There was little wind and a mix of sun and cloud as a small band of people trooped across rough ground towards the tall tree containing Nest 2. The female was aware of possible ‘predators’ very early on and flew around, alarming, drawing the male in – who had a fish in his talons! He circled with it for some time as the pair were joined by one, then two, more ospreys who obviously wanted to see what the noise was about. Eventually they all gave up and went further away, but the parents would have been observing from a tree.
As with Nest 1, a licensed Ranger climbed the tree and lowered the chicks to the ground one by one. The first to be weighed and ringed was a little more feisty than is usual, but soon calmed down. At 1950g she is almost certainly a female, even larger than the chick from Nest 1 who had the advantage of no competition for food from an early age. Her feather development has a way to go, but the beautiful buff edged brown feathers on the back of her wings and body looked in good condition. She was given blue ring 1H. Next up was a slightly smaller bird; with a weight of 1500g, and with much thinner legs, the Kielder ornithologist could be be fairly sure that chick is a male. He too seems healthy. He was ringed with a blue 2H.
His sister had been keeping fairly still whilst her brother was examined, then the pair had a photo call. The opportunity to see such stunning birds close to, with the deep orange eyes, already lethal looking talons, and lovely, soft feathers was an absolute privilege. All too soon, but no doubt not soon enough for them, it was time to go back to their moss filled eyrie and forget all about the indignity of being tipped upside down to be weighed! The Ranger reported they settled back down into the nest before he descended. As the ringing party left the area an adult, almost certainly the female, could be seen circling again. Within an hour the male had been to the nest with that earlier fish, and the chicks were tucking in with their usual gusto before mum finished the leftovers. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.