The hot weather doesn’t seem to be doing much to encourage the chicks on Nest 2 to exercise their wings in preparation for flight. Next week is the very earliest they could fledge and their healthy weight at ringing on 10 July encouraged thoughts that they could take to the air relatively early. Whilst there have been limited opportunities to observe them because of the nestcam streaming problem, when they are on show it is in snooze mode!
On Nest 1 the chick ate well early in the day and then mainly joined in snoozing. Mrs YA sheltered it most of the morning and early afternoon, apart from a foray to collect moss. YA popped down from a tree and had a look at the remains of a trout but decided against taking it off for a snack. Soon after Mrs YA fed some of it to the chick, who gave up eating when its crop looked about to burst. Mrs YA began to feed herself, but the chick decided it could force a bit more down and she answered a half hearted beg.
Some of this activity was watched by Nigel Milbourne from Blagdon Lake in Somerset, who first alerted us to YAs return from migration. Regular readers will recall that YA stayed there for a week or so and managed to get under nets three times without memorising his exit route, so Nigel had to organise rescues. After seeing YA on the screen, Nigel took to the field and got some great views through his spotting scope of YA flying off towards the dam end of Kielder Water, gliding effortlessly for over 30 seconds. Magic memories!
Here are some images from today.