I arrived soon after 9am having been alerted to potential problems with the live camera feed. Joanna joined me soon after having already checked the feed to the Kielder Castle Cafe screen. Initially the Leaplish screen showed a frozen image of the Nest 1 chicks and Joanna investigated whether it was possible to show Nest 2 instead. Unfortunately this proved impossible so Joanna kindly loaded some recent video clips. Everything was set up by around 10.30, including a note on the white board explaining the lack of live action.
With the camera stream out of action and with lots of visitors we were kept busy all day and had to rely to a great extent on what the visitors told us they were seeing through the scopes. Our chances of observing the nest came each time we re-positioned the scopes having failed to mention quickly enough to visitors that they should try to avoid moving them. The large number of visitors (approx 220) meant that many observations unfortunately went unrecorded.
The chicks helped visitors by doing lots of flapping, wing stretching and jumping and the sunshine on their white fronts made them easy to see (for the majority). The parents visited occasionally and also spent time in their ‘usual’ trees, including for a brief period both sitting in ‘their’ tree to the left of the nest.
The chicks continued to flap and hop throughout the day and the visitors kept rolling in despite the heat – only the volunteers were flagging (two of us wore our black Osprey tee shirts which really soaked up the heat!). Around 4.30 we packed away all but one scope, a few leaflets, the photo folders and a visitor list. Two volunteers with long journeys ahead of them left and I stayed for another hour to talk to late comers and to give them a chance to see the chicks on the nest.
The visitors were again from all over the country and one family were Italian. There were lots of family groups and together parents and volunteers patiently explained what to look for through the scopes and we all shared in the delight when the chicks were at last seen, helpfully flapping away. A really good, if rather hot and tiring day.
Margaret, Joyce and Neil
Well done the team in trying conditions, and especially a hot and tired Margaret for staying on to show late arriving visitors the action. It was an exciting day with quite a few ‘helicoptering’ episodes. The wind picked up in the afternoon and inspired the youngsters to use that extra lift!
By the time Kielder Castle Cafe closed (17.30) the youngsters had been settled for a while, but maybe tomorrow’s review of late evening recorded footage will reveal a fledge.
A few images follow, but to get the best experience here is a video of two of the young ospreys taking important steps – or ‘flights’ – towards fledging. As for Blue VV, she may surprise us and be first to take off.