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 Osprey 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, during the breeding season live video-feeds from Nest 1A, Nest 2 and Nest 4 are provided at Kielder Castle and of Nest 1A and Nest 2 in the cabin behind the Boat Inn at Kielder Waterside. You can 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, including a summary of that season on Nest 1, can be found on the Kielder Ospreys Vimeo website. Since 2016, short clips are embedded in posts on the blog. It is hoped that Nest 1A will be streamed live on the web in 2018.
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 21 April, Osprey Watch will be running from Kielder Waterside every Saturday, Sunday, and Bank Holiday Monday (10:30 – 17:00) with Wednesdays added from July. It will run up until late August, when the ospreys will migrate 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.
Brief history of Kielder Ospreys
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. The original pair were unringed. By 2016 Kielder Forest was home to four breeding pairs of ospreys. Significant events each year can be found on the Timeline 2008-2017.
The males on Nest 1A and Nest 2 (established 2011) are full brothers. The second osprey to fledge in Wales in modern times is Nest 2’s Yellow 37, hatched at Glaslyn in 2005. Nest 1A’s White YA hatched there in 2007 and has bred at Kielder since 2012.
Breeding took place on Nest 3 for the first time in 2014. The same unringed pair have returned each year since.
In 2016, White EB replaced 37’s original unringed mate. She hatched in Tweed Valley in 2007, and bred there in 2010. That same year, Blue 69, a 2011 male from the Loch Lomond area, and his unringed mate produced their first 2 offspring at Nest 4.
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.