On the way to fledging

The youngsters on Nests 1A, 2 and 4 are nearing the fledging window. It starts at 49 days. Usually fledging is a few days after that, but males generally fledge earlier than females and the oldest 3 in Kielder Forest are males. The Nest 1A male, 223/Broomlee, hatched 46 days ago. He has added some jumps to his exercise routine.

one of Broomlee’s higher jumps
(c) Forestry Commission England

His sister 221/Byrness, who hatched on the same day, had a slight mishap in her attempt to match. Press HD for best quality.

The Nest 1A youngsters are a little more active than the males on Nest 4. who are a day older. 227/Belling hatched 47 days ago.

Belling jumps across the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 2, 44 days after hatching, 5L/Bamburgh is strengthening her muscles too.

Bamburgh exercises
(c) Forestry Commission England

Exciting times to come!

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Nest 3: fish and more fish

In the 3-4 hours a day of footage from Nest 3, if the chicks aren’t eating, there is usually part of a fish on the nest. And they are often from sizeable catches.

breakfast about to be served
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks haven’t been exercising much during the clips. The next 2 images show the feather development on chick 2 between 9 and 13 July.

a short exercise session on Monday…
(c) Forestry Commission England

…another today
(c) Forestry Commission England

On all the nests bar Nest 4, a chick has had a peck at a parent.

chick 2 isn’t happy with mum
(c) Forestry Commission England

Sometimes it is in retaliation for being woken by an adult landing on a dozing youngster, but in the above case, the female had landed on the edge of the nest and walked towards the rather soggy offspring.

The sun shone again later in the day. The male fed one chick at the rear, and the female tore of pieces from a remnant for the sibling.

a family scene
(c) Forestry Commission England

There were a couple of intruder incidents in the past few days, but the osprey was a very distant shape in the sky – impossible to see if it wore a tracker, let alone whether it was ringed.

Talking of tracked birds, UV was spotted at one of his regular haunts yesterday. It is always good to receive sightings of him, now that we aren’t receiving data.

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Nest 1A ringing

The 3 chicks on Nest 1A were ringed on 11 July.

group photo
(c) Joanna Dailey

YA was supervising from above, with Mrs YA higher and flying in a wider circle.

about to turn to circle again
(c) Joanna Dailey

After a few minutes YA retreated a little. The adults restricted themselves to occasional calls to their young to lie still. Which 2 did, largely, but chick 1 was less keen to obey.

don’t mess with me
(c) Joanna Dailey

The vital stats for the 3 chicks were a slight surprise. Chick 3, 38 days old yesterday, was the heaviest despite looking about ¾ the size of the 40 day old siblings. Chick 3 was ringed Blue 222. She weighed 1610g.

back home for 222
(c) Paul Pickett

She was named Binky, after a burn that flows into Kielder Water below some crags of the same name.

Binky surveys her territory
(c)Paul Pickett

The largest looking chick, chick 2, weighed 1600g. She was ringed Blue 221. Although she is quite dominant on the nest of late, she was very subdued on the ground. As her parents would want.

feathers growing well
(c) Joanna Dailey

She was named Byrness, pronounced Burness, after a forest village near Catcleugh Reservoir NW of Kielder Forest. Tracked Kielder juveniles visit the reservoir, and ospreys summer there occasionally.

Byrness would rather be in the nest
(c) Joanna Dailey

Byrness’s BTO ring in close up
(c) Paul Pickett

Chick 1, who had been the dominant chick until Byrness started to get rather tetchy at times, weighed 1550g. He was given Blue 223 to wear, and you can see from the first photo that he is quite lively out of the nest. He was named Broomlee after the Lough near Hadrian’s Wall, which UV has visited.

Broomlee on the left, Binky prone beside him
(c) Joanna Dailey

Mrs YA perched in a tree very near the nest as soon as the ringing party drove off. YA was seen flying in the area, but not by the nestcam until he brought some late lunch. His family were hungry! The medium sized rainbow trout lasted them 23 minutes.

Byrness, back to being bossy, has the first bite
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks on Nest 3 will be ringed next week.

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Nest 2 ringing

The chick on Nest 2 was ringed on 10 July.

between rings
(c) Ellie Kent

The chick was less docile than many, usually standing rather than lying on the ground when not having rings fitted and being weighed.

Colour ring Blue 5L was placed on the right leg.

checking the colour ring
(c) Joanna Dailey

Both parents flew around the area observing the event – they show wear and tear on their primary feathers.

(c) Ellie Kent

(c) Ellie Kent

EB sat in the old nest tree for part of the time, with 37 joining her occasionally.

37 landing near EB
(c) Ellie Kent

Back to their youngster. 5L weighed 1630g, 38 days after she hatched. She is named Bamburgh, after a coastal village with an imposing castle. Coincidentally, an osprey was reported flying up the coast just north of there yesterday.

