The two subjects of this post came more or less together again on the afternoon of 27 August, the day UV had landed and removed a trout lying on the nest.
He stayed around the Kielder Forest area and in the afternoon was fairly near Nest 2 several times. He was caught by the nestcam in the middle distance. The tracker can be seen.
UV flew over the nest. Press HD for best quality.
Later he was a bit further away. The data fixes tally with the intruder’s activity.
More on UV later in this post. He wasn’t the only intruder during the past few days. This unringed female landed on the nest several times for short periods on Sunday.
On Wednesday a familiar osprey appeared after a week’s absence.
It is a little surprising he hadn’t continued his migration. He still had an empty crop and perhaps feels he needs to further build up his reserves.
As for the residents, neither 37 nor Y6 are on the nest much. Usually Y6 appears just before 37 arrives with a fish.
37 is supplying about three fish a day as far as can be determined from the 12 hours of coverage. Y6 eats part of one – or sometimes all of a small one – on the nest and then flies with leftovers. Occasionally she stays on the nest, guarding her next snack.
Generally 37 has escaped without having his leg, foot or a talon grabbed in error, but on this occasion his leg was pulled out from under him and he stumbled onto his chest.
Both ospreys are still around this afternoon. This morning 37 brought a fish but Y6 hadn’t finished an earlier delivery. The two ate side by side for a few minutes.
How much longer will they stay? A few days, if they are wise. Paul has analysed the overnight weather data:-
“The overnight runs seem to confirm some rather unsettled conditions for the next 7-8 days. There is likely to be a fair amount of rain and some days will be rather windy, with the wind being W or SW which is not favourable for migrations.”
This chart shows the forecast winds on Sunday will not be conducive to southward migration from Northumberland.
Back to UV. Although he left Northumberland on Saturday evening he returned on Monday. Since then his behaviour has been quite different to the pattern he had established previously when he would usually fly full circuits of the area taking in 2 or 3 nest sites.
He has been in Kielder Forest Park (which includes other Forests such as Wark to the south and Kershope to the west) every day since then. But – as far as the data reveals – he has only visited one nest and he hasn’t crossed the reservoir. So what is he doing? He has spent a lot of time perched in various trees in remote parts of the Forest Park sometimes by a burn or drain but sometimes not. He has also flown along and perched by rivers and burns he has visited before, but never for as many hours. His activity suggests he could be reconnoitring for a territory to settle in when – we so hope – he returns in 2017. UV is only two years old and could be three years away from breeding, so we may see more of this behaviour from him next season.