Nest 3 Update: they’re off!

After the successful fledges on Nests 1 and 2 attention turned to Nest 3. The hatch dates aren’t known but the chicks were clearly a couple of days or so younger than the other Kielder fledged ospreys.

So it was no surprise that observations on Wednesday and Thursday last week showed they hadn’t taken to the air – well, not for more than a few seconds! On Wednesday the female Blue VL made a couple of jumps but the male Blue VK only flapped his wings a bit.

Blue VK helicopters with his eyes firmly on where he wants to land -  the nest (c) Joanna Dailey

Blue VK helicopters with his eyes firmly on where he wants to land – the nest
(c) Joanna Dailey

On Thursday it was very gusty. Blue VL appeared to have decided not to contemplate launching off in such conditions although she exercised her wings at times. Blue VK was bolder. His father was in a favourite tree near the nest and was calling intermittently. The adult female was on the nest. Blue VK flapped, did a few jumps and climbed onto the rim. He helicoptered – would he go? No! His father came onto the nest. After a couple more helicopters Blue VK moved back from the edge.

The weather was very poor over the next few days but it is likely that at least one of the pair fledged, probably the male, on Friday when there were drier and calmer spells.

So a visit today was made in the expectation of seeing both flying. The adult female was feeding Blue VL on arrival, with Blue VK (full crop) standing near an edge. It was quite windy, but not as gusty as on Thursday. Feeding had just finished and Blue VL had stretched her wings when an alarm went out and she plunged to the bottom of the nest. An intruder was flying over the area, although not directly over the nest. The adult didn’t chase the osprey away, but mantled. Blue VK just stared! Things calmed down and Blue VK took off with only a couple of wing stretches, heading over trees left of the nest. After a couple of minutes his mother went after him, fish in talons! She soon returned, but he stayed out of sight. Another 15 minutes or so and Blue VL started stretching and jumping, then did a high helicopter. She landed, but almost immediately soared away to a tree about 100m from the nest. Again, the female went after her youngster, and Blue VL flew away out of sight behind trees. But a few minutes later she flew strongly over a clear fell before returning to the nest.

A great sight to see two more youngsters flying at Kielder. Here are some poor images, for the record only.

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7 Responses to Nest 3 Update: they’re off!

  1. Well done getting the picturesat!

  2. Vivien Finn says:

    You did well to get any pictures in windy conditions, Joanna. Wasn’t it lovely that the female took flight after each chick. She’s a caring mum keeping an eye on where her young have landed.

  3. joannadailey says:

    Thanks, both Viv’s.
    I too thought it was interesting that the female followed both of the young flyers, apparently checking where they had landed. From field monitoring the adults both seem to have done very well as (presumably) new parents.

  4. Mark Stevens says:

    Having recently toured the Lakes for a week and being impressed with the facilities to view Ospreys in the North Lakes I decided to visit Kielder on 5 Aug 14. I was hugely disappointed with the lack of info available and other people visiting were of the same opinion. There was nobody even present at the Ospreywatch viewpoint at the Waterside Park! I suggest any potential organizers visit the team in the Lakes to see how it should be done, shan’t be back!!!

  5. joannadailey says:

    We are sorry you had a disappointing trip, Mark. The blog ‘About’ page in the top bar and the Visit Kielder website both state that Osprey Watch is only manned at weekends from 11.00 to 16.30 and Wednesdays, same times, during the English school holidays. This coming weekend is the last of this year. There are information boards about ospreys at the Leaplish Waterside Park viewpoint, and leaflets inside the Boat Inn. A live stream to Leaplish has been unavailable for a few days but is working at Kielder Castle Cafe.

    • Mark Stevens says:

      I found all that out for myself Joanna but the Lakes have AA signposts directing you to fabulous, manned and well equiped viewpoints which educate people to the plight of these beautiful birds. Kielder have 3 nests with unmanned viewpoints, non working equipment and zero signposts, even the staff at Kielder Castle couldn’t direct me to a decent viewpoint. Not all travellers passing through have access to the internet site. More thought needs to be applied next year!

  6. Vivien Finn says:

    Having enough volunteers and reasonable viewing public access is often a problem for projects. I speak from experience.
    Funding is another one and in many cases that can depend on the area where the project is located. What doesn’t change is the fact that many of these projects rely on the goodwill and time given by volunteers who work hard in one way or another for the main priority. The protection of the species. Keep up the good work Kielder.

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