YA began his Easter Sunday by going over to Nest 2 and – unlike his limited housekeeping on his own nest – placed some branches round the edge. Then he scraped to make the nest cup for eggs. Hang on, he hasn’t done that at his nest yet this year, as far as we know!
But maybe he sensed something was about to happen, because under two hours later at exactly noon the Nest 2 female arrived home.
She may have thought 37 was already here – he was in 2013 and 2014, the only years for which we have detailed dates – but 15 minutes she found out who had been on her nest. The female had flown off when YA landed and mantled immediately. She came onto the nest and for 2 minutes YA mantled as she watched. Then he tried to mate.
She seemed receptive.
This was the first of many attempts at copulation and the female raised her tail on most occasions. After over three hours of this YA flew off and instead of returning within 10 minutes or so he wasn’t seen again at Nest 2.
Unfortunately the Nest 1 camera streams both crashed late in the afternoon so it isn’t clear if he went back to his own nest. A third osprey seemed to be in a tree near Nest 1 whilst YA was over at Nest 2 but it disappeared from view by about 14.45 without being seen on Nest 1. Was it YA’s female, and did he return to her in late afternoon? It seems unlikely that she would be near but not on the nest, even briefly.
This is the first year at Kielder that an established female has returned before her male when another established male is already present without any female to court. The next few days could be very interesting.
The Nest 1 coverage may re-boot overnight but if not it is unlikely to be fixed until the middle of the week given tomorrow is a holiday. Some field observations may provide evidence of another osprey around.
There is no sign yet of the Nest 3 pair.