Nest 3 update

The first chick on Nest 3 is thriving. Early this morning the female was feeding it.

06.43 the female feeds the chick (c) Forestry Commission England

06.43 the female feeds the chick
(c) Forestry Commission England

Shortly afterwards she flew and the male was quickly down to show he is a good parent too!

The male has a go too (c) Forestry Commission England

The male has a go too
(c) Forestry Commission England

This afternoon both were involved in another feed.

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At the end of the video there is footage of a possible hole in egg 2. Perhaps more indicative of an egg hatching is a shift in the female’s behaviour from dozing to alert and frequent shuffling of the eggs. And the chick in amongst them!

Normally the second hatch would have happened by now. Although it isn’t clear when the egg was laid we are getting near the end of the hatch ‘window’. Let’s hope on the next download we see two chicks.

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Odds and ends

Nest 2 are into the last few days of incubation. Both adults are bringing in nest material. 37 in particular is out to impress.

37 goes for the 'biggest bark strip" record (c) Forestry Commission England

37 goes for the ‘biggest bark strip” record
(c) Forestry Commission England

EB had flown out of the way when she saw 37 coming!

Nest 1 is still receiving visits from YA. Although Nests 1 and 1A aren’t within line of sight of each other from the platforms when an osprey is flying around YA will sometimes be able to see it. Yesterday he landed on Nest 1 and mantled and shouted at something above.

An unhappy YA (c) Forestry Commission England

An unhappy YA
(c) Forestry Commission England

Here is a link to the video of Nest 3 yesterday. It concentrates on the new hatchling being cared for by the male. Note how carefully he (and the female) walk around near the chick, not just the eggs.
play

 

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Cracking news from Kielder!

Great news on the hatching front! All three of YA and Mrs YA’s eggs have hatched on Nest 1A. The first was on 19 May followed by one on each of the next two days. There will be nestcam streaming soon but no images as yet.

At Nest 3 the first hatch occurred today. Probably! At 19.30 yesterday three eggs were visible. During the earliest recording this morning (05.30) the female didn’t move from the ?eggs but by soon after 10.00 a chick was out of the shell and that ‘evidence’ had been removed.

Shortly after the male arrived with a trout.

10.16 a first meal for the chick? (c) Forestry Commission England

10.16 a first meal for the chick?
(c) Forestry Commission England

The recording ceased soon after but the chick would probably have eaten. This afternoon it was tucking in to some leftovers of that trout.

14.13 a mouthful of fish for chick 1 (c) Forestry Commission England

14.13 a mouthful of fish for chick 1
(c) Forestry Commission England

As you can see the male was an interested observer! Here is a clip of part of the feeding.

A longer video will be available tomorrow. There could be another hatch by then, but for now this is the Nest 3 family.

Family portrait (c) Forestry Commission England

Family portrait
(c) Forestry Commission England

Overseas news – UV has decided to tarry a few days or longer in Aragon before heading north. The next migration ‘weather window’ is unlikely to be before Thursday.

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Recent events on Nests 2 and 3

On the whole life has been peaceful on Nests 2 and 3, albeit with only limited recording on the latter nest. But despite that an intruder was caught on camera on 18 May.

That was rather quick, here is the ‘culprit’ trying to court the female with a fish.

Blue 2H isn't welcomed (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 2H isn’t welcomed
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 2H (Nest 2, 2012) was first seen at Kielder last year when he tried a similar tactic. The male was on the nest at the time so he was even less welcome! We haven’t seen him on a nestcam for a few weeks so it is good to find him still interested in Kielder Forest.

Nest 3 is usually a harmonious place with the male doing much incubating – other than in bad weather when females tend to rule the roost – but there was a slight dispute when he was trying to do some housekeeping as the female incubated. First he swiped her with a piece of bark.

Whoops (c) Forestry Commission England

Whoops
(c) Forestry Commission England

Then he was too close for comfort!

The weather has been showery or worse over the last few days. On Nest 2 EB sat tight even when 37 came in to give her a break. She relied on standing up from time to time and shaking herself.

On 19 May 37 had delivered a not very large fish to EB. When she returned with the last part for him it was little more than the tail. As he sometimes does, 37 flew off with it in his beak.

37 gets set to fly (c) Forestry Commission England

37 gets set to fly
(c) Forestry Commission England

37 and EB often eat on the old tree just a couple of hundred metres down the fell. 37 hasn’t exhibited this behaviour in previous seasons but he was doing it before EB arrived – she has picked it up from him, seemingly. Fish are brought to the nest in the normal way and there is no obvious explanation for the unusual action. Here is a video of the event.

There should be a hatch on Nest 3 in the next couple of days. There was no sign yesterday afternoon, the probable opening of the window. The female was incubating but wasn’t fidgeting, listening or turning the eggs more often.

