Mrs YA has landed! And no, it isn’t groundhog day, it’s the real thing

Although the unringed female that landed on Nest 1 on 26 March looked fairly like Mrs YA from 2013, her dark speckled chest did not seem to go up her chin far enough. Or be quite as pronounced. A natural change with age, perhaps, although usually changes are small. Her behaviour on the nest suggested it was the resident female because she stayed around the nest when there was no male, scraped the cup out and so on. Whereas White EB went between nests looking for a mate. And YA accepted her straight away when he returned.

However today at 12.19, a female was in the corner of the nest and YA attempted to mate. As the female turned there really was no doubt, it was the real Mrs YA. Major egg on face for not making some reservations clearer, and many apologies to the Forestry Commission, Kielder Partnership, NWT and you, dear readers. There’ll be edits on previous posts later.

Meanwhile, back to the day’s events. After the mating effort the pair went off. At 12.40 an unringed bird very like the 26 March female sat on the edge for a couple of minutes. (Note caution!) Then she left. By 12.50 the real Mrs YA was lying along the nest cup, initially not actually mantling but very still. From then on it was pandemonium. YA landed with a fish and mantled. He tried to eat a morsel or two but had to give up as something bothered the pair from above. Around 13.00 he left, leaving the fish behind. Mrs YA flew off a few minutes later then for well over an hour intermittent acrobatic air ‘fights’ were visible on the ‘long shot’ camera stream. Mostly two or three ospreys, occasionally four! White EB joining in? YA and Mrs YA (the real one) both landed briefly but separately. Things quietened down by 15.00 or so. Late in the afternoon YA came on with a fish, calling out. No-one came in. He left with it, but returned later. Who will be with him tomorrow?

Here are some images from the day.

First sight of Mrs YA's head (c) Forestry Commission England

First sight of Mrs YA’s head
(c) Forestry Commission England


YA comes in with lunch, then mantles (c) Forestry Commission England

YA comes in with lunch, then mantles
(c) Forestry Commission England

YA isn't happy with whoever is flying about (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA isn’t happy with whoever is flying about
(c) Forestry Commission England

Three ospreys just about visible flying acrobatically (c) Forestry Commission England

Three ospreys just about visible (in the sky to the left, and left and right of nest) flying acrobatically
(c) Forestry Commission England

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7 Responses to Mrs YA has landed! And no, it isn’t groundhog day, it’s the real thing

  1. How exciting. I do hope the interloper finds another nest somewhere. I suppose there are bound to be mix-ups like this with the number of successful seasons increasing the osprey population. Perhaps another nest is needed!

  2. Keith Rogers says:

    Mrs YA (26.3.2014) and Mrs YA (8.4.2014) – There was at one time in 23 April 2013 when two females were on the nest aftr YA had a relationshipo with both.
    This year could these be both the same females as he was comfortable with both.

    Q2 – The displaced Mrs YA (26.3.2014) has had a small relationship since YA arrival 2.4.2014 (6 days) – could she have eggs or will she abort if displaced and is single again – this seems to be going on all over the place at the moment.

    • joannadailey says:

      Re Q1, the same thought crossed my mind, Keith, and it can’t be ruled out. The camera last year had water in early on so images are fuzzy, but the two look fairly similar. It also would help explain why the 26/3 female stayed on one nest and even scraped the cup when no male was in residence.
      Re Q2, there have been a number of apparently successful matings between YA and the 26/3 female so possibly the egg making process had started. As you say, this is only one of several such instances this year – eg Loch of the Lowes. There are other ospreys around but even if the 26/3 female becomes a pair with on of them, the eggs she could have made with YA may suffer the fate of Blue XDs at Loch Garten in previous years and be kicked out.

      • Keith Rogers says:

        Joanne – It was the familiarity of Mrs YA 26/3 with this nest that made me think she knows this nest – stayed around and prepared the nest. This is why I thought she may be the disposed female of 2013.
        Was the disposed female in 2013 the resident in 2012 ? and taht YA is familiar with both birds.

        Q2 – I was thinking that if Mrs YA 26/3 did not find a mate or a nest and eggs are in the process she may just drop them – roy said he knew of a female who went on an abandoned nest and just dropped the eggs and left. He also mentioned they could abort and re-absorb the eggs.

  3. joannadailey says:

    Keith, the 2012 nestcam on Nest 1 wasn’t HD and detail was poor – that’s why we couldn’t read YA’s ring, we could only just see he had one. The general appearance of the 2012 female and the one YA mated with last year and the 26/3 one is similar, but we’ll never know if it is her. It would seem odd if it was; we think it was the same female 2009-2012 so surely the urge to breed again would have taken her elsewhere in search of a new male. And if it was her last year it is slightly surprising that YA rejected her because this year he has demonstrated he is true to his 2013 mate.
    Thanks for the info from Roy Dennis. Again, it is unlikely we’ll ever find out what happens to the 26/3 female.

    • Keith Rogers says:

      One thing for sure it is great to see non nesting ospreys hanging around even though we think of them as intruders (we do need intruders) – I am interested in natural colonisation into Kielder such an ideal place and maybe at the end of this year just maybe double your nests.
      And to cap it all – you telling us Blue 35 has chicks this year.
      Many thanks for answering my questions.

  4. joannadailey says:

    Totally agree it is good to have more ospreys around at Kielder, Keith, and at this time of the year they should be in breeding condition. Even one more successful nest will be fantastic if it happens. Kielder is ideal in some ways but although the lake is stocked with fish, in addition to the brown trout already there, it isn’t as teeming with fish as some smaller lakes. But we do hope to have more breeding pairs. And yes, it would be excellent if Blue 35 breeds successfully this year.

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