About Nest 5

We’ve mentioned the new natural nest – Nest 5 – a couple of times in posts. Here’s more detail.

The nest site is in an area of windblow – trees uprooted by the prevailing winds. When a block of timber is felled, trees at the edge of an adjacent block become exposed to the weather, and there will often be fallen trees within a few months. Many end up at angles to the ground because as they topple they hit others that remain upright.

The birds have built a nest in a fork at the top of a tree which is still standing straight. They have done a very good job.

the pair in the nest watching an intruder
(c) Forestry Commission England

Overall, the nest isn’t quite as deep as it appears from that angle, which is looking towards a fork that the pair infilled with sticks.

Both ospreys are Scottish. The male is Blue CN2, who has intruded regularly at Kielder nests since 2016, when he was 3 years old. He hatched near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.

Blue CN2 perched near his nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

CN2 bringing sticks to the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

The female is a year younger. Blue FF1 was also 3 years old when first seen on a Kielder nest camera in 2017. She is from a nest in central Perthshire.

FF1’s ring is partially visible
(c) Forestry Commission England

FF1 looks towards her nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

FF1 overwinters at Somone Lagoon in Senegal, which is  also EB’s winter home.

FF1 in January 2016 at Somone Lagoon
(c) Chris Wood

Hindsight is a wonderful attribute, and it is now clear that the pair bonded last year. Late in the season they were intruding at similar times.

During monitoring, only 1 chick was seen peeping over the nest edge. It isn’t known why it died. But, encouragingly, the adults held their territory and were both on the nest in the week beginning 20 August.

FF1 on 20 August
(c) Forestry Commission England

CN2 intruded on Nests 2 and 4 in early September, and was on Nest 4 as late in the season as 13 September.

CN2 just after landing on Nest 2
(c) Forestry Commission England

CN2 rearranges Nest 4
(c) Forestry Commission England

It is a great thrill in our 10th year of breeding to host a new pair in Kielder Forest, despite no fledglings for them this year. Safe migrations to both birds, and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2019.

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Look who is back!

The nestcams are still recording, but lately corvids and kestrels have been the main visitors. There was a surprise this afternoon.

just after landing
(c) Forestry Commission England

YA was mantling as he landed – possibly at corvids – but he soon began to eat. And eat!

building up his reserves
(c) Forestry Commission England

He is still standing with the fish as this is typed, 16.20.

YA was last on camera when streaming stopped on 5 September. He is usually only around for 1 or 2 days after his last offspring has migrated. If he doesn’t leave tomorrow or early on Monday, he is likely to be trapped by Storm Helene for another couple of days.

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Going, going… are all the ospreys gone?

Nest 2’s Bamburgh was last seen on 11 September, when she received 2 trout from 37 during streaming hours.  Bamburgh hadn’t quite finished fish 1 before 37 arrived with another.

a new fish before the 1st one was polished off
(c) Forestry Commission England

She managed to eat part of fish 2 before 37 came to help out.

37 eats from Bamburgh’s discard
(c) Forestry Commission England

37 consumed very little, and Bamburgh tucked in again. She was then on and off the nest a few times, but has not been seen since late afternoon on 11 September.

Bamburgh just before flying
(c) Forestry Commission England

Yesterday, 37 landed with a part eaten fish and stayed – just looking about – for over 30 minutes. Circumstantial evidence that Bamburgh was no longer around!

a last look around by 37 before flying
(c) Forestry Commission England

There are frequent spells of rain today, but 37 has probably begun his migration.

Meanwhile, over on Nest 4, the kestrel has enjoyed a couple of meals on the nest.

probably a vole for starters…
(c) Forestry Commission England

That one took 4 minutes to consume, and it wasn’t long until the next course was caught.

… and for a top up
(c) Forestry Commission England

It’s good to see something when reviewing the footage!

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Osprey update – and some different species

Bamburgh is still at Nest 2, with her 2nd fish of the day. She still had a remnant of the first offering from 37 when he brought the 2nd. This is Bamburgh about an hour before fish 2 arrived.

Bamburgh dozes over the 10.00 remnant
(c) Forestry Commission England

Much of the food is consumed away from the nest, and occasionally other birds land when the nest is empty.

a Kestrel perches on the edge of Nest 2
(c) Forestry Commission England

Coincidentally, a Kestrel had an energetic time on Nest 4 this morning. Press HD for best quality.

