After a very wet day on Friday it was good news for the Osprey Watch teams that the forecast of good weather for the weekend was accurate! It is worth noting that despite difficult fishing conditions on Friday four fish were delivered to Nest 1 by YA during streaming, rather more than usual.
Saturday’s Osprey Watch received 187 visitors from all parts of the UK and as usual they were in awe of Kielder and indeed the whole of Northumberland. Late on in the day there were visitors from Malaysia and Ireland. Brian, Margaret and Neil commented that there were a lot of young people, none of whom seemed bored and all wanted to see the nest or at least the camera pole where an osprey was often visible. If a bird was there, so much the better, but it almost seemed secondary!
Comparing the long shot footage with the nestcam it was clear that most often it was one of the juveniles on the pole, the adults preferring the more commanding view from a tall conifer. Of course the juvenile on a pole was very well placed when a fish arrived!
Mrs YA and Mrs 37 were both in evidence but they are likely to start their migration soon. Mrs 37 usually departs around 17 August from the nest area.
Sunday’s Osprey Watch Report follows:-
A beautiful summer Sunday started with a flurry of visitors as we were setting up and they continued in a fairly steady flow until 17.00 as we tidied away. The total of about 200 included holidaymakers from across Britain and few day trippers from both sides of the border. Some knew about ospreys before they arrived, having seen them elsewhere, but many arrived knowing very little and left, after viewing and chatting, as new osprey fans! We were also visited by some members of staff who missed seeing the birds’ progress on the screen in the bar.
At about 11.15 VY arrived back on Nest 1 and soon received a fish from YA. VP arrived 5 minutes later but her sister was not inclined to share! Around midday, Mrs YA arrived (she’s still around then) and, after moving some sticks around, found some fish scraps to consume.
Two other birds were visible in nearby trees. During the afternoon both VY and VP spent some time on the nest with fish, but left it much more than the 2 chicks on Nest 2, who seemed much less inclined to get out and explore.
Later in the afternoon, a thrush was spotted scavenging on Nest 1 and and Mrs YA delivered a fish to VP, who promptly flew off to devour it elsewhere. (Note: Mrs YA brought back part of a fish she had taken off the nest earlier.)
At the start and end of the day we were fortunate to see several ospreys in flight over the lake, aided in the afternoon by a visitor from Co. Wicklow (visiting a friend in Alnwick) who turned out to be an expert spotter. She works on a Little Tern project and was very interested in Osprey Watch, particularly commenting on the stamina of the volunteers doing full day shifts!
All in all, an excellent day with plenty of opportunity for the visitors and volunteers to enjoy the Kielder ospreys before they set off for sunnier climes.
Cath, Margaret and David
Finally, here is a link to a beautifully written blog by Paul Wildlifewriter following his recent long planned visit. It was a delight to welcome Pip too, who with husband Vic located 7H in Morocco in February. Her phone call with the news echoes in the mind even now!