort some of the visitors away, but on the nest only Aln was seen until 12.45, when 37 arrived with his fish. CN2 was not submissive towards Aln.

There was a similar incident later.

CN2 clips Aln as she tries to stay on the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Today was much more peaceful for Aln. The data from her GSM/GPS transmitter shows she has taken a number of flights away from the immediate nest area. She has coped well in difficult situations. We look forward to following her migration.

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