What a difference a day makes!

Saturday was very wet at Kielder – this video clip gives a little bit of a feel for the weather. The ospreys would have found fishing tricky because the water becomes muddier and the fish tend to be well beneath the surface. At the moment, with no chicks to feed and with relatively low energy requirements from the females, two or three reasonable sized fish a day are enough to keep things ticking along.

Sunday was misty for a long time but it was noticeably warmer and in the morning especially it was very calm on the water. The Kielder males took advantage of this and both nests were supplied with fish at lunch time. This is quite unusual at the moment, often no fish deliveries are observed between 1000 and 1700, and does suggest a shortage yesterday.

YA watches from the tree as Mrs YA has lunch at the edge of Nest 1 (c) Forestry Commission

YA watches from the tree as Mrs YA has lunch at the edge of Nest 1
(c) Forestry Commission

On Nest 1, YA perched on a tree near the nest whilst Mrs YA feasted on the nest edge. The eggs weren’t incubated for a while but it was a warm day (relatively) and all should be well. Both adults were on or near the nest all the time. Many of you will be aware that in the last few days the male at Loch of the Lowes left the eggs for significant periods when he was incubating. He was a good father last year, so his behaviour is very strange and worrying.

37 flies in with lunch (c) Forestry Commission

37 flies in with lunch
(c) Forestry Commission

On Nest 2, Mrs 37 had been incubating most of the morning but started to fidget a lot, and squawk, by about 1300. A shadow had been flying overhead shortly before which she had followed intently, almost certainly 37 because she was not alarmed. At about 1345  in flew 37 with a headless offering! Mrs 37 went off immediately and 37 settled down to incubate. A video of this event can be seen here. And click on either of the images to enlarge them.

During his time incubating 37 could be seen to be panting slightly. It was only about 14 degrees or so, but after recent weather it must have felt balmy to him!

Finally, wonderful news from Rutland Water where the Manton Bay nest has seen the first two chicks hatch within a day!

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5 Responses to What a difference a day makes!

  1. viv blake says:

    I suppose 37 was too hot because there has been no reason to lose any winter plumage so far! (or don’t Ospreys have winter plumage?)

    • joannadailey says:

      Male ospreys moult in winter, Viv, because they need to be in top condition in the breeding season. Females moult during incubation. It is a two year process, though. I’m thinking of doing a post about it.

      37 wasn’t panting hard, probably he was just reacting to a distinct rise in temperature!

  2. greg sanders says:

    As usual, thanks for the update! all very interesting! hope the weather stays good!

  3. Rosie Shields says:

    Please keep up the “technical” posts, Joanna – they are so interesting. When are we expecting hatching to start in the 2 nests?

    • joannadailey says:

      Glad you like the posts about osprey ecology, Rosie.
      Nest 2 eggs should start hatching in very early June, 1-4 June probably. The cool weather may have slowed development slightly.
      The loss of the nestcam stream on Nest 1 means we are less certain of ‘laid’ dates, but those eggs are at least a week behind.

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