When nestcam streaming started today all seemed very normal on both nests. The weather was very chilly with some wintry showers and the incubating females were both quite ‘tight’ on their clutches. But at 10.07 when Mrs 37 stood to shuffle her eggs it looked like a fourth egg was present. Click to enlarge the image.
Another tiny adjustment didn’t help, but when she flew off at 11.08 there was the proof.
A careful review of footage found no evidence of the actual egg laying before 18.00 yesterday and 09.00 today, and it was definitely not laid in the first 67 minutes today. 37 came to do his share of incubation at 12.07.
This is the first time that four eggs have been laid on one nest at Kielder. Inevitably given that Mrs 37 mated with YA on a number of occasions prior to 37’s return the question arises ‘could the first egg be YA’s?’ Possibly, but equally possibly not. Here is a very informative piece by Paul Wildlifewriter which answers many questions about eggs. Many thanks to him for permission to post it here.