The last day of Osprey Watch for this year and rain stopped play early – how sad is that? We had heard the warnings of storms and heavy rain associated with the remnants of what was Hurricane Bertha but it wasn’t bad when we arrived at 10am so we hoped Bertha would hold off.
The morning was cloudy but visibility was good enough. We saw Osprey activity from the start with birds on the nest and flying around it. There was an extended period when two Ospreys were doing synchronised flying around the nest – a wonderful display.
There was a light shower at 11.30am and we covered up the telescopes. But, as soon as it stopped, visitors were back, keen to see what they could. However, there was little to see. The trained eye could locate the shape of the nest but the chances of seeing ospreys in the mist seemed remote and visitors had to make do with our descriptions and the video loop on the outside monitor – clearly not today, as then the sun was shining!
The rain set in more heavily at mid-day and by 1pm, we decided that sufficient improvement was unlikely and we put the equipment away for the last time.
During our short session, we had just under 50 visitors, including several family groups with 4 or 5 children and others, all keen. We had visitors from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, from Rutland Water and from Bassenthwaite, and, as we were packing up, we met a family of four sheltering from the rain and watching the screen. We encouraged them to add a visit to Kielder Castle to their plans for later in the week, to see the exhibition and the live camera feed, we hope.
So, another Osprey Watch season ends, not as spectacularly as we would have liked – maybe a flyover by all eight chicks in bright sunshine – but with the enthusiasm of our visitors to compensate.
Lynda, Joe and Paul
What a shame the last Osprey Watch ended in a damp squib way after such a dynamite season!
Lynda and Joe were on duty on 27 July and reported a young visitor had taken a photo of an osprey from the ferry. By a happy coincidence we received copies of a couple of shots on Sunday, so a lovely way to end this report! Her parents told us that Kara, aged 11, wished to visit Kielder from her home in Chester-le-Street specifically to take some landscape photos with her new camera. Whilst Kara was taking photos from the ferry she also captured the osprey with a fish!
After the trip she was so excited she insisted on returning to Osprey Watch to show the volunteers – hence the mention in the 27 July report. Our gratitude to the family for sharing the story and Kara’s images, and for their thanks to Lynda, Joe and David, the volunteers that day, for making her feel special.
If any other readers have taken photos of the Kielder ospreys we’d love to see them.