Ospreywatch Report: 17 July

Michael arrived early and enjoyed the pleasure of an overhead pass from an osprey – which one is impossible to determine! Some visitors during the day had also been lucky.

The day started well with sun, reasonable temperature, and no midges. Amazingly there were no midges all day – says he who may wake up with itches tomorrow!

As we set up we observed all sorts of movements around the nest. As far as we could tell there were 4 ospreys flying around close to the nest and one adult perched to attention on the nest. Given the numbers we wondered if the one perched to attention could be ‘junior’. Once the Boat Inn opened, the live camera feed showed  ‘junior’ was lying doggo doing her best to pretend to be another component of the nest material! So we saw a total of 5 adult birds – plus ‘junior’.

We think only one fish was delivered to and left on the nest. The male did appear with another fish but removed it soon after arrival. Throughout the day ‘junior’ did emerge from slumbers to do some wing limbering from time to time. That was it for osprey excitement! But there was other wildlife to enjoy…

We had a flypast of a formation of oystercatchers -a pretty good imitation of the Red Arrows – at very low level – but in black and white (with yellow/orange noses – sorry – beaks!). We also had some formation swimming from mallard and gadwall broods. A small highlight was a common sandpiper that spent over 4 hours dibbling around in the grass in front of the viewing area – and then introduced us briefly to a second one that was lurking just over the visible edge of the grass leading down to the water.

The end of our day came just after we had a delightful visit from a group of schoolchildren from Bradford that included number of significantly disabled children. Their joy and enthusiasm was very infectious!

We wound up when the mist/rain arrived and all visibility of the nest was lost – the visitor count was 96.

Michael, Linda and David


To see so many adults flying near the nest is unusual as well as a treat. The other ospreys would not be aggressive towards the chick and normally would not attempt to land on the  nest. But mum played safe as she was on the nest ensuring the chick played dead. The camouflage from her buff edged brown feathers is excellent; at  first glance she is not noticeable at all and the immediate thought is ‘has she flown?’.  As has been mentioned in previous posts, recently another osprey, a young bird, has been around the nest area. There have also been young osprey seen further along the water.  A few Scottish birds have already started their migration back to Africa. So the sighting could have included any combination of these plus dad!

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3 Responses to Ospreywatch Report: 17 July

  1. Fascinating to see how much more information we are pulling together this year compared to previous ones. Is that because the watch is more frequent, or that there is more Osprey activity this year or a combination of both? Whatever the reason this is a great record and hopefully next year we can look back and make comparisons.

    • joannadailey says:

      It’ll be a combination of both almost certainly. The expansion of the Scottish population – now at over 240 breeding pairs – means a greater likelihood of more juveniles passing over Kielder Water in Spring and from now to September. Keep your eyes peeled when you are around the area!

    • thehutts says:

      Having Joanna on the case has improved the blog no end. She is up there most days and has the time and enthusiasm to pull things together. Sally

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