Fascinating events on Nest 3

Downloading footage from Nest 3 today provided some truly amazing insights into juvenile osprey behaviour. There will be more about that tomorrow – and UV – but for now, here is Nest 3 male, Ancroft, taking off, almost certainly not his fledge.

off, not for the first time
(c) Forestry Commission England

Spot something a bit odd?

Here is the video, press HD for best quality.

There will be more about the other juvenile tomorrow. And UV in Scotland.

These are fascinating times.

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A mix of water bodies for UV

UV paid a couple of visits to Kielder Forest & Water Park on Saturday and Sunday. His transmitter’s battery was quite low after several days with no or little sun. He probably intruded on at least two nests each visit, but with few fixes, and no close ups of intruders, it is difficult to be sure. He’d returned for the 2nd day in a row on 17 July. There were enough fixes to be sure this was him flying past EB.

UV’s shadow beside the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

That was a very busy day, with Greenlee and Broomlee Loughs on Hadrian’s Wall fitted in to his programme en route to the South Tyne.

skirting the shorelines

Grindon Lough was a new body of water for UV to explore (as far as we can tell from previous data), but UV didn’t spend long there, preferring to carry on to the river. He perched in a couple of places in a small copse from late afternoon until dusk. Guesstimates in this image – the tallest trees!

courtesy Street View

UV returned to Tindale Tarn for varying periods of time in the middle of last week, and was spotted by RSPB Geltsdale staff.

UV likes the shallow end for foraging and perching

All this travel indicates UV hasn’t established a territory yet, but is still exploring options. On Sunday, he flew deep into Scotland and visited mainly new Lochs. There’ll be a post about that adventure tomorrow, with an animation by Paul of his travel.


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At 15.55 Aydon landed on Nest 4.

watch out!
(c) Forestry Commission England

all together again
(c) Forestry Commission England

As you can see, Aydon was soon busy replenishing his food reserves. A lovely sight.

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More on Aydon’s fledge

At the time of writing (13.30), Aydon hasn’t returned to the nest. But footage suggests he’s been flying around the fell.

Aydon had been leaping high over the last few days.

Aydon jumps over mum
(c) Forestry Commission England

He’s not made any lengthy helicoptering ‘flights’, one of the nearest efforts came during an exercise session yesterday.

This morning, he had a few flaps and hops around the nest edge, then was away.

An hour or so later, Aydon was probably flying around the fell with Mrs 69.

An osprey which hasn’t been regarded as an intruder by either adult has been seen in the distance occasionally since then. It may take a fish to encourage Aydon back to the nest.

Alwinton seems to want to join her brother, and has been exercising more vigorously. She’s jumped higher than in previous days.

best yet
(c) Forestry Commission England

Was that an adult or a juvenile flying to her right?

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First fledge on Nest 4

The young male, Aydon, fledged this morning at 08.36. Here he is, about to take off.

about to fly
(c) Forestry Commission England

His sister watched.

Alwinton follows the flight
(c) Forestry Commission England

Aydon hasn’t arrived back. His parents are on the nest looking calm. We hope to see a safe landing soon.

There’ll be video of the event later.


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Ancroft leads the way on Nest 3

The nestcam on Nest 3 records for 3 hours a day, more than previous years thanks to Forestry Commission Radio and Electronics Branch installing a new management system, but that is still only a glimpse into activity. Over the last week, the youngest chick, Acomb doesn’t seem to have made much progress. Nor has the eldest, Archer. Ancroft,  is proving that males do tend to fledge ahead of females, although he isn’t there yet. Or perhaps the clips are misleading!

A couple of days ago, Archer was exercising and Ancroft was feeding himself.

Archer flaps, Ancroft tackles a whole trout
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mostly, the recordings show Ancroft exercising and the other two sleeping or eating!

These clips show Archer’s ‘progress’ between 14 July and now. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

Acomb appeared to be quite advanced, with hops and jumps added to flapping by a week ago, Plenty of focus, too!

(c) Forestry Commission England

But there hasn’t been much advance since.

Ancroft was jumping across the nest by 17 July.

Ancroft jumps across the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

He’s come on in leaps and bounds since then!

We should discover the fledge dates over the next week. No bets on who will be first!

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Aln returns – nearly 24 hours later

Aln’s take off yesterday was smooth, but she didn’t reappear on the nest until 10.13 today.

I’m back!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Shortly before she fledged yesterday, she performed a high jump over EB. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

Next, with little forewarning as is often the case, she was off.

During the rest of yesterday, EB made several appearances on the nest. She flew with a fish in the same direction as Aln’s fledge.

EB flies off with a fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

Occasionally she landed and sat for a few seconds, calling.

calling to Aln?
(c) Forestry Commission England

This morning, EB had just brought a stick to the nest when she saw Aln returning.

Two data downloads showed Aln had flown down the slope of the fell and past the old nest tree. She may have roosted on the old nest last night, and in the last fix this morning was near ‘her’ nest. It was good to see her land.

She soon started food soliciting.

I want food
(c) Forestry Commission England

She preened and slept and took a few flights. Here she is returning from a short one. Look on the right side of the screen to see her appearing.

It wasn’t until mid afternoon that 37 arrived with a fish, rather than a stick.

at last
(c) Forestry Commission England

Aln ceded possession to EB, who fed her in a couple of sessions. Then tucked in herself.

not hungry now
(c) Forestry Commission England

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