The first Osprey Watch of the season took place yesterday. The report from the team follows:-
First day of Osprey Watch and the forecast wasn’t good but it went well. It rained on our way there and on the drive home but we only had a few spots of rain during the Watch itself. It was cloudy which meant the nest site was quite dull and visibility was limited, if sometimes interesting. For instance, this afternoon at times we could see the nest as a silhouette with the female flapping her wings. The midges seemed to like these weather conditions so we tested our range of deterrents thoroughly.
A couple with their own telescope were waiting for us when we arrived to set up just before 10am. They were staying in Alnwick and were really interested and chatty. They spotted ospreys on trees either side of the nest – maybe the female was taking the long view too.
We couldn’t get the live feed on the monitor at all so we put the video of highlights of nest 1 in 2013 on a loop and explained to anyone looking at it what it was, and encouraged them to try the Castle Café.
Leaplish seemed quite quiet but we had about 80 visitors during the day, including a family of 9 from Oman and groups from Holland and other parts of the UK, including a couple from the Rutland Sailing Club – and Kelly’s parents (Note: Kelly is NWT Estates Officer for Kielder)! Most visitors (except Kelly’s parents, of course) seemed to have just spotted the sign for the Osprey Watch at the entrance but a good many had knowledge of other Osprey sites and all brought an interest and enthusiasm, particularly the younger visitors.
Without the monitor, our ability to tell what was happening on the nest was limited but there was lots of movement and the male seemed to spend long periods on a tree to the left behind the nest.
Just after 3pm, we had a visit from Joanna and while she was there, with no visitors around to enjoy it with us, we had a fly past from an osprey with a very lively fish, heading in the direction of the dam, calling as it went and being pursued by another osprey. What an amazing sight! Joanna reported that it was probably one of the non-breeding ospreys hanging around the area, not associated with any of the nests. For a while, we could tell anyone who came asking to see an osprey that they had just missed two….
Osprey Watch 2015 has begun……
Lynda, Joe and Gillie
More on Nest 1
Seeing – and hearing – the osprey flying past with another in pursuit was indeed a thrill. Apologies for the poor quality of the image above. Lesson, never leave the DSLR in the car!
The nestcam did stream to Kielder Castle Café until just before noon. YA brought a fish to the nest as the team set up at Leaplish. He fed Chick 1 a few morsels.
Apart from a couple of feeds the chicks performed the usual ‘mainly sleeping, some exploring’ routine.