The first ringed intruder to arrive was Blue CE.
Her ringer Brian Etheridge has kindly provided details of her origin. She hatched in 2009 at a nest in the Kildary area, Easter Ross and was ringed in July that year. She is from a brood of three. She may well have her own nest in which case she simply took advantage of a free meal before heading north.
The second ‘new’ female was one regular readers will remember. White EB has visited Kielder twice before. First, in 2014 she and 37 had a brief liaison before Mrs 37 returned. Last year she was here for a very short time, as far as the nestcams revealed, with a landing on Nest 1. She is a 2007 Tweed Valley born osprey. She has an identifiable mark on her right eye which is clear on an HD camera.
White EB was the only one of the four intruders seen in the last half hour or so of footage on Sunday. On Monday she and 37 were on Nest 2 and courtship began. Both birds were bedraggled and looked in need of a fish but 37 spent the first ¾ hour of coverage bringing in twigs, long sticks, moss – and trying to copulate.
Eventually 37 disappeared – presumably in search of a fish. EB had to fly off to collect her share a couple of hours later. She brought it back to the nest and 37 followed. He scraped and fiddled with nest material whilst EB tucked in.
During over eight hours of nestcam streaming 37 attempted to mate sixteen times but EB was not responsive. Here is a video of a (non) event at 15.15.
Despite this lack of success for 37 the pair became more relaxed with each other. EB allowed 37 to take the fish back and they dozed on separate sides of the nest.
Today began more positively for 37.
After a couple of similar couplings and some energetic ‘nestoration’ 37 flew off and arrived back a short time later with a whole fish.
Usually 37’s partner during his time at Kielder – ‘Mrs 37’ – does not return from wintering grounds until about now. This year most breeding ospreys at Projects across the UK have been early. But it would be precipitate to conclude that Mrs 37 will not return.
Meanwhile on Nest 1 there has been very little activity. YA and Mrs YA may be considering moving to the new platform although Nest 1 is still viable. This morning they were mating on Nest 1, the first such occurence for a few days.
Still early days at Kielder, watch this space!