Corvids are the most common post-osprey birds on the nests. Ravens have landed on Nests 1A, 3 and 4. A handsome pair graced Nest 4 briefly, a couple of days after the ospreys had departed.

a pair of ravens, safe from eviction
(c) Forestry Commission England

Finally, it can be confirmed that Blackaburn from Nest 3 was not in footage after 3 September. Details of her (and her father’s) ‘last seen’ date have been added to the Timeline.

a raven, the only bird captured on Nest 3 footage since 3 Sept
(c) Forestry Commission England

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100 days and counting…

Bamburgh hatched 100 days ago today. She is still with us – her 2016 sister Y6 left 105 days after hatching, so the Nest 2 record isn’t at risk just yet.

Even if Bamburgh had felt the urge to migrate over the last 3 days, the predominantly wet weather during that time would have been no encouragement.

After a few days of 1-2 fish being supplied during streaming hours, on Friday 37 provided 3, and yesterday 4 arrived during 11 hours.

a new fish, with a small remnant and a large portion already on the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

37 is certainly making sure Bamburgh has plenty of reserves for her migration. Bamburgh put the fresh fish below the front left rim and returned to her existing 2 courses.

Bamburgh has a fish under each foot
(c) Forestry Commission England

There was a change in Bamburgh’s behaviour this morning. She usually takes a fish from 37 as he touches down on the nest, but today she stood watching him take a few bites, then he had a few words with her. Press HD for best quality.

Bamburgh had arrived after 37, and cleaned her beak after landing – she had probably been eating on the old nest tree. But having just fed hasn’t stopped her taking possession of a future meal before.

Tomorrow morning should see several rain free hours, although the winds will be gusty and WSW. Will she, won’t she… Watch this space!


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Brief Nest 2 update

Bamburgh is still at Nest 2, with 37 supplying plenty of food.

supper delivered, 37 is about to fly
(c) Forestry Commission England

It was a wet start today, but Bamburgh sat preening on the nest edge at times – in between showers.

getting her feathers in tip top condition
(c) Forestry Commission England

37 delivered 2 fish within 3 hours in the early afternoon. If Bamburgh decides to leave tomorrow, she should be well fuelled.

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Bamburgh is still at Nest 2, Blackaburn has probably left Nest 3

Yesterday’s post commented that Bamburgh may not have migrated, given her long absences from Nest 2. That has proved true, with a few brief landings this morning, and early evening presence eating a fish.

1st view of Bamburgh on the nestcam today
(c) Forestry Commission England

Bamburgh flies after a 2 minute visit
(c) Forestry Commission England

No ospreys have been seen on Nests 1A and 4, so Byrness, Binky and Beldon have been added to the Timeline as last seen on 3 September.

Nest 3 recordings for the last few days suggest Blackaburn migrated on 4 September, as she was last seen on the evening of 3 September. She was holding on to a headless trout earlier in the day.

brunch for Blackaburn
(c) Forestry Commission England

She received another fish soon after 18.00.

the last delivery seen by the male
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blackaburn was tucking in on the last clip we have of her.

last supper at Kielder?
(c) Forestry Commission England

The limited recordings at Nest 3 may have missed later presence, so we won’t update the Timeline for Blackaburn until the next visit.

Posted in Nest 1A, Nest 2, Nest 3, Nest 4, Osprey updates, UK, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Departures update

It was unlikely any of the Kielder youngsters would begin their migration yesterday. Despite light tailwinds, it was a wet day with poor visibility for the most part. There were no fish deliveries between 08.00 and around 18.00 on the nests with singletons – Nests 2 and 4.

Beldon’s soliciting is rewarded. Eventually
(c) Forestry Commission England

Nest 4‘s Beldon was still eating at 19.00 when streaming ended, but he hasn’t been on camera today so far (16.30). He is usually on the nest or perch now and then – just in case a fish might arrive.

On Nest 2, 37 delivered a flounder as a special treat for Bamburgh today. She didn’t look impressed!

37 brings his 2nd recorded flatfish of the season
(c) Forestry Commission England

I prefer trout, Dad!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Bamburgh hasn’t been seen since flying off with the remains of the fish, after eating for over 30 minutes. But long absences on Nest 2 aren’t unusual, so she may still be around.

On Nest 1A, YA provided 2 trout yesterday – one for each of his remaining offspring. Today, both juveniles were still at the nest when he delivered quite a small trout, which Binky claimed.

Binky gets there first, as usual – Byrness is dropping from the camera too late
(c) Forestry Commission England

Binky had eaten the fish 21 minutes later. She left the nest, but returned to the perch for a few minutes mid morning. This was the last capture of Binky today so far.