A few more photos…

a glower
(c) Joanna Dailey

beautiful amber eyes
(c) Joanna Dailey

home on her nest
(c) Paul Pickett

Bamburgh was soon preening or dozing again, before a bit of exercise.

a few flaps
(c) Forestry Commission England

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Nest 4 ringing

The two chicks on Nest 4 were ringed on 10 July, 40 days after they hatched within a couple of hours of each other.

69 was absent throughout, but Mrs 69 kept a watchful eye on the process.

Mrs 69 watches her offspring being collected under licence
(c) Joanna Dailey

The chicks obeyed her calls to ‘play dead’ – thanatosis , lying motionless on the ground unless being ringed and weighed.

The nestcam footage suggested one chick was a little larger than the other, and that proved to be correct. Chick 2 now wears colour ring Blue 227.

chick 2, Blue 227
(c) Joanna Dailey

He weighed 1480g. Blue 227 was named Belling, after the large burn that flows into Kielder Water near the dam. A couple more photos of him.

still plenty of feather growth needed
(c) Joanna Dailey

(c) Joanna Dailey

Chick 1 was given colour ring Blue 228.

chick 1, Blue 228
(c) Joanna Dailey

He weighed 1400g. He was named Beldon, after a burn that rises in Northumberland and eventually flows into Derwent Reservoir on the border with County Durham. Ospreys summer at the reservoir in many years, and Kielder’s Blue 39 has been seen there.

Beldon up close
(c) Joanna Dailey

69 arrived with a fish as the ringing party drove away from the area, but he didn’t share it with his family immediately. Eventually, the chicks had a late lunch.

Belling eats
(c) Forestry Commission England

helping the food go down!
(c) Forestry Commission England

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Nest 3: PTZ time

Many of you will know that PTZ stands for pan/tilt/zoom, a type of camera many osprey projects use as nestcams. We haven’t got those at Kielder, but Nest 3 chicks have their own version – preen/trout consumption/zizz! Those ‘activities’ make up the vast majority of the 3-4 hours of footage a day.

But the chicks have been showing an interest in the world outside the nest for a week now.

chick 1 looks over the nest edge as the male feeds chick 2
(c) Forestry Commission England

The male hasn’t been seen feeding his offspring as much in the last week as the previous couple, but he is supplying well. Today, he brought in lunch just after 13.00 and it was still being eaten over an hour later.

lunch is about to be served
(c) Forestry Commission England

chick 1 has given up, chick 2 struggles on
(c) Forestry Commission England

Very little exercise has been captured by the nestcam.

chick 2 has a quick flap as chick 1 preens
(c) Forestry Commission England

The temperatures are forecast to drop below 20°C for the next couple of days in the Kielder area, so the chicks may exercise more often.

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Nests 2 and 4 news

The title is a bit misleading, as there isn’t much ‘news’. As on Nest 1A, the chicks are mainly dozing and preening, and feeding when the opportunity comes along.

The chick on Nest 2 is exercising about as often and for as long as the ‘3 days older’ pair on nest 4.

trying to impress Mum
(c) Forestry Commission England

more flapping
(c) Forestry Commission England

Although the angle isn’t the same, you can see how the feathers are developing and replacing the pale down.

37 generally brings 2 fish to the nest in the 11 hours of streaming. With no competition, the chick is eating well. 37 rarely feeds the youngster, but yesterday EB allowed him a turn!

37 feeds his offspring
(c) Forestry Commission England

the chick watches 37 swallow the tail
(c) Forestry Commission England

The Nest 4 pair sometimes only consume 1 large rainbow trout during streaming hours. Yesterday, 69 excelled and brought 4 trout to the nest within 4 hours. Often one chick will eat and then the other. Chick 2 wasn’t quite full when Mrs 69 stopped feeding them yesterday.

chick 2 tries to eat from the tail end
(c) Forestry Commission England

When there was still quite a bit of the 3rd fish remaining, Mrs 69 was eating and 69 tried to take it from her several times. She held onto it and finished it off. When he brought fish 4, he took it to the pole and ate before leaving the substantial remains on the nest for his family.

we’d like some, please
(c) Forestry Commission England

On 6 July, an unringed intruder tried to land on the nest.

an unringed intruder
(c) Forestry Commission England

This very short clip shows it arrive before some frames were dropped. Press HD on all clips for best quality.

Then 69 leapt into action, literally.

Both chicks have brief bouts of exercise – with the emphasis on brief!

chick 1 in action
(c) Forestry Commission England

chick 2
(c) Forestry Commission England

Nest 3 footage will be downloaded later today and a blog will follow.

