Things were rolling along very smoothly on Friday morning on Kielder Nest 2. The chicks had fed, the sun was out, a blog post was being drafted….
Then Mrs 37 started looking up and seemed alarmed rather than just ‘interested’. She really got into alert mode and a shadow could be seen flying over the clear fell below the nest. With Mrs 37 screaming and mantling, 37 joined her on the nest – clearly they perceived a real threat. 37 zoomed off after the bird they had been watching, but not many seconds later Mrs 37 reached fever pitch, mantling as broadly as she could. And then we saw why – another osprey landed on the nest edge! After almost 30 seconds the intruder flew off. Mrs 37 calmed down. The chicks, largely unbothered, slept on. But after 10 minutes of relative peace Mrs 37 was mantling again and a shadow could be seen – it stayed just that. Gradually calm was restored again, not least to viewers! And between 1100 and 1200 Mrs 37 felt sufficiently ‘safe’ to have a couple of fly arounds.
Intruder ospreys are relatively common at this time, even in lowly populated areas such as Kielder, as first and second time returning ospreys look around for partners and nest sites. They are mainly a threat if there are still eggs, because in a fracas the eggs can get pierced or smashed. This happened last year at Caerlaverock. Our intruder wasn’t ringed so it wasn’t a Kielder chick from previous years. A video of the incident will be uploaded by tomorrow; one showing footage from earlier in the week is available now here.
Over at Nest 1, imminent hatching did not look likely today.