Osprey Watch Report: 18 July 2015. Plus more!

The report for today follows:-

Cool and windy when we arrived and spitting with rain.

There was a part fish in Nest 1 when we first checked the screen but the chicks didn’t seem to be interested in eating while on Nest 2 we could not see any fish but the image was poor and the female was on the nest along with the two chicks. Throughout the day each time we checked Nest 2 there were three ospreys on the nest.

Around 11.00 through the scopes adults were seen  flying around Nest 1 and by lunchtime the chicks on Nest 1 were much more active with lots of preening.

Joint preening session (c) Forestry Commission England

Joint preening session
(c) Forestry Commission England

There was some flapping and Blue VP achieved a respectable jump.

Blue VY fed herself while one of the adults observed from the camera pole.

VY tucks in as VP waits patiently (c) Forestry Commission England

VY tucks in as VP waits patiently
(c) Forestry Commission England

At this time the chicks on Nest 2 were being fed – probably by mum. By now we had had a steady trickle of visitors after a slow start.

Around 12.30 one of the adults flew backwards and forwards over the nest several times before settling in a tree on the left of the nest while the other could be seen on the camera pole. Half an hour later the chicks in Nest 1 huddled low in the nest with heavy rain falling. The rain spread to us at Leaplish along with gusts of wind, one of which launched the large umbrella out of its stand and over the fence. Paul and David retrieved the now rather muddy umbrella and the broken strut returning it to the cabin.

Finally, about an hour later YA delivered part of a fish. The chicks took no interest until Mrs YA arrived and started eating the fish herself. Blue VY begged for and got fed while Blue VP sat close but did not push to be fed.

Mrs YA feeds VY (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA feeds VY
(c) Forestry Commission England

After 10 minutes or so Mrs YA left having either finished the fish or taking the remainder with her. The weather had improved and the chicks had a good flap and Blue VY got both feet off the nest. She also got very close to the edge of the nest making us all avid watchers of the TV screen. During the rest of the afternoon both YA & Mrs YA added sticks and moss to the nest with Dad leaving a long thin branch on top of Blue VY who either did not notice or did not care although eventually she did move it.

VP is very vocal but had reason for complaint this time! (c) Forestry Commission England

VP is very vocal but had reason for complaint this time!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Rain set in about 15.30 for nearly an hour – there were no visitors and it was so quiet that the rabbits came out onto the grass right by the cabin doors! Around 16.00 it began to brighten up and lots of flapping, particularly from Blue VY (again rather too close to the edge of the nest).

VY on an edge again (c) Forestry Commission England

VY on an edge again
(c) Forestry Commission England

We had 11 visitors in the last ½ hour, including Lilly, a very polite little girl who, although not quite 3, was keen to know about the ospreys and spent a lot of time studying the information boards and photographs along with her parents, and took an Osprey pencil holder away with her as a memento of her visit.

We had around 65 visitors in all, including couples from near Stonehenge and from France and one couple who had been “instructed” by a friend to visit the Kielder ospreys – the friend being a volunteer at the Bassenthwaite Osprey Watch.

We had fly pasts by a flock of shelduck and a brief appearance by a pair of oystercatchers but unfortunately no sightings of the ospreys fishing.

David, Paul and Margaret

Additional stuff!

Nest 2 first – when the nestcam stream started it was clear that the juveniles had fed recently as Mrs 37 was eating and the youngsters were ‘resting’! As the report states, Mrs 37 spent a lot of time on the nest today. Perhaps the high wind meant it was more comfortable there than the top of the nestcam pole where she spends much of her time usually. During one rainy spell she tried to shelter the youngsters.

Mrs 37 can only cover the heads these days! (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 37 can only cover the heads these days!
(c) Forestry Commission England

The Nest 2 nestcam isn’t providing as good images as we’d like, plus there have been technical issues converting video, but hopefully readers can get an idea of the readiness (or not!) to fledge of the nestlings from this video.N2 button

Another video of Nest 1 action yesterday suggests that the first fledge should be from that nest.N1 buttonThe oldest juvenile is VY and she is 53 days old tomorrow, the average age to fledge. Nevertheless she hasn’t ‘helicoptered’ high above the nest to get the confidence for that first take off. She may well provide visitors to Osprey Watch tomorrow with the great sight of an unfledged juvenile hovering a few feet above the nest!

 

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