Posted in Nest 2, Nest 4, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 4 Comments

An interesting visitor on Nest 1A and other Nest 1A news

Fortunately, a couple of misty mornings have provided enough moisture to partially clear the camera lens. Mrs YA wasn’t happy to see an uninvited caller on Thursday. She made 3 brief landings on the nest.

Blue NH0, Freya, from a nest near Jedburgh
(c) Forestry Commission England

The nest that is streamed to Born in the Borders restaurant lost the female, Delilah, at the start of the season. Blue NH0, who hatched in 2016 at a nest in Ross-shire, has replaced her. She has recently been named Freya. She is bonding with the male, Samson, but isn’t breeding this year. She has time on her talons to check out neighbours! Kielder Water is about 20 miles from the nest site, no distance to an osprey. Here are a couple of clips of part of the 7 minute intrusion. Press HD for best quality.



Did you notice a chick helping Mrs YA tell the intruder to go away?

Life is mainly very peaceful on Nest 1A, with little exercise of the growing wings. Chick 3 tends to be the most active of the threesome.

showing the bigger siblings what s/he can do
(c) Forestry Commission England


The feather development is markedly greater on the ‘2 days older’ chicks.

chick 1 builds up an appetite whilst the others eat
(c) Forestry Commission England



There’ll be updates on the other 3 nests over the weekend.


Posted in Intruder, Nest 1A, Osprey updates | Tagged | 4 Comments

Splat! And again

Two of the nestcams have been whitewashed. First, on Sunday afternoon, Nest 1A’s camera received a direct hit.

take aim…
(c) Forestry Commission England

(c) Forestry Commission England

By yesterday morning the chick on Nest 2 had followed suit.

a fish delivery in soft focus
(c) Forestry Commission England

No significant rain is forecast. Overnight condensation is removing some of the deposit, but a clear view is unlikely until the lens can be cleaned when the chicks are ringed.

On Nest 1A, YA brought 7 fish to the nest in a little over 6 hours on Saturday. He normally supplies 2 or 3 large fish during streaming hours. Several of the trout on Saturday were small, taking only 10 minutes or so to eat – like the one in this image.

3rd trout delivered in under an hour
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA would start soliciting as soon as the chicks had finished one snack.

The chicks spend much of their time preening. They have been doing very little exercise. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

The Nest 4 duo are also still mainly preening and dozing. This clip shows one of the longer standing/flapping session recorded – unfortunately for Mrs 69. Apologies for dropped frames.

The chicks often watch the sky or the clear fell surrounding the nest.

intent stares
(c) Forestry Commission England

The Nest 2 chick has plenty of room for some unsteady wing flapping.

concentrating on coordination
(c) Forestry Commission England

Let’s hope there are no strikes on the other nestcams!

Posted in Nest 1A, Nest 2, Nest 4, Osprey updates, UK | Tagged | 8 Comments

Growing apace

In the last few days, the chicks on the streamed nests are looking more and more like young ospreys. They are just about able to stand for a few seconds to strengthen their wing and leg muscles by some exercise. The youngest of the chicks on the three streamed nests is chick 3 on Nest 1A. (The survivor on Nest 2 is probably chick 1, who hatched 2 days prior to chick 3.) Chick 3 is still very downy, but exercises as much as the elder siblings.

downy chick 3
(c) Forestry Commision England

This clip features chicks 1 and 3 yesterday. Press HD for best quality on all videos.

On the hottest of the recent days, chick 1 showed aggression towards the siblings -including immediately after eating when there was still fish being offered – and also Mrs YA more than once.

a tetchy chick
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mostly the chicks doze, stretch and preen.

chicks 1 and 2 preen, as does Mrs YA after a bath
(c) Forestry Commission England

She’ll need another dip tonight!

somebody has scored a direct hit on mum
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 2, the only chick is doing well.

another downy chick
(c) Forestry Commission England

EB is keen to ensure her offspring is well fed, following it after it has turned away, and proffering a morsel. Which is usually accepted.

I’m sure I can manage this bit too
(c) Forestry Commission England

Here is a short clip of the chick exercising a couple of days ago. Dropped frames are a major issue on Nest 2 especially, so there are few videos from that nest.

There are intruders around all the nest areas most days. Often they are at great distance, or unseen, but low over the nest, judging by the female’s behaviour and/or a shadow. A male arriving with a fish is followed to the nest area sometimes.

an intruder has followed 37 and fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

One intruder did fly closer.

a Scottish male, CA?3
(c) Forestry Commission England

If the ring number is CA3, the osprey has been exploring Northern England, as he was eating a fish at the Lake District Osprey Project a few days earlier.

Finally, Nest 4. As the oldest chicks by one day, they are leading the way in exercising a bit more often than elsewhere. Apologies for the freezing.

trying to impress
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 69 had some competition when 69 delivered supper yesterday. No prizes for guessing the winner.

competition for the fish
(c) Forestry Commission England


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