Osprey Watch Report: 27 July. And update

A panoramic shot of Osprey Watch looking towards Nest 1 (c) Neil Richardson

A panoramic shot of Osprey Watch looking towards Nest 1. Taken on Saturday
(c) Neil Richardson

Another day without the benefit of the live camera feed so we really can’t offer much detail of life on the nest today. Joanna arrived as we were setting up to check the monitor, but no joy. Instead, she updated with more recent video clips of the chicks helicoptering and set them to run in a loop. So we left the note on the white board explaining the lack of live action.

Our weather today contrasted with yesterday’s sunshine. The morning was dry and visibility was reasonable but not good enough to make up for the lack of camera stream. We did observe the adults flying around near and onto the nest but couldn’t identify fish deliveries and didn’t spot the adults perching on their trees in the morning. However, we could see the chicks stretching their wings and helicoptering.

At lunchtime, the weather promised in the forecast began to threaten and at 1pm, the heavens opened and we had to cover the scopes quickly and protect the rest of the kit without getting too wet ourselves. That set the tone for the rest of the afternoon and we regularly debated abandoning our posts, only for the rain to ease and more visitors to arrive enthusiastic about seeing ospreys. Amazingly, most times we uncovered the telescopes, there were the chicks bobbing up and down on the nest and, by then, the adults on their trees observing from a good distance. The showers were sudden and heavy and occurred throughout the afternoon until just before 4.30pm we saw the next black cloud heading in and decided it was time to call it a day. Even then there were disappointed visitors who had to make do with looking through the files of photos of the two nests in the café. But they did seem to enjoy that almost as much.

We reckon we had 122 visitors, including some from America and all parts of the UK. Many had knowledge of other Osprey sites and all brought an interest and enthusiasm, particularly the younger visitors. Near the end of the day, a young girl showed us a photo she had taken from the ferry, of an osprey with a fish. We encouraged her to send it to the blog so we hope it arrives.

So, all in all, a very enjoyable day, despite the lack of live camera feed and the rain! As the crew of the ferry said as we left “back to normal then”!

Lynda, Joe and David

Editor’s comments

Although it must have been frustrating for the Osprey Watch volunteers and visitors to be without the live camera feed, at Kielder Castle Cafe for much of the day the only way to see all three Nest 1 chicks was via the ‘long shot’ camera because two stationed themselves in ‘private’ areas of the nest! Well done to the young girl who took the photo of an osprey; we’d love to put it on the blog.

There were two part eaten fish on the nest when the streaming started at 09.00. These enabled the chicks to snack intermittently until YA brought in a fresh catch at about 15.15. This was snatched by, you guessed it, Blue VT. The new fuel intake inspired her to make her biggest leap/mini helicopter of the day about an hour later.

Blue VT's jump is tracked by her siblings (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue VT’s jump is tracked by her siblings
(c) Forestry Commission England

The highest/longest helicoptering of the day was by Blue UV; it lasted 17 seconds and he went beyond the nest edge before drifting back. Heartstopping stuff for humans! The image below is from an earlier more modest effort of just 5 seconds.

YA looks on from the top of a tree on the left as his son White UV helicopters (c) Forestry Commission England

YA looks on from the top of a tree on the left as his son Blue UV helicopters
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue VV was less active than the other two, but she did have a few large leaps during the day.

Blue VV tries to show off her prowess but Mum isn't looking (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue VV tries to show off her prowess but Mum isn’t looking
(c) Forestry Commission England

Finally, an image of three great looking youngsters on one of the occasions they were all in view of the nestcam.

The chicks together for once (c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks together for once
(c) Forestry Commission England

 

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