Three perfect eggs (c) Forestry Commission England

Three perfect eggs
(c) Forestry Commission England

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Reservoir dodges

The last update on UV described him heading west through Portugal on 17 May. He arrived at the Barragem do Alto Rabagão, part of the Cavado-Rebagão Project which comprises four dams on the two rivers, and stopped for the night.

17 May: another reservoir ticked off

17 May: another reservoir ticked off

He was quite unsettled overnight, moving between different trees to the NW of the reservoir. It appears to experience a bit more human activity than his usual choices. At this point he was around 90 km from the west coast of Portugal and just over 200 km from  his 2014 landing point in Spain.

The data on 18 May arrived early and UV had just set off. In a SE direction. Surely the 19 May update would see him correct that route? Here’s the answer.

UV travels west across Iberia. And back

UV travels west across Iberia. And back

On 18 May he crossed his ‘out’ track and headed ESE, flying from 09.30 to just after 19.00 with a Spanish siesta in the middle! He was back in Spain just after noon and an hour later reached the Embalse de Ricobayo on the Rio Esla. He seemed to be hunting from his elevation and speed.

Looking for lunch?

Looking for lunch?

UV spent the afternoon on an arm of the reservoir.

An overview of UV's siesta area

An overview of UV’s siesta area

In the bottom left of the image a line of wind turbines is visible. This aerial shot was taken over the area UV explored.

At 15.45 the siesta was over and UV set off on a mainly easterly course. He found another reservoir just above his roost, the Embalse de Burgomillodo on the Rio Duratón.

18 May roost area

18 May roost area

The reservoir is used for generating hydroelectric power and lies within the Parque Natural Hoces del Rio Duratón.

Yesterday UV set off again after possibly having breakfast on the eastern shore of the river. At 09.57 he arrived at the Embalse de Alcorlo but despite flying down it he carried on without a break.

Embalse de Alcorlo

Embalse de Alcorlo

Streetview image

Streetview image of the area UV overflew

He carried on more or less following the course of the Rio Bornova but didn’t stop until he arrived at the second longest river in Iberia, the Tejo/Tagus. He spent another long siesta on its banks.

19 May: UV's siesta

19 May: UV’s 3 hour siesta

UV roosted in a rural area not near water last night. Early this morning he was heading north, but he seems to be in ‘explore’ not ‘migration’ mode. Paul’s weather analysis indicates the region will be bright and sunny with very light – or no – winds. The weather in W France is cloudy with some rain but UV is unlikely to find that out for himself!

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Fabulous four!

It has just been confirmed that a fourth pair of ospreys are breeding in Kielder Water and Forest Park. A new platform was erected by the Forestry Commission in early Spring 2015 and within a few weeks a male settled on it and attracted a female. Last year they bonded but did not lay eggs. In 2016 they have been observed incubating as this record shot shows.

Blue 69 stands next to the female (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 69 stands next to the female
(c) Forestry Commission England

The male, colour ringed Blue 69, hatched in 2011 at Loch Lomond. He was first confirmed as a visitor to Kielder in 2014 when he landed briefly on Nest 2. He clearly liked the Kielder area and was back last Spring to find the new platform and he stayed. He was seen at the active nests too.

Here is Blue 69 last year during a spat with a Crow.

Blue 69 v Corvid (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 69 v Crow
(c) Forestry Commission England

And again (c) Forestry Commission England

And again
(c) Forestry Commission England

This is very exciting news for Kielder and a perfect reward for sustained conservation work.

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Heading west

Yesterday’s early email with UV’s data meant when or if – in the event he was over the Bay of Biscay today – we received an update there would be much to learn. Would he have turned north for a coastal route to the UK or continued NW to attempt that sea crossing?

Neither is the answer. UV has travelled in a westerly direction over the last two days. Here is yesterday’s route.

16 May: UV heads west

16 May: UV heads west

He flew from before 08.00 to 18.23 without a stop and covered 320 km. He had almost reached Portugal when he rested for the night at the Embalse de Almendra, the second largest reservoir in Spain. It isn’t clear from fixes whether he hunted but he had four species from which to select his supper!

Today he left the reservoir around 08.00 although the few earlier daylight fixes suggested he may have had breakfast. Shortly after 08.30 he crossed into Portugal. He was flying NW  initially. At 10.21 he arrived at the Barragem do Azibo, another large reservoir in Iberia which is a protected area with many bird species. He had a short stop here.

A short break for UV at Azibo

A short break for UV at Azibo

Although there are fish there UV carried on heading west. He was still going in that direction in late afternoon.

It appears he is out of ‘migration mode’ and into ‘roaming mode’. He could have gone north over the last couple of days but has not. If he does change course tomorrow he will arrive at the coast too late for a Bay of Biscay crossing until Friday at earliest given stormy weather ahead. But from his behaviour he isn’t intending to head ‘home’ this week!

Since he left Senegal UV has flown 6723 km. A ‘standard’ migration from northern Senegal to the north of the UK is about 5500 km.

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