Binky leaves the perch…. for the last time?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Byrness had flown from the nest a little earlier, and had not returned by 16.30.

Byrness just before flying
(c) Forestry Commission England

Even in poor weather, normally one of the duo will check out the nest for a few minutes every so often. But more suggestive of probable migration is YA’s presence this afternoon for over 3 hours – with a temptingly large trout.

two hours plus and no takers. Is nobody hungry?
(c) Forestry Commission England

We won’t amend the Timeline until reviewing the rest of today’s footage and the first part of tomorrow’s. But 3 of the 4 remaining youngsters on the streamed nests may well have begun their first Autumn migration today. We so hope it will be the first migration of many, although we know the challeges juveniles have to overcome.

Posted in Nest 1A, Nest 2, Nest 4 | Tagged | 5 Comments

Nest 3: has Bywell migrated?

The latest footage from Nest 3 does not include any clips with Bywell present since 29 August.

Bywell just about to fly after dining
(c) Forestry Commission England

Since then, on the couple of occasions a fish has arrived during recording hours, only Blackaburn has been there to receive it.

Blackaburn takes brunch from Dad
(c) Forestry Commission England

The nest is empty for the full 30-40 minutes on some of the clips. The last bird seen on camera when footage was collected this morning was a young jay yesterday evening.

a juvenile jay unchallenged on the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

We won’t add Bywell to the Timeline just yet, as in 3-4 hours a day, brief appearances can easily be uncaptured.

Meanwhile, there were no more confirmed departures by this afternoon on the streamed nests, apart from Mrs 69. She hasn’t been on camera since she delivered a trout on 29 August. The winds change direction tomorrow to tailwinds, so there could be a mass exodus!

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Hanging around – including intruders!

The 29 August post about the streamed nests mentioned Mrs 69 from Nest 4 not having been seen by 17.00. Cue her arrival not much later.

is THIS the final delivery by Mrs 69?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Since then, she hadn’t been on the nestcam by the time of writing (17.00). But we won’t put a ‘last seen’ on the Timeline just yet! Today, views of Beldon have been rare and 69 wasn’t on camera until just before 17.00, when he delivered a large trout for Beldon. Yesterday, he spent a lot of time on the nest with his son.

69 and Beldon doze
(c) Forestry Commission England

But neither osprey was around when PX5, the 2016 Solway male, added Nest 4 to his collection of ‘Kielder nest portraits’!

a new nest to land on for PX5
(c) Forestry Commission England

Another 2 year old who has been seen several times landed on Nest 1A yesterday – not for his first visit there. KN7 hatched near Meikleour in Perthshire, but is finding Kielder Forest attractive in recent weeks.

Byrness is about to dislodge KN7
(c) Forestry Commission England

Here’s a clip of the landing and departure, press HD for best quality.

Today, a juvenile landed on the Nest 1A perch. The ring was blurred, but the youngster looked like Blackaburn from Nest 3.

Probably Blackaburn landing
(c) Forestry Commission England

Byrness wasn’t impressed and chased the other youngster away. Both she and Binky are still present and enjoying YA’s catches!

YA gets out of the way as Binky mantles over a new trout and Byrness asks for one of her own!
(c) Forestry Commission England

Bamburgh and 37 are still at Nest 2. Mostly, there is a quick exchange of fish possession, then Bamburgh flies elsewhere to eat – as happened this afternoon, just before 17.00. But she was posing nicely this morning when waiting for a meal.

looking lovely in the morning sun
(c) Forestry Commission England

It is encouraging that there are young males prospecting in the area. ‘Floaters’ in the population are in a good position to take over nests if a resident bird doesn’t return the following year. Or they can build their own nest, as has happened at Nest 5. EB wasn’t on nestcams much after landings early in the season in years prior to 2016, but she showed an interest in Kielder Forest each year from at least 2013, and replaced the original unringed female when she didn’t return in 2016.

Finally, some good news about Blue 39, the 2011 Nest 1 male who has been seen occasionally on Kielder nestcams, but also photographed at Derwent Reservoir, in previous seasons. This year, we haven’t seen him at Kielder, nor received reports of him elsewhere. But this morning he was at Derwent Reservoir, according to a report on the RSPB Community Forum. The relevant post is near the bottom of the page.

Posted in Blue 39, Intruder, Nest 1A, Nest 2, Nest 3, Nest 4, Nest 5, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 2 Comments