It has been a great week for three of the well established osprey projects. Last Sunday, the resident male 03(97) was seen by his nest at Rutland Water. He is an important osprey -the first of the translocated birds to return and breed at Rutland. Their week got better and better, with another six of their ospreys being sighted, including 03(97)s mate! They are the first known UK breeding pair back from migration. Last year five Rutland Water nests were occupied and a record 14 chicks fledged. It looks good for this season.
Also returning was the breeding male at Loch of the Lowes whose mate is the oldest known current breeding female in the UK. Will she make it back?
Finally, but (being somewhat parochial) best, the Glaslyn pair are back; as the parents of the Kielder breeding males Yellow 37 and White YA they are very special to us!
The Kielder ospreys have never been seen earlier than 26 March, so no need to worry.
Despite the Forestry Commission Radio Branch working in some atrocious weather at the Nest 2 site last week, after they left streaming problems mean there has been no viewing at Kielder Castle Cafe. Repairs are planned for tomorrow. So field observations were necessary this weekend to check for any returners, or ospreys flying on elsewhere.
On Saturday the weather was a mixture of sharp snow/hail/sleet showers and quite long sunny spells. At the dam end a pair of buzzards spiralled above the fell, oystercatchers ‘peeped’ frequently near the dam wall and a cormorant flew just above the water along the lake. No ospreys though. A motor rally was taking place around Kielder and Mounces car park was a pit stop to refuel the noisy beasts. From the viewpoint looking across to Nest 1 a light covering of snow lay on Monkside, a hill north of the nest area. Again no ospreys. After a while a pair of buzzards appeared and circled high over Nest 1. YA would not have tolerated that if he was around! The odd crow flew about. Late in the afternoon a walk high above Kielder Water and then down on the Lakeside Way also failed to produce the sound or sight of an osprey.
Would there be more luck on Sunday? A chilly but intermittently sunny day meant good viewing conditions. A visit to the Nest 2 area was no more rewarding for seeing ospreys than Saturday’s efforts although it is always a pleasure being out amongst bird song and lovely views. A green woodpecker gave its laughing call out of sight, and robins were busy announcing their territories whilst tits sang below them in the trees. And no angry buzz of rally cars disturbed them!
At Mounces a pied wagtail wagged its tail on a fencepost and there were some lovely views of a single buzzard hunting across a fell, sunlight catching it’s fairly light brown wings as it changed direction. No ospreys around Nest 1 though.
Plenty of time yet……