Osprey Watch Report: 8 August 2015

Here’s Saturday’s Report, lots of action mostly off nest!:-

Another great day at Kielder without rain or midges and just enough sunshine. We had around 100 visitors, including people from Germany and a couple from further north who had cycled here via the Lake District and Carlisle: more came from all parts of the UK, notably a well-travelled astronomer from Ashington, and a visitor from Scotland who knows Ospreys and Roy Dennis very well. We had lots of interesting questions, including one from a man who works in Afghanistan and rides in Osprey helicopters on whether he should watch out for Osprey birds there – we thought he could watch for migrating Ospreys but he thought he should be looking for other predators… Other questions: how fast do Ospreys fly and how long do they take on migration: we did our research and had answers ready but the visitors did not return to hear them! There was a high level of interest from all visitors.

We had a very good number of families with very good children: the children were all interested in what we were doing, they used the telescopes properly and effectively, and there was a good take-up of stickers and of Osprey masks.

For much of the Watch, there were birds flying and sitting in trees on the other side of the reservoir. Others may have been Osprey but there were 2 or 3 Buzzards flying near the ridge in late morning, and just before mid-day, an Osprey was seen hunting over the far side of the Scout Camp with another Osprey nearby.

On Nest 1, around 11.15am, two Ospreys landed.

YA flies off after delivering a fish for VY (c) Forestry Commission England

YA flies off after delivering a fish for VY
(c) Forestry Commission England

On the monitor, VY was seen eating a fish near the front of the nest and, through the telescopes, we could see an adult on the camera pole. We presume that YA was keeping a close eye on the consumption of the fish!

At about 13.40 VP was on the nest and became very agitated.

VP mantles and tells the intruder where to go (c) Forestry Commission England

VP mantles and tells the intruder where to go!
(c) Forestry Commission England

An intruder was spotted, VP mantled and YA returned to drive off the intruder.

A blurry ring as the Scottish  intruder flies near the nest (c) Forestry Commission England

A blurry ring as the Scottish intruder flies near the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Shortly after, Mrs YA brought in half a fish for VP.

VP has snatched the fish from Mrs YA so she's off! (c) Forestry Commission England

VP has snatched the fish from Mrs YA so she’s off!
(c) Forestry Commission England

There was lots of activity around and about Nest 1 but, most of the time, there was no-one on the nest – so we mostly kept the monitor on Nest 2. There, for most of the Watch, there was at least an adult present. In the afternoon, one or both chicks were on the nest most of the time and, just before 3pm, a fish was brought in. One chick seemed to keep hold of the fish and feed well with the other trying various approaches to getting their share, not sure how successfully! Just after 4pm, Mrs 37 returned and some of us saw a tug of war over a fish between her and VS.

VM referees the struggle for possession (c) Forestry Commission England

VM referees the struggle for possession
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 37 won, proceeded to eat the fish with the two chicks nudging closer and closer to make it clear they wanted some too. The pictures from Nest 2 were breaking up then and it was after 4.30pm so we don’t know the outcome of this tussle.

Another really enjoyable day at Leaplish with the visitors and the Osprey.

Lynda, Joe and David

The intruder is Scottish but the ring number was mostly very blurry as you can see on the image above. The same bird has intruded a couple of times on both Nests 1 and 2 in recent days but we only have a partial number so far.

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