Growing youngsters, and a bit about UV

The chicks on Nests 1A and 2 are looking more like young ospreys every day. They have been getting used to walking round the nests and beating their wings, albeit with some ‘rain stops play’ interludes. Like yesterday, all day.

This morning the Nest 1A trio engaged in some light exercise.

chicks 1 and 2 flap their wings
(c) Forestry Commission England

This clip shows all 3 demonstrating their skill. Press HD for best quality.

This video contains clips from the couple of days pre-rain.The Nest 4 pair are nearly a week behind Nest 2. Eating, sleeping and preening are still their main activities.

chick 1 turns away, full
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 69 is still finishing a feed before at least 1 chick has reached ‘full’, even though there is usually a reasonable size piece of fish left. Feeds tend to be under 20 minutes long compared with double that or more on the other streamed nests.

Away from the nest action, UV was at Kielder on 21 and 22 June. He arrived via a long pause in Wark Forest, east of Kielder. On arrival at Kielder Water and Forest Park he paid less attention to the nests than usual, although Nest 2 did witness a fly past.

UV, in the sky to the right, has interrupted tea
(c) Forestry Commission England

UV roosted nearer Kielder Water than he has previously, and possibly ate breakfast by the reservoir.

UV flying over Leaplish Bay, perching in the trees at Whickhope Inlet

Leaplish Bay is north of Kielder Waterside Park, where Osprey Watch is sited. UV was too early and on the wrong day for that event, sadly.

His perching places on the north side of Whickhope Inlet would have been visible to people using the c200 road.

UV was perched on the far side of the Inlet
courtesy Street View

Although not present there every day, UV is still spending some time at Tindale Tarn. RSPB Geltsdale staff haven’t seen another osprey in the area when UV has been by the tarn, but they’ll keep looking!



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Nest 3 news

In the last post about Nest 3 (16 June) we included an image of a very underdeveloped chick 3. There’d been a gap in recordings and with only 3 hours of recording a day – at best – it isn’t possible to be certain why there is such a difference in growth rate between the chicks. The poor weather until last weekend is almost certainly a factor. Also, this is the first year that the adults have had 3 chicks to raise. Usually, their chicks are fairly equal in size by 3 weeks old, but that is not the case this year.

We’ve been able to retrieve some clips from 11 and 12  June. They show chick 3 had started to lag a little behind chick 2 –  although it is 2 full days younger, so would be smaller. Chick 1 is very obviously the first hatch.

chicks 2 and 3 sit up
(c) Forestry Commission England

By the next morning, chick 3, although begging quite strongly, appeared to be falling further behind. But it was still a couple of days short of reaching the ‘reptilian’ stage, so the difference in development between the chicks is exaggerated. Press HD on all clips for best quality.

Regular recording resumed on 18 June, when chick 3 had acquired its dark down and pin feathers.

chick 2 (left) and chick 3 preen in unison
(c) Forestry Commission England

The following day, chick 3 was first to shuffle across when a fish appeared.

chick 3 first to the ‘table’
(c) Forestry Commission England

It held its own next to chick 1 – sometimes it stays at the rear of the siblings – and was eating well when the recording period ended.

Chick 3 is lively when the weather isn’t so hot that all the chicks tend to flop.

Yesterday lunchtime chick 3 had a fairly empty crop – the usual sight. It was more interested in food than the rather large chick 1 at the rear and chick 2.

chick 3 about to take a morsel
(c) Forestry Commission England

Let’s hope the next downloads show a balloon-like crop on chick 3 in some of the footage.





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Last week, until the weekend,  it was wet every day at some point. Then we had several days of hot and sunny weather. In rain or heat chicks tend not to do much – shelter, feed, sleep and preen sums it up. But there has been plenty of development over the period.

On Nest 1A, the chicks are the most advanced of the 4 nests. Chick 3 is probably from the 4th egg to hatch, given marked size difference to its siblings. All the chicks now look like young ospreys as their feathers grow.

chick 2’s amber eyes contrast with Mrs YA/s pale yellow ones
(c) Forestry Commission England

chick 2’s wing stretch
(c) Forestry Commission England

In the image above chick 2’s primary wing feathers are emerging from their protective sheaths. When the chicks preen, they will break off pieces of the sheath, easier in dry weather as the sheaths are more brittle.

YA is providing between 2 and 4 fish during the 12 hour nestcam coverage. Feeds are orderly, with chicks tending to rotate so that often 2 are feeding and 1 is ‘resting’! Little sibling aggression has been seen – this is one incident, started by chick 3 pecking chick 1. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

Chick 1 was restrained in response. Usually, the dominant chick will ‘peck home’ the point!

The chicks fiddle with nest material.

chick 1 moves a stick
(c) Forestry Commission England

They have started to flap their wings. Chick 1 is the only chick who can stand and exercise for several seconds without tumbling.

Chick 1 is also the only one able to walk a few steps without falling. And it can eat standing up.

chick 1 stands to feed
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks on Nest 2 are about 5 days behind Nest 1A. Chick 1 started some experimental wing flapping on 16 May.

chick 1 tries a flap
(c) Forestry Commission England

It has improved a bit since then, and can take a few steps.

37 usually brings 2-3 fish to the nest and provides a slightly more varied diet, with perch and roach being seen in the last few days. The chicks often eat separately.

chick 2 stares intently at the world beyond
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 4, 69 also brings the occasional river fish. But, despite a blurry image, it looked like a Rainbow Trout that flipped over the nest edge during handover to Mrs 69.

a lively fish goes over the edge
(c) Forestry Commission England

69 flew off and replaced the lost meal within an hour. Nest 4 is about a week behind Nest 2, so the chicks are just leaving the reptilian stage. Chick 2 looked quite weak for some time in the rainy spell, but has plumped up, literally!

