Juvenile ospreys should be getting confidence in their flying skills and literally ‘testing the water’ in advance of learning to catch fish. The youngsters from the two nests at Kielder have not been observed down by the reservoir yet, but it is a big expanse and even with binoculars the leg rings are only readable in relatively close proximity. Yesterday, the Nest 1 juvenile HO was on the nest for part of the afternoon, with one parent on or around the area. The nestcam has been turned off now so it could have been either parent, but the more time passes the likelier it is that the female will have started her migration. The photo is the last one taken before switch off. HO looks well fed and in good condition, so let’s wish her an uneventful trip to Africa when she goes, and that we see her back in the UK in a couple of years.
On Nest 2 the youngsters are often not visible on the nestcam, but field monitoring indicates they are spending time on the branches of the tree as well as taking short flights. On Saturday afternoon it was very windy in the nest area. One of the adults was on the end of a long branch part way up the tree, and edged nearer and nearer the trunk as the wind gusted and rocked the osprey. There weren’t many flights by the juveniles that afternoon! Yesterday they were both on the nest soon after 16:00. 1H, the female, stayed longer than the male 2H and engaged in some preening. All the juvenile ospreys will need their feathers to be well coated with the waxy product of the preen gland for their fishing exploits.