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.
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.
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 overwinters at Somone Lagoon in Senegal, which is also EB’s winter home.
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.
CN2 intruded on Nests 2 and 4 in early September, and was on Nest 4 as late in the season as 13 September.
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.