The Kielder Ospreys blog is managed and updated by volunteers on behalf of The Kielder Osprey Project. The project is a partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and the Forestry Commission. Northumberland Wildlife Trust manages the volunteers that run the public viewing point for the watch. The Forestry Commission provide the technological infrastructure that allows us to see the nests and monitor the ospreys’ progress. All of this is very much dependent on donations from the public either at the viewing point, when it is open, or through the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s donation page.
Thanks to the Forestry Commission, live video-feeds from Nest 1A, Nest 2 and Nest 4 are provided at Kielder Castle and of Nest 1A in the new cabin behind the Boat Inn at Kielder Waterside. You can also see clips of the recorded video footage from 2011 and additional information on the Forestry Commission’s website. Clips of video footage from 2013 onwards can be found on the Kielder Ospreys Vimeo website. A video is also available of the 2013 season on Nest 1.
Since 2009 a watch point has helped show off these wonderful birds to the visitors who make the trip to Kielder Water & Forest Park. Starting from 15 April, Osprey Watch will be running from Kielder Waterside every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (10:30 am – 16:30 pm) up until late August once the ospreys have migrated to warmer climates. You will be able to observe them through telescopes, watch live webcams, and learn about the ospreys at Kielder with the help of Northumberland Wildlife Trust volunteers. Ospreys can be seen flying over Leaplish Bay and some visitors are lucky enough to see a catch.
For many years ospreys were seen passing through Kielder without stopping, always on the way north to more long-standing nesting sites in Scotland. As more and more of the best nesting spots were taken it was just a matter of time before they stayed south of the border. To encourage this, the Forestry Commission installed a number of platforms around the Forest after a failed attempt to nest by two young birds in 2008. This paid off, as following an absence of about 200 years in Northumberland, ospreys returned to nest at Kielder in 2009. By 2016 Kielder Forest was home to four breeding pairs of ospreys. Significant events each year can be found on the Timeline 2008-2016.
Since 2014 Blue 35, a female hatched in 2010, has bred with a Lake District hatched male, White YW, at Foulshaw Moss in South Cumbria. Blue 35 is the chick at the rear in the photo below.
Improved nestcams over 2012/2013 allowed colour ring numbers of the breeding ospreys to be read for the first time. The males on Nest 1/Nest 1A and Nest 2 are full brothers. The second osprey to fledge in Wales in modern times is 37, hatched at Glaslyn in 2005. YA hatched there in 2007. Research has indicated that male ospreys normally establish their own nests 30-40 miles from their birthplace. To have the pair breeding a few miles apart at Kielder Water & Forest Park is truly amazing. Two other brothers are breeding in Dumfries and Galloway and South Cumbria so this seems to be a pioneering family.