The weather at Kielder was very poor on Sunday, with heavy rain overnight and well into the afternoon. The temperature never rose above 8ºC and at the higher elevation of the nests it sleeted occasionally. But incubation has to go on regardless and the females on Nests 1 and 2 shouldered nearly all the burden – 37 didn’t even appear to boost morale on Nest 2!
Mrs YA on Nest 1 looked sodden as soon as the camera stream began.
She only turned the eggs once before she left for a minute at 11.46 and re-arranged them on her return. When she left again at just after 13.00 she covered the eggs with a twiggy stick as if to try and provide shelter!
YA landed and put in a shift for a couple of hours in the early afternoon.
Over on Nest 2 Mrs 37 looked equally unhappy.
You can see that the drain behind the nest is quite turbulent. The video below shows this more vividly. Mrs 37 had gone off for a comfort break in the morning and looked as though she was about to fly for another in the afternoon but she only did some vigorous wing flaps.
Later in the afternoon she stood off the eggs and flapped – a feather came out.
Mrs 37’s shaking resulted in a primary (P7 or P8) becoming detached from her left wing. In the moulting process primaries normally come out in pairs ie one from each wing. Was this part of a moult or an accident? Time will tell!
Many thanks to Paul for a very useful discussion on feathers and the moulting process.
The forecast is much better for tomorrow before more heavy rain and stronger winds hit parts of the UK on Tuesday, including Kielder.