A new home for the Nest 1 pair?

As the name suggests Nest 1 is the oldest established nest site in Kielder Forest, first occupied in 2009. The young blocks of timber between it and Kielder Water will eventually prevent the panoramic view that is a prerequisite for most breeding Ospreys. The nestcam was replaced for the 2013 season but you can get an idea of growth 2011- 2015 from these images

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Also the older trees in the immediate vicinity of  Nest 1 are still growing whereas the top was removed from the spruce that bears the platform.

Kielder Forest is the largest planted forest in Northern Europe. About 3.5 million trees are planted each year just to replace the ones harvested, so wouldn’t it be easy for the Ospreys to find themselves a new home if they feel a need? Well yes and no – most of the trees are a uniform height, Nest 2 being a notable exception, therefore unappealing to a bird wanting a home with a view. An area of windblown trees leaning against other might be suitable, but what if the trees continue to fall over, or the location is vulnerable to disturbance?

Forestry Commission England have erected platforms on telegraph poles of late. This allows a much wider choice of suitable location than searching for a satisfactory tree as used for Nest 1 and Nest 3. A good site fairly near Nest 1 has been found so if the breeding pair do become dissatisfied with the current nest there is an easy option waiting for them. Here are photos  of some of the preparation work by the digger.

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Once the pole was safely bedded in Wildlife Ranger Paul could fix the platform and transform the bare metal into an attractive looking nest.

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A camera was fitted by Forestry Commission Radio and Electronics Branch in case the platform is used this year. The site is far enough away from Nest 1 that another Osprey may lay claim to it if the Nest 1 pair use their successful nest again.

A view of the new platform with nestcam (c) Joanna Dailey

A view of the new platform with nestcam
(c) Joanna Dailey

The platform is visible with binoculars from the south shore at Leaplish – the site of NWT-run Osprey Watch – and at various other points eg Tower Knowe Visitor Centre. The platform is nearer than Nest 1 and it is more easily identified because of standing on the skyline as seen from the Osprey Watch viewpoint. It is just visible with the naked eye at Leaplish.

The view from Leaplish (c) Joanna Dailey

The view from Leaplish
(c) Joanna Dailey

If there are a similar number of intruding Ospreys as in 2015 (ten ringed and several unringed) then inspections of the potential nest are likely so the Osprey Watch ‘scopes could be busy!

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6 Responses to A new home for the Nest 1 pair?

  1. M Simmonds says:

    Thank you Joanna for such a comprehensive report.

  2. vivien Finn says:

    Good news Joanna and a lovely report to read. Thank you.

  3. More nest sites for the coming year?. Great! Was there interest in the new Bakethin site last year?

    • joannadailey says:

      The 2015 logbook from the Bakethin hide only had one report of an Osprey showing an interest in the Bakethin platform. One, thought to be unringed, ate a fish on it in early May. Intermittent early/late in the day monitoring didn’t result in any sightings.

  4. Tony Wilson says:

    What is the closest distance two nests could be located to each other, and what is the distance between the nests at kielder.

    • joannadailey says:

      In the US where there is a much larger number of Ospreys active nests in some densely populated areas with very good fish supply are as close as 55-65m apart (source: US Fish and Wildlife Service). In the UK nesting so closely would be extremely unlikely. At Kielder active nests are several km apart.

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