Old ‘news’. But exciting all the same!

In August this year the only surviving osprey from three hatchlings at Nest 1 in 2011 was identifed for the first time since he left Kielder. And he wasn’t too far away!

On 11 August three birdwatchers, Keith, Russell and Joe, were in the hide at the Derwent Reservoir (another Northumbrian Water site) when they saw an osprey fly up the reservoir towards the hide. It landed on the other side of the bay.

It was very windy and wet, not good viewing conditions. But Keith had his ‘scope and through that all three observers were able to read the blue Darvic ring on the osprey – 39, and later identified the osprey’s origin. It is thought he was around for a couple of days.

Although the sighting was reported through proper channels the news took time to reach Kielder. Joe very kindly gave us the extra details above and also passed on the only image recorded in such poor weather. Taken by Russell it shows Blue 39 grounded in the heavy rain – he saw some of that at Kielder too!

Blue 39 on 11 August 2014 at Derwent Reservoir (c) Russell Stephenson

Blue 39 on 11 August 2014 at Derwent Reservoir
(c) Russell Stephenson

This is exciting news. The original unringed pair who bred on Nest 1 from 2009-11 produced 7 fledglings and two of these have been confirmed as returning to the UK, Blue 35 who had her first ever chicks at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria and now Blue 39.

For Sally, founder of the blog, this is even more special because she was at the ringing. Here is a photo she took at the event. And a link to a video.

Blue 39 at ringing on 19 July 2011 (c) Sally Hutt

Blue 39 at ringing on 19 July 2011
(c) Sally Hutt

At ringing he weighed 1610g and was thought to be probably male. This is heavy for a male but the Kielder offspring weights are usually high. As the sole survivor of the brood from an early age he had plenty of food. There was a competition at the time to name him and he was called Bracken.

He is the third Kielder male fledgling to be seen on return to the UK in the last three years. All the sightings have been SE of Kielder. Males roam around looking to find their own territory; the other two (sons of 37 on Nest 2) were both seen in early July and could have been working their way north because both were 2 year olds so almost certainly first time returning sub-adults. Blue 39 was at Derwent Reservoir (just over 30 miles from Kielder as the osprey flies) in early August. He is three years old – did he return last year? Or was this his first time? Had he been further north and was heading south again? More questions than answers, but wonderful to be able to ask them.

Many thanks to Keith, Russell and Joe for identifying him and sharing the story of their sighting. And to Anne of Durham Wildlife Trust who facilitated our contact.

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7 Responses to Old ‘news’. But exciting all the same!

    • joannadailey says:

      Yes, ViV, it is always a thrill to know any offspring has returned. It must be especially pleasing for Sally as she met him!

  1. Joyce Sawford says:

    That is an excellent post Joanna. Thanks for that and the pictures.

  2. KEITH ROGERS says:

    This is a great news and a great blog. 2011 must have been a good year as I believe 38 came from neighbouring nest 2 that same year and was photographed in Yorkshire 2013.
    For some reason I recall the name Bracken applied to 39 but may be mistaken.
    Is that now four birds from Kielder nests that have been spotted back in UK or am I missing.

    • joannadailey says:

      You are right about 38, Keith, from 37’s nest, Nest 2. And yes. Blue 39 was named Bracken in a competition. And another yes, 4 Kielder fledglings spotted back in the UK so far. Two of 37’s offspring and two from the original pair (unringed) on Nest 1 from 2009-11. It is very good news so far and hopefully 2015 will bring more returners.

  3. Vivien Finn says:

    Well done ‘Bracken’ Blue 39 on a safe return migration. That wonderful feeling you experience when one of your returning chicks has been sighted, great news for you all at Kielder Ospreys.
    A really enjoyable report, Joanna. Thank you!

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