A bit of a surprise

There is an egg for 37 and his mate, laid on 25 April, or very early today (their favourite date!); the pair were sharing incubation duty by mid morning. Why don’t we know the date?

37 and his mate have put in a lot of work on their nest as you can see from earlier posts on the blog. Unexpectedly, they have chosen to lay their eggs on a new platform on a pole in the same area. This has been installed because the tree housing the original nest is decaying and potentially unstable so a replacement was needed; the ospreys have taken the unilateral decision to move now, not next year! There is a nestcam on the new pole but because of the sensitivity of the incubation period it will not be possible to switch to it for a while.

A shame for addicts who like to follow all the detail of the ospreys’ lives through the nestcam, but actually it is good news in the longer term because it wasn’t going to be possible to ring the chicks this year given the state of the original tree. And there was a risk that it could fall in wild weather – a disaster if eggs or chicks were on the nest. Here are a couple of photos of the new home.


The new nest pole being erected over winter (c) Forestry Commission England

The new nest pole being erected over winter
(c) Tom Dearnley

Mrs 37 standing on the new nest (c) Joanna Dailey

Mrs 37 standing on the new nest
(c) Joanna Dailey






Meanwhile, on Nest 1 there was no sign of a second egg by 17.00, when Mrs YA had just returned to incubation duty. The day started with a clear sight of the single egg just after 09.00 when there was a speedy changeover in the light rain.

A speedy early changeover (c) Forestry Commission England

A speedy early changeover
(c) Forestry Commission England

At 10.03 there was a brief period of mantling, Mrs YA having popped down from the pole to join YA. No other birds were visible and all was calm very quickly. Mrs YA then did a stint on the nest and as the weather improved she nodded off.

A dozy period (c) Forestry Commission England

A dozy period
(c) Forestry Commission England

But peace didn’t last. YA had been back for a while when he suddenly got off the egg screaming at something.

YA is very annoyed (c) Forestry Commission England

YA is very annoyed
(c) Forestry Commission England

A bird flew very fast to the left of the nest edge, almost certainly an osprey, just after Mrs YA landed with a fish to offer YA moral support. The rest of the afternoon was calmer and in weak but warm sunshine Mrs YA sat on the pole and YA left the egg for his favourite perch before returning to mate with Mrs YA on top of the pole! Soon after she returned to duty.

Female ospreys moult during the breeding cycle and Mrs YA has started to lose a few feathers as the last image shows. A final point of interest; it is possible that she caught the fish lying in the nest. She had been absent for over an hour before the intruder alert, and the fish she landed with appeared fairly untouched, although dead.

Some signs of moulting.  And did Mrs YA catch that fish? (c) Forestry Commission England

Some signs of moulting. And did Mrs YA catch that fish?
(c) Forestry Commission England

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8 Responses to A bit of a surprise

  1. Vivien Finn says:

    Great news about 37/ mate and 1st egg.:) Delighted that they have laid the eggs on the new nest platform. Next year if the original nest was to collapse they could have gone elsewhere,and what a disaster! You are right Joanna we have to look beyond the moment. It is good that the pair have accepted this new platform and decided that this will be ‘their nest’ It is lovely to have and show photos and I for one appreciate each and every one. At the end of the day though it is the security of the birds that matters and that they have a stable nest to return to in future years. This applies to every Osprey project including the Glaslyn Ospreys. Like Kielder Ospreys we are pleased that the Glaslyn male and female accepted their new nest this year.

  2. Keith Rogers says:

    I must support everything that you have posted in your blog and endorsed by Vivien – This is great news and great for conservation and colonisation of ospreys.

  3. joannadailey says:

    Thanks to all for the positive comments, much appreciated.

  4. Keith Rogers says:

    Over winter demolition continued at The Arsenal in Minneapolis where 5 pairs of ospreys nested – The nests were removed and five new nesting poles were placed nearby to accomodate them – however the ospreys returned this season and four pairs have nested on power poles that still stand within The Arsenal and only one on the erected poles.
    It seems ospreys want to be where ospreys want to be.
    We can then assume YV and his partner do like the new nest and want to be here. Well done all concerned in the erection of the nest.

    • Keith Rogers says:

      Sorry mis print read 37 for YV :)

      • joannadailey says:

        Thanks, Keith, very interesting. The best reason for the 37/mate move we can think is that the new platform is slightly higher up the hill they are on so better vantage, although their original nest is well sited to see any threat.

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