The weather today was better than forecast with occasional sun and occasional showers, and with strong gusty winds and therefore no midges. We had to shelter ourselves and the ‘scopes from rain a few times during the day. We ended the watch fairly promptly at 4.30pm when rain started again and visibility reduced dramatically. There were only 49 plus visitors, not too bad given the weather forecast, but they were all interested and keen.
The chick continued with its flapping exercises. There was more than one sighting of what some might describe as “flight”, but was actually preparation for the real thing. One visitor described seeing the chick “fly” up to her mother on the camera pole, then back down to the nest; and later, several of us saw a propelled hop, skip and jump across the nest platform. There was lots of excitement amongst visitors and volunteers about these antics!
The male brought fish at 11am and 2pm. In the morning and early afternoon he was on his favourite tree but he was not seen after about 2pm. The female spent much of the day on the camera pole but did go for regular short flights. At 3.40pm she brought lots of moss back to the nest, re-arranged the furniture and then hunkered down with the chick. We took this as a warning of bad weather approaching – and this was soon confirmed!
Other sightings include a single grey heron just in front of the viewing area around 10am and another flypast by three oystercatchers in the early afternoon. Very impressive.
Joe, Lynda and Kathy
Staff at Kielder Castle also noticed the growing ability of the chick to work those wings effectively. At one stage in the afternoon, she rose out of sight for at least 3 seconds with strenuous flapping. Had she flown? Heart in mouth time! It is noticeable that the female is still feeding the chick most of the time, although late yesterday afternoon she did help herself to a snack before settling down for a rest.
Nest 2 update
All is much calmer on Nest 2 with resting and preening the usual activities. There is wing stretching, but mainly from a prone position. Click on the photo to get a partial view despite raindrops and a twig. The female is still spending nearly all her time on the nest.