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.