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.
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.