Our last day of Osprey Watch could not have been better – lots of action from our Ospreys and the best weather ever!! Our 270 (YES!) visitors agreed and so did the 50 wasps.
The day started with a sighting of an Osprey between Whickhope and Tower Knowe from Joyce who just avoided crashing the car in her zeal to confirm this.
We were set up and ready for action at 10.30 and our fledgling ( Blue 6H ) was already on the nest but only stayed till 10.45. Two birds were then seen on the tall tree to the right. We are pretty sure that Mum has already gone on her long flight as throughout the day there was only a sighting of two birds at the same time – apart from a surprise visitor or two– more later!
Around noon there was a flapping bird on the camera pole and we suspect this was Blue 6H – probably hungry!! Then 15 minutes later s/he was in the nest eating fish, a remnant left on the nest from an early morning meal.
15 minutes after that the young bird was mantling and seemed quite agitated looking skyward then, ‘hoots mon’, a Scottish bird landed on the nest. (We know this as the colour ring was on the left leg). S/he stayed for several minutes much to the annoyance of Blue 6H who was vigilant to mantle over the fish and protect the nest.) The Scots bird then flew off and later so did Blue 6H. A bird was seen to the left of the nest, but not much action for an hour until young Omar from Preston came running to tell us there was a bird on the nest with a large fish which still had the head on. Trying not to push past the visitors in the rush to get to the screen – we confirmed this was Blue 6H with a new fish. No one is sure how this was delivered.
At 14.50 the fledgling was mantling again and looking upset but Dad seemed quite relaxed in the tree to the left despite there being a fly around from the intruder. ‘Help ma bob’ – was it the Scots bird again? When the agitation died down our bird flew from the nest.
At 16.10 there were two birds seen flying about; YA had left his tree and through the scopes was observed ‘nudging’ an intruder osprey to a point far to the right of the nest area – followed shortly by a bird flying calmly on the thermals enjoying the good weather.
No time to relax, at 16.30 there was another mantling incident but this time from YA – so it was serious. Two birds were seen flying together but there was no spat going on – perhaps a warning..?
The visitors continued to stream in up to 17.00 and regretfully we had to put away the scopes for the last time this season. And they were still arriving in droves when we left.
The last day of Osprey Watch is always a sad occasion for us. The relationship we build with the Ospreys (and each other) is amazingly bonding. Of course the Dads and young are still around for a while (both Mums apparently having left) but it means we cannot engage with our fantastic visitors who wow us with their enthusiasm and astonishment at the tale of these wonderful birds. Thank you to each of you for supporting us. Its your fervour that keeps us going through the wind and the rain and the midges (and the wasps!). Please come back next year! And please, please Kielder Ospreys have a safe flight to West Africa and come back next year, Mums and Dads………
Mel, Joanna and Joyce
Another heartfelt report from Joyce. Although I’d say more than 50 wasps!
At this time of year over-flying ospreys from Scotland on their migration aren’t uncommon, but there may have been several seen today through the scopes including the one curious enough to land. It was an adult male; the ring number isn’t clear but there’ll be further work to try and get an identity.
Before the Watch began, Kielder Castle Cafe viewers saw Blue 6H eating a fish by 09.30. The remanants were left on the nest. So although on Saturday Blue 6H took a fish away to eat it elsewhere, this behaviour hasn’t been noted since.
There will be no more Osprey Watch days, but the nestcam and the ‘long view’ camera feeds will be running for a while at Kielder Castle Cafe, and the nestcam stream at the Boat Inn at Leaplish.
Here are a few images from the nestcam today.