69 watches as chick 2 starts to feel a bit full
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks are becoming more mobile.

Chick 2 looked more like an osprey yesterday.

chick 1 has changed colour overnight
(c) Forestry Commission England

There is most aggression on this nest, doubtless a reaction to limited feeding opportunities during the wet weather and Mrs 69’s tendency to stop feeding despite the chicks still begging. 69 is more likely to feed the chicks until they are sated.

one of many acts of sibling aggression on Nest 4
(c) Forestry Commission England

More intrusions are evident on Nest 4 than the others. Frustratingly, an English or Welsh osprey flew quite close to the nest – but not near enough for the ring to be readable.

an English or Welsh osprey flies by
(c) Forestry Commission England

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UV settled? Not yet

The last post about UV mentioned that he was spending much of his time in one area – so was he thinking of settling there? Almost as soon as the words were on paper, UV appeared to lose some interest. But not all. This is where he had been spending many hours.

Tindale Tarn from the SE
(c) Joanna Dailey

Tindale Tarn from the north
(c) Joanna Dailey

Tindale Tarn is part of the RSPB’s Geltsdale reserve. Their Twitter page has some great photographs of UV – scroll down to between 1 and 7 June. You’ll see that another osprey was present at least part of the time UV was foraging and perching at the Tarn. It looks male. The RSPB staff also saw a female interacting with a male osprey, but it isn’t known if the latter was UV. The presence of other ospreys may be the reason UV suddenly focused on the area. He is still visiting occasionally, and we’ll be keeping in touch with the RSPB.

Over the last week UV has been to Kielder Water and Forest Park twice. On 13 June he spent the afternoon by a burn he has perched beside before. When UV arrived at Kielder Water his behaviour was exactly like many foraging ospreys we watch when looking from the dam wall.

typical shoreline foraging behaviour
(c) Forestry Commission England

UV showed no interest in the nests, but on 15 June it was a different story, with Nest 3 receiving several courtesy calls! No recordings, unfortunately. The Nest 4 pair weren’t pleased when UV circled over their home.

UV alert!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Clear off!
(c) Forestry Commission England

15 June was a particularly active day – UV flew over 180 km. After several circuits of Kielder he crossed into Scotland before ending his day in Cumbria. A borders boy!

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Nest 3 update

The chicks on Nest 3 include the last to hatch at Kielder this year. Soon after its arrival on 4 June the wet weather struck, and, although footage showed the chick was being fed well up until 10 June, there has been more wet weather since then. A power problem means there is no recorded footage over the last few days. During a brief visit this morning the female was brooding but 3 ‘part chicks’ were visible occasionally.

3 chicks are partly visible
(c) Forestry Commission England

One chick looks much larger than its siblings. Then a chick popped out, the smallest.

chick 3 has popped out
(c) Forestry Commission England

Chick 1 is 4 days older than chick 3, but the difference in size was quite a surprise.

little and large
(c) Forestry Commission England

We’ll never know what happened – illness, lack of food etc – to result in the limited development of chick 3. But it was alert when not snoozing and the forecast is for a settled and warm spell.

At the weekend there’ll be an update on UV, who resumed his wanderings not long after leading us to believe he might be thinking of settling down. Typical osprey behaviour!


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Piling on the pounds

The last update on Nest 2 was a week ago. How the chicks have grown since then!

last feed of the day
(c) Forestry Commission England

tucking in again
(c) Forestry Commission England

Chick 1 especially – 22 days old yesterday – looks like a young osprey now.

37 has been delivering 2-3 fish a day at least (as seen in 12 hours of streaming).

more food, hurray!
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks have been fed well by EB. Last year, her first at Kielder, she mostly stopped feeding whilst chicks were still asking for more. This year she pursues them across the nest to offer another morsel. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

Although there have been showers or spells of rain most days in the past week, with feathers developing and better temperature regulation, the chicks eat for several minutes in light rain.

the 6th feed – so not essential given it is raining and crops are quite full
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks preen or sleep when not eating (which can be for 2 hours of the 12) and also explore the nest and the world beyond.

Or chew bits of bark, just like the parents.

On Nest 4 – where the oldest chick is 6 days younger than the Nest 2 equivalent – progress isn’t quite as striking. Chick 2 hatched about 18 hours after chick 1, but the difference has looked more like 2-3 days.

chick 1 gets the lion’s share as usual
(c) Forestry Commission England

Although adults will often feed chick 1 first, then chick 2, on Nest 4 chick 2 has been ignored at some mealtimes even when a large portion of fish remains.

Chick 2 received more food yesterday afternoon and evening than has been the norm. It is looking stronger than it was around lunchtime yesterday, when it was quite lethargic.

chick 2 begs strongly – and is fed
(c) Forestry Commission England

Although there is rain at times today, the forecast is for dry and warm weather in the days ahead. Good conditions for foraging and eating!

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Nest 1A live streaming restored

The live web link to Nest 1A has been restored today. This is what you’ll see much of the time!

Mrs YA presides over sleeping chicks
(c) Forestry Commission England

But there is action.

(c) Forestry Commission England

Press HD for best quality in the clip.

Here’s the address, which is also in the “Nest 1A webcam” page in the menu.

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