The Kielder weather in the morning into early afternoon was better than forecast but then it went somewhat downhill! Nevertheless visitors looked on the bright side as these reports show.
Osprey Watch Report: 26 June
We hosted 125 visitors – as usual they were a combination of day trippers, longer term holiday makers, bird watchers, old and young, male and female, all of whom were lovely people. Judging by the comments on the visitor sheets they all had an enjoyable experience.
The birds, of course, were the star performers. YA delivered a fish which was more whale than trout.
All nest occupants fed well from this monster during two feeding sessions. There was no competition between the juveniles and they seemed to become visibly bigger as the day went on. Mrs YA was happy to let YA do the feeding of the “chicks” when he brought the leftovers from meal one back to the nest.
Gillie, Margaret & Brian
During the second feed Mrs YA came over to take the fish from YA. This is what happened!
Mrs YA regained control and fed chick 4 his portion controlled serving.
Now Gillie’s report on the cruise.
Calvert Trust Motor Boat Cruise: 26 June
The forecast for Kielder had been unpromising. Chance of rain – 6pm 90%, 7pm 100% and 8pm 90%. NOT what any of us was wanting! However, David and Patrick assured the gathering cruise-takers that ospreys had been seen recently in similarly poor conditions, so everyone brightened up.
Having been on the Osprey Watch all day, I knew that the growing chicks had been provided with a large fish at about 13.20pm. They were well fed and content after two feeds from it. Maybe they would not need another meal. However, I assured the group in my boat that we have more ospreys in the area than a few years ago, so any of them could be out fishing. In the drizzle and low cloud, we saw little for the first hour or so, but we talked ospreys and other birds, learnt a bit more about each other and admired the sand martins, passing cormorants, a herring gull, and a group of mallards, with the males going into eclipse plumage and looking a bit more scruffy than their usual irridescent selves. Then at 7.15pm, there was a crackle on our radio from the other boat. Patrick announced that there was an osprey coming from the dam. It was quite high up, but all could see that it had a fish, and it flew towards Nest 1A, so could have been YA out again. All occupants of the boat had a good view, and were happy at the sighting. Everyone relaxed and compared photos of small black dots against a grey and rainy sky! There would be more detail when enlarged and augmented back home, I was assured. Then, about 20 minutes later, I heard a buzzard mewing over the trees on the northern shore. I was kneeling in the bottom of the boat to get a better view, and saw a buzzard harassing an osprey. Patrick radioed the news to David on the other boat. The clash of raptors continued for some minutes before we lost them as they dropped behind the tree line. Again, people were very happy.
In my boat we had a couple from Newcastle, a couple from the Durham area, and a lady from London. Her husband had agreed that she could have the last place, as only one had been available at the time they had booked. A place did become available at the last minute, but not until he had driven away. What a pity! Les was leading the larger boat, with David driving that one. All the boaters seemed happy as we all handed back out life jackets.
So was the fishing osprey seen by the boats YA? Probably!