Double egg day at Kielder

This afternoon the Nest 3 female laid her second egg at 14.08.

first view of the second egg
(c) Forestry Commission England

She’d been behind the nest cup a few minutes earlier when there was still just one egg.

still just one egg
(c) Forestry Commission England

As on Nest 4 earlier today she had to see off an intruder in the morning.

intruder alert
(c) Forestry Commission England

Later in the afternoon there was another glimpse of the two eggs.

another sight of the eggs
(c) Forestry Commission England

So far we have 12 eggs on the 4 nests which equals last year’s ‘best ever’. Usually the Nest 3 pair lay 3 eggs, next one due on Sunday. Could this be a record year for Kielder?

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Third egg for Nest 4

This morning the third egg was expected on Nest 4. 69 incubated briefly a couple of times and Mrs 69 had to fend off an unringed intruder.

unringed legs come into view
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 69 settled down again until at 11.05 she started to fidget and stood up. At 11.08 she sat and contractions could be seen even through the misted camera lens. The next time she rose three eggs were visible. The official time of lay is 11.09.

the full clutch
(c) Forestry Commission England

another view
(c) Forestry Commission England

Here’s a video of the final minutes.

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An egg for Nest 3 at last! And other news

The first egg for Nest 3 was laid sometime yesterday afternoon, 24 April. By then the pair had been together for 17 days. They had been mating since their reunion so why the arrival of the first egg is later than usual for them – and most established pairs – is a mystery.

the male stands in an empty cup
(c) Forestry Commission England

There was an egg by the next recording slot.

at last
(c) Forestry Commission England

This morning on a windy and cold day with snow showers the female incubated with few turns of the egg.

a quick shuffle
(c) Forestry Commission England

Review of Nest 4 footage yesterday indicates the second egg was laid at 12.21. A little earlier only one egg was visible when the female turned it. But the next time she stood up after a couple of ‘chips’ a darker egg was visible behind egg 1.

first sight of the second egg
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Sunday at least two intruders were seen near or on the nests. An unringed male disturbed Nest 2 a couple of times.

one of several intrusions by one or more unringed ospreys
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 1A Mrs YA had to eject two ospreys who landed.

Blue AK1 returns to Kielder
(c) Forestry Commission England

then an unringed and uninvited caller lands
(c) Forestry Commission England

Readers may recall Blue AK1 was seen on the Nest 1A camera on 18 April. Since then she has been photographed at Esthwaite Water in Cumbria and also landed on the Foulshaw Moss nest covered by a nestcam, which isn’t where the pair are breeding this year. Where will she be seen next?! Also seen at Esthwaite Water around the time of Blue AK1 was Blue 7A. He is one of 2010 Kielder hatched Blue 35’s chicks from her first successful year of breeding at Foulshaw Moss, 2014. It was a thrill for us to see the photo in the link above. Blue 35 is the only Kielder origin osprey we know is breeding and this is the first time one of her offspring have been reported in the UK, as far as we are aware. A milestone.

Finally UV’s data shows he has returned to an area of NE Spain he used last year for some R and R after his 5800 km migration across Africa.  How long will he stay? Paul has prepared a forecast from the latest weather data.

“The Arctic air mass which is giving us these hailstorms and low temperatures in the UK will gradually move away towards the continent during the remainder of this week. It will be replaced by more typical Atlantic maritime conditions, which could give UV a very easy ride home during the following week if he decides to re-start his migration then.”

courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

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Nest 4 second egg right on schedule

The incubating pair on Nest 4 had tucked their egg below the lip of the cup when streaming started today. 69 was incubating but Mrs 69 took over before 11.00. It wasn’t until around 12.55 that a second egg could be confirmed. We’ll try and establish a time of laying but for now here are a couple of images.

a clear view – of part eggs at least
(c) Forestry Commission England

definitely two!
(c) Forestry Commission England

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UV continues through Spain

Today’s data update about UV’s migration came at lunchtime. He’s travelling through Spain but not at pace – yesterday he covered just 227 km in around 8 hours of flying. Here’s his route.

turning right!
courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

There’s a distinct change of direction late yesterday, so what happened?

UV had his normal ‘stop-start’ beginning with a couple of short flights before he set off in earnest around 08.20 UTC. This was his modest first move.

a stretch of the wings

UV’s course was NE until soon after 10.00 when he changed to a more easterly direction. He wasn’t flying at the elevations or speeds he achieved in Africa. Before too long he decided on a break.

an eight minute break

The reservoir is stocked with several fish species but UV pressed on. He continued NE, generally no higher than 800m above the terrain below which was a mixture of agricultural and hillier areas.

By 13.20 he was flying east of Toledo and his course was NNE. In the late afternoon he picked up the Rio Tajo (River Tagus), the longest in the Iberian peninsula at 1007 km. His course altered to follow the river eastwards. He stopped at 16.41 and explored several possible roost sites over the following couple of hours before plumping for a view from a hillside beside the river.

roost with a view

Today UV set off – after the usual stutters – just before 09.00. He was curving towards a more northerly direction until about 10.00 when he turned east again. That way lies the area he spent several weeks exploring last Spring after his arduous journey in Africa. Is that where he is going again? If so, for how long? During the first half of his migration he had seemed focused on returning to the UK but his travel in Spain has been less pacy. Time will tell what UV is planning!

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More on UV’s first day in Spain

UV arrived in Spain shortly before 07.00 UTC. Recently he has been flying non-stop for 8 or more hours but he had a brief pause shortly before 10.00 at the Embalse de Guadalcacin.

UV spends 20 mins or so by the reservoir

This is an important site for the Spanish osprey population. Early in the Andalucian reintroduction program a pair of non-reintroduced ospreys tried to breed there but failed. This article has more about the Spanish reintroduction program. By 2012 successful breeding was occurring at Guadalcacin so UV will have seen other ospreys yesterday morning.

Data reveals UV didn’t stop again until 17.39 by which time he had covered 392 km in the day. He had flown over the relatively low Sierra Norte mountain range and stopped in an area NE of Almadén, a town famed for its mercury mines.

the area UV chose for roosting
courtesy Street View

Although UV has spent many an hour perched near mines in Senegal he chose a more traditional spot for his roost last night.

21 April: UV’s roost

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Another egg for Nest 2

A third egg for Nest 2 was ‘due’ before nestcam streaming began today at 10.00. EB half stood to shuffle her eggs at 10.08 but obscured the view. But when 37 arrived to take over incubating at 10.47 he – and we – could see three eggs.

37 looks down at the eggs
(c) Forestry Commission England

Here’s the video, press HD for best quality.

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