What an incredible day!
The previous post contains the bare bones about the first three fledges on Kielder Nests 1 and 2; an hour and 1 minute after Blue 8H took to the skies Blue VV, who looked uncertain, flew confidently away from Nest 1. So four fledges in just over six hours. Wow!
To summarise, the fledged ospreys in order of fledging are:-
Blue VT, who is one of the first two hatches on Nest 1; they were so close together (within a maximum of 13 hours off camera) it has been impossible to identify the elder chick of the pair. Fledged at 09.28
Blue UV the youngest Nest 1 chick by a day and a bit. Fledged at 14.30
Blue 8H eldest Nest 2 chick. Fledged at 14.31
Blue VV the other of the first two hatches on Nest 1. Fledged at 15.32
Usually a male osprey fledges before slightly older female siblings. And Blue UV has done the most flapping, jumping and helicoptering on Nest 1. Blue VT seemed to do the least before fledging although she was normally first to grab a fish. She wasn’t blown off the nest, it was a calm day, so her fledge was a bit of a surprise to observers. Here is a video of her confident first flight. Without the ‘long shot’ camera we would not have known because she was out of view of the nestcam.
That camera was valuable later too, because she arrived back in the area and was visible on trees around the nest before her landing – an accomplished one – back ‘home’.
Blue UV and Blue VV seemed rather unsettled by their sister’s departure and for most of the morning stayed out of nestcam shot too, just standing in a corner or immediately under the nestcam. But her arrival stimulated both movement into the centre of nestcam range and flapping and jumping. It only took 10 minutes for Blue UV to decide he could match Blue VT. Images on the previous blog, video to follow.
Over on Nest 2 the young ospreys hadn’t done much exercise all morning. When the nestcam stream started Blue 8H was eating a fish. Soon after Mrs 37 took over and the other two fed from her and then snoozed; 37 brought a new trout in at 11.35 but they didn’t bother to get up so off he went with it. From about 12.30 Blue 7H and Blue 8H flapped and jumped at times, but there was no real preparation before Blue 8H’s leap off the edge at 14.31. Image of take off on previous post.
She returned within a couple of minutes, inspiring some flapping from her sisters. But the next fledge was on Nest 1.
Blue VV sat on the edge of the nest after Blue VT’s return and Blue UV’s fledge, flapping her wings at times. Blue VT seemed to think she needed encouragement to fly because she leapt across the nest and landed on Blue VV, almost pushing her off.
But it took quite a few more flaps before take-off, which was greeted by a then packed Kielder Castle Cafe with loud cheers!
A really remarkable day at Kielder, and perhaps a review of the footage between 17.30 and 20.00 will show yet another fledge!