More on 219/Dilston’s return from fledging

Problems with the management system for the Nest 6 camera meant that initially the precise time of 219/Dilston’s return to the nest on 31 July wasn’t available. Footage has now been retrieved. It was a rather dramatic occasion!

pinpoint landing on sis
(c) Forestry England

As you can see from the screengrab, 219/Dilston arrived during an intrusion. The video…

The intruder was never in view, as is often the case. The adults calmed and 219/Dilston grabbed the fish.

topping up
(c) Forestry England

The official time of return from fledging is 12.22.

At Nest 7 this morning there was no evidence that 214/Dally has fledged, although he was helicoptering well. The forecast for the next 2 days is poor, and this afternoon was showery, so if he didn’t fledge today he could be stuck until Thursday.

one of several helicopters
(c) Forestry England

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217/Dunmoor is back

There’d been no sign of 217/Dunmoor on Nest 1A since he flew off the nest on Friday morning. His siblings both took over a day to return, but 217/Dunmoor was absent almost twice as long. He landed just after a shower stopped this afternoon.

As you can see, he looks in fine condition. He was soon being fed by Mrs YA, although he does tackle fish by himself at times.

(c) Forestry England

He didn’t seem to be ravenous, and paused several times of his own volition. But also because a distant bird caught Mrs YA’s attention, distracting her from the meal.

back home
(c) Forestry England

Some hefty showers are limiting monitoring opportunities, but Nest 7 will be checked later or tomorrow for evidence of the last fledge – 214/Dally, who should be airborne by now.

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219/Dilston is back

219/Dilston returned to Nest 6 by 12.54.

all the family together again
(c) Forestry England

He hasn’t flown off since, but has enjoyed a couple of meals.

yes, please, I’m starving!
(c) Forestry England

There’s no sign of 217/Dunmoor at Nest 1A at the time of writing (16.10).

Nest 7‘s 214/Dally appears to be holding off on his fledge as he was sleeping then preening during an hour or so of monitoring.

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More ‘fledge’ news

When the nestcams started today, only 218/Druridge was on Nest 6. 219/Dilston hadn’t fledged by 19.00 yesterday, so left the nest between then and 08.00 today. He hadn’t returned at the time of writing (10.05).

Over at Nest 1A, 217/Dunmoor was leaping around the nest late yesterday, but was still present this morning. He spent much of the first 90 minutes standing on the pole looking out, but also exercised on the nest and had a bite of trout. It therefore seems likely that his first flight was at 09.32 today.

probably the first flight
(c) Forestry England

The video…

He hadn’t returned by 10.05. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before we see both youngsters safe and sound on their respective nests, having fledged successfully.

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A first for Nest 7

Monitoring for several hours on Tuesday morning found no evidence of a fledge on Nest 7. There was little exercise by either juvenile. But it was a different result yesterday afternoon, as 213/Donkleywood made several flights around the fell, with some good landings on the nest and on the fell itself on stumps or snags. Here she is taking off.

more practice
(c) Forestry England

Several minutes later, she returned.

Her brother 214/Dally stood on the edge a few times, flapping his wings and jumping, but attention soon turned to food when KM18 dropped off a fish. KX7 watched her offspring as  213/Donkleywood seized the offering and replenished some of those calories she’d burned.

In addition to 214/Dally, 217/Dunmoor on Nest 1A and 219/Dilston on Nest 6 have still to fledge. It is wet again today, so there may be still a bit of a wait for the youngsters to make their maiden flights.

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First fledge for the Nest 6 parents

Yesterday was extremely wet until mid afternoon in Kielder Forest. As soon as the rain eased off a bit, 218/Druridge, who had been helicoptering well for 3 days, got into action.

Both she and 219/Dilston had a few more flaps, then 218/Druridge decided it was time to fly.

first fledge for Nest 6
(c) Forestry England

The video…

She fledged at 60 days old.

She wasn’t seen again before the nestcam went off, but she was lying in the nest this morning. And was soon up wanting some food!

I’m hungry
(c) Forestry England

There were a few scraps on the nest, but W6 hasn’t brought a top up at the time of writing, 13.00. Fishing conditions are difficult in strong blustery winds, but YA has supplied a large trout to Nest 1A, so hopefully for the Nest 6 duo lunch will arrive soon.

Whilst waiting 218/Dilston has had a few flights. She has landed well – here is an example, as she returned just as Mrs W6 was asking an intruder (unseen on camera) to leave the area.

There are still four young ospreys to fledge in Kielder Forest. 219/Dilston seems nearest from his ability to helicopter, but 217/Derwent on Nest 1A shouldn’t be too far behind.

Little exercise has been seen during monitoring of Nest 7.

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Nest 1A news: 216/Derwent is back

Just before the nestcams went off yesterday, 216/Derwent landed on the nest. She flew in from the rear.

Or, as you can see, to be accurate she landed on 217/Dunmoor’s head!

This morning it was situation normal, with 216/Derwent dominating the food.

this is mine!
(c) Forestry England

It’s great to know she has fledged successfully. 217/Dunmoor has been exercising well, but not yet flown the nest. Neither have the Nest 6 youngsters, although they too are working hard on strengthening their wing and leg muscles.

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Fledging news

A download from Nest 4 has revealed that both youngsters have fledged safely. The weather has been intermittently poor, which undoubtedly delayed maiden flights.

a wet 210 on one of several wet days in the week
(c) Forestry England

210/Darden was jumping high on 20 July.

a big leap
(c) Forestry England

211/Denwick was the first to helicopter during the 6 hours of recordings a day.

It seemed as though the first fledge would be on 21 July.

