On 15 August UV paid a relatively short visit to Kielder Forest – under four hours. The next day he returned for about eight hours. His presence was noted by ospreys at two nests at least, Nests 2 and 4. He – or his impact – may be visible on footage at Nest 3 when it is downloaded tomorrow. The first part of this post will cover the Nest 2 intrusions then Paul will describe events at Nest 4.
UV’s battery has been very near shut down because until this week the weather has been overcast or wet and he has been sheltering in woods which has exacerbated the situation. So on 15 August fixes were infrequent but some were very near Nest 2 and Nest 3. On his first pass across the Nest 2 site no ospreys were on the nest but it was a different matter an hour or so later. The fix at 13.03 BST showed UV perched on a clear fell near Nest 2. Before he arrived there he annoyed Y4 and Y6.
Given the number of intrusions at Nest 2 why do we think that was UV? On the next image you can just make out the tracker on his back.
The intruder circled over the immediate nest area for several more minutes but wasn’t caught by the nestcam.
Between the 13.03 fix and the next one at 13.54 UV moved position. At 13.18 Y4 and Y6 appeared to react to an instruction from an adult to lie flat – thanatosis. They couldn’t resist following some action in the sky.
This could have been either 37 or EB escorting UV away from the clear fell, where he would have been very visible to an over-flying bird. His next perch was in a block of timber out of line of site of the nest. This interpretation is speculation but the next day there is clearer evidence thanks to a combination of more fixes and UV cooperating better with the nestcam!
UV arrived around 11.00 BST. A few minutes later a fix showed him apparently perched on Nest 2 and the nestcam confirmed it.
Here’s the footage of the event.
The next fix showed UV perched a short distance away; almost certainly on the tree that housed the nest platform from 2011-2013. The Nest 2 family still use it to perch and eat.
UV didn’t stay long but returned in the afternoon. Shortly before 14.00 for about 30 minutes he was around the area and at times close to the nest. Like this time!
He then perched on clear fell. The nestcam showed an intruder in the sky during this period, yet fixes were quite close together. Did UV have another quick sortie? No, the osprey flew close enough to determine it was unringed.
Neither the fixes nor the nestcam suggest UV re-visited the immediate surroundings of the nest.
On 16 August he spent more time near Nest 4 than Nest 2, which is usually his focus. All the information is from tracking which uses UTC for fixes, so add on an hour to convert to BST. Over to Paul…
On Tuesday morning, Y8 had flown away from the nest and was down in a nearby valley, when he had some uninvited company… It was UV! The two young birds remained within 30m of each other for about half an hour before both flew off in different directions. Y8 landed further along the block margin, where he was again joined by UV a few minutes later…
This time, the track indicates that both were on the same perch or in adjacent trees. They remained together for a few minutes until 12:45 UTC, when UV flew off again in the direction of Nest 2.
This behaviour confirms many observations of young ospreys being quite relaxed in each other’s company, when well away from any nest. It is comparable to their behaviour down in Africa during the winter, where ospreys seem to be much more companionable and even roost overnight in small communal groups.