Is it really migration time?

In the once lawless borderlands around Kielder, dominated centuries ago by Border Reivers from North and South of the border, the ospreys are not behaving according to the rule books! Although the Nest 2 and 3 females have not been seen for a couple of weeks all the other ospreys are very much present and there are few signs of imminent departure.

This is not totally surprising because although UK osprey migration is well underway the Kielder young usually hatch late in the season and this year was no exception. But the fish deliveries by the males have still not tailed off significantly and the young are showing little indication of growing independence.

The juveniles still squabble on most occasions a fish arrives on the nest. Sometimes minor injuries result. Blue VV tried to take a fish off Blue VT on 23 August just off camera and when she returned she seemed to have blood (not trout!) on her nostril.

Blue VV appears to have a minor injury to her nostril  (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue VV appears to have a minor injury to her nostril
(c) Forestry Commission England

The adults still aren’t safe, as 37 found out when his toe was grabbed by Blue 9H today.

Blue 9H gets 37's toe not the fish (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 9H gets 37’s toe not the fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

Despite her enthusiasm Blue 9H missed out to Blue 8H and not for the first time.

Blue 8H has grabbed the fish from Blue 9H (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 8H has grabbed the fish from Blue 9H
(c) Forestry Commission England

Sometimes when YA brings a fish in to Nest 1 it isn’t a juvenile who is waiting.

Mrs YA takes the trout (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA takes the trout
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA is an infrequent visitor to Nest 1 now as she prepares to leave, but sometimes brings a fish herself. This delivery from her was on 24 August.

Mrs YA lands with a part fish (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA lands with a part fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

But she is also keen to collect uneaten remains; this image is from today.

Mrs YA collects the rather large 'scrap' left by her young (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA collects the rather large ‘scrap’ left by her young
(c) Forestry Commission England

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2 Responses to Is it really migration time?

  1. That is absolutely fascinating. Thank you for that roundup, Joanna.

  2. joannadailey says:

    Thanks ViV, I meant to do a link to something about Border Reivers but forgot! I’ll look now.

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