Showers during the afternoon probably dampened enthusiasm. A dry start on 22 July saw 210/Darden looking out from the nest.

time to fly?
(c) Forestry England

By the next slot at 09.00 only 211/Denwick was on the nest. It was wet most of the rest of the day and on much of 23 July. The next time 210/Darden was seen was late that afternoon.

She probably had been back to the nest earlier, but not during recording. She fledged at 58 days old.

211/Denwick fledged by this flight on the afternoon of 23 July.

That could have been the maiden flight and she was back very quickly. She too was 58 days old.

Since then, both have taken plenty of excursions.

Landings aren’t quite perfect yet, though!

Over at Nest 1A, 216/Derwent left the nest yesterday afternoon at 14.25. She was 57 days old.

It has been wet today until about noon, but hopefully a part fish lying on the nest will encourage her safe return.


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News from Scotland, France and England

We had a lovely email today from Keith Brockie, the main ringer of ospreys in Perthshire, with some photos he and colleague Chris Baker have taken of 2016 Nest 2 Y6‘s new home and family.

The two chicks were ringed (nfd) on 8 July.

Y6’s first chicks
(c) Chris Baker

Yesterday, Keith was back in the area. The chicks have developed well.

Y6 and her chicks
(c) Keith Brockie

The nest is in an old oak tree on which the unringed male has bred previously. His unringed partner – like many other adults this year, including Y6’s mother White EB – failed to return from migration.

Y6 and her mate at the nest in a peaceful area
(c) Keith Brockie

Y6 looks in great shape.

Y6 poses
(c) Keith Brockie

We are most grateful to Keith and Chris for sharing their delightful photos with us, and our blog followers.

Not many days ago Y6’s 2017 sibling 7L/Aln was only 50 km or so away from Y6 as she flew south on migration. We left her on the Isle of Wight after a long day of travel on 19 July. She departed the island, and the UK, on 20 July.  She crossed The Channel at over 55 kph.

a speedy crossing

She didn’t go further than Normandy, where in the last data she was enjoying familiar surroundings in one of the estuary areas where she spent much of summer 2019.

Back to England and Kielder. Although all 10 young ospreys are in the fledging window, Nest 2‘s 212/Dunstanborough was the only known successful fledge until a short time ago. The eldest on Nest 1A, 215/Dinmont, flew away from the nest yesterday.

He wasn’t seen again until 17.24 today, just over 27 hours later.

He didn’t choose the best spot to land – the top of a wet pole – but was soon back on the nest proper.

hurray, 3 chicks again
(c) Forestry England

It is a huge relief to see him again.

The Nest 4 duo looked ready to fledge yesterday lunch time (c57 days old), when a shower interrupted their exploits. Earlier in the day, 211/Denwick was very springy.

Nest 6 youngsters – where hatching was slightly later than Nest 1A – seem someway off readiness to fly free. The pair were still at the modest jumping stage yesterday, and today has been a ‘hunker down’ one.

soggy youngsters
(c) Forestry England

No significant exercise has been seen when monitoring Nest 7 so it is impossible to assess progress.

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7L/Aln is on the move!

7L/Aln arrived in the Highlands in mid April. Although there were a few lochs she returned to several times, she did much exploring of the NW Highlands in particular.
She will have come across other ospreys – and for a short time it seemed possible that she might find a prospective mate – but some of her favourite lochs, rivers and streams latterly were in mainly treeless areas.

On 17 July, she found a new loch to assess, but after that it was not a routine day. She set off east and was near Cromarty Firth by 09.30 UTC. She has been across to the east and back a few times eg on 24 June she flew c200 km across to the east near Kildary. But she returned to the NW on the 25 June, whereas we now know that 17 July was her last day in the Highlands. Here’s an overview of her travel 17-19 July.

courtesy Paul McMichael

She is quite unpredictable, but it does appear she will leave the UK soon.

The trigger for her move was probably a combination of factors, but the weather will have played a part.

courtesy Paul McMichael

That high pressure ridge has been building slowly since 16 July, the day before 7L/Aln’s departure.

She flew 282 km on 17 July, a fairly modest start. She wasn’t flying particularly high or fast and it wasn’t clear if she was definitely on the move, or just exploring rather further afield than usual. She ended her day on the Eden estuary in Fife. She’d been flying from 08.00 to 17.24.

courtesy Street View

She flew south to roost, but returned early on 18 July for breakfast. She didn’t leave the area until 09.57. By 13.17 she was crossing the River Tweed into England. You can see from the overview that her course was quite arrow like. No diversion to see Kielder Water & Forest Park, although she had begun to fly at higher altitudes at times so may have been able to see the area in the far distance. She was cross-wind tracking, an efficient flight strategy. 7L/Aln was near Wooler at 13.46 and over Morpeth by 15.30. She reached Newcastle upon Tyne and travelled straight over the centre.

up to nearly 1000m above the terrain at times over Newcastle

She carried on flying until 18.40, when she was in North Yorkshire. She roosted near the River Rye.

Yesterday’s distance travelled was over 400 km. She set off before 04.37, when she was flying NW of Helmsley, but had a pause until 06.05. Her route took her east of York, over the Humber E of Goole, then down through Lincolnshire and west of Peterborough. The map stops at 15.00 when she was in Hampshire. She crossed to the Isle of Wight later in the afternoon, and was in the same area this morning. Perhaps it will be the first of several staging posts given the early date of departure from her summering area, or maybe she was just having a late start today.

7L/Aln’s average speed (flying fixes only) over the 3 days was 25 kph, a respectable figure.

Other unpaired young ospreys, especially females, will be behaving like 7L/Aln. But information – especially detail – about the behaviour of most non-breeding 2-3 year olds is scarce. Tracking gives a huge and unique insight.

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