Kielder sculpture- Osprey Watch Saturday 12 July 2014
Arriving at Kielder at 9.30 it was sunny and still, with large stretches of the lake without a ripple, reflecting the sky, ideal for early morning fishing. By the time the team managed to get the camera connection working the chicks were finishing some fish on the edge of the camera view. All three chicks are now approximately 2/3 grown and thriving. The telescopes were set up early and one or more birds were visible in the nest.
At 10.45 the male was in a tree to the left and at intervals throughout the day he was spotted flying between the nearby trees and the nest. At 1pm the female arrived back at the nest after a 10 minute break, whilst the male was in the third tree to the left. At around 2pm the chicks were actively flapping their wings, the largest hopping from one foot to the other and almost helicoptering, probably a bit longer until proper vertical take-off. The chicks were also preening.
Half an hour later the male landed on the nest for a short while with the whole family. There was considerable pre-occupation with a very large 3-way branched stick, which was like a Kielder sculpture. One branch was in the way whichever way it was re-arranged, first by the male, then the largest chick and the female. At one point the female stood on one end whilst another branch was across the chick.
Later in the afternoon the chicks were alone on the nest, hunkered down for a while, before the male arrived with another fish at 4.38pm, immediately taken by the female and he went off to a tree on the right.
Other observations included an unidentified osprey seen in leisurely flight along the far side of the lake towards the north-west at mid-day and a single heron from the opposite direction in the early afternoon.
It became more humid and cloudy as the day went on, with increasing threat of midges, and it was a very warm 22C at 5.30pm when we packed up after a late rush of visitors. A total of 188, a few arriving on the ferry, included visitors from Scotland, Germany, Cornwall, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Otterburn and Hexham. A couple of anglers didn’t do as well as YA and didn’t catch a single trout. They commented that ospreys are fishing regularly at Sweethope Loughs.
Duncan, Ian and Christine
Ospreys are seen most summers at Sweethope Loughs, two freshwater lakes offering fly fishing. As an osprey flies they are about 17 miles east of the dam at Kielder Water.
For those unfamiliar with Kielder Water and Forest Park the artwork around the area is renowned and has won awards. Here is a link to more about the art and architecture.
The chicks on both nests are doing a bit more wing exercising with occasional small hops although it will be 10 days or so before any real helicoptering. A short video of a couple of Nest 1 efforts shows there is a way to go!