Nest 3 update and exciting news!

First, the exciting bit. The Lake District Osprey Project nest at Bassenthwaite had a visitor yesterday. He dropped off a fish for the juveniles. The osprey in question was Blue 2H, 2012 Kielder Nest 2 male. Here’s a screengrab of him presenting the offering.

Blue 2H at Bassenthwaite
(c) LDOP

This is particularly exciting news for Kielder because we haven’t had any other reports of him this year. Many thanks to LDOP for sharing the news and image. Maybe we’ll see 2H here before the season is over.

Back to Nest 3. There appears to be little change in activity since Sunday. Ayle is still very much a presence. There’s no evidence of her being aggressive towards the resident juveniles when there is a fish on the nest, as she was in her first few days. In this clip, she leaves a trout after only eating a small amount. Initially she was hanging onto a fish even when sated. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

The female feeds Ayle as well as her young, as would be expected when a juvenile solicits.

Ayle receives a morsel
(c) Forestry Commission England

The Nest 3 juveniles haven’t been recorded squabbling over fish either.

Ancroft walks away, Acomb takes over
(c) Forestry Commission England

The adults still behave differently to Ayle when she is flying onto the nest.

someone wants rid of Ayle, who has just touched down
(c) Forestry Commission England

The Nest 3 offspring have been flying around the area, mainly in dry spells. Acomb, the last to fledge, could have had a serious accident on one landing attempt. There is a slow motion replay of the incident at the end of the clip.

Although Acomb wasn’t seen in the rest of that recording, there were some perfect landings in later footage that day.

a healthy looking Acomb lands cleanly
(c) Forestry Commission England

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Well done, Aln

After no sightings on the nestcam of CN2 on Saturday, when 37 brought a large trout which Aln consumed over 2 hours plus during recording hours, it was all change on Sunday, another mainly wet day.

At first Aln was on the nest, but CN2 appeared by 09.14, when an adult seemed to be trying to remove him from the nest as well as an unhappy Aln.

an adult is trying to displace CN2
(c) Forestry Commission England

CN2 soon left, but he dominated much of the day. He brought sticks to the nest and appeared to be submissively mantling. Despite an unkeen Aln.

between raindrops it looks like submissive behaviour
(c) Forestry Commission England

CN2 was off the nest for a while, but on return Aln wasn’t happy. At all. CN2 became aggressive. Press HD for best quality on clips.

CN2 returned to an empty nest and scraped.

I want this nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Nearly an hour later both Aln and CN2 are on the nest. CN2 has reverted to bonding behaviour.

Until 13.25 only either CN2 or Aln were seen on the nest. Then EB arrived with food!

(c) Forestry Commission England

Aln ate for over 2 hours, then 37 arrived.

37 leaves after his delivery
(c) Forestry Commission England

As you can see, Aln went to the new fish and carried on eating.

37 and EB are both providing food for Aln, but appear to leave much of the nest defence to her. She has done extremely well for the only juvenile on the nest. Her courage is a major asset for the times ahead.


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Developments on Nest 3

We left the overview of Nest 3 last Wednesday afternoon, with Nest 1A juvenile Ayle apparently the dominant youngster and at ease on the nest. Off the nest she was probably never in that position. However, we have no footage in that period of her flying to and from the nest. Now, we have examples that show the adults are trying to prevent her landing, despite treating her as another mouth to be fed when on the nest. On 27 July Ayle took off on what, presumably, she intended to be a short flight. The resident juveniles flattened and an adult could be seen chasing Ayle away from the nest area.

an adult chases Ayle
(c) Forestry Commission England

Ayle tried to return to land, the adult had other ideas.

the chase continues past the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Yesterday there was a more dramatic pursuit by an adult for over 7 minutes. Paul has condensed the action into this video.

Once a juvenile has settled on the nest, then the adults responses are the same as for their own offspring. But in the air it is a different matter.

Even on the nest Ayle isn’t as dominant as she was a few days ago. She had established very quickly that she would not allow a fish to be taken from her. This clip shows a typical early reaction. It is the adult female, not a juvenile, who is rebuffed. Press HD for best quality on clips.

The day after Archer had fledged, Ayle is eating from quite a fresh fish. Yet doesn’t resist when Archer makes a move for it. Excuse Acomb for getting in the way!

Developments over the next few days will be interesting to observe.

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Final fledges

Footage retrieved from Nest 3 has revealed the final two Kielder juveniles have fledged.

Archer fledged on 28 July between 08.00 BST and noon. She was 59 days old. The likeliest time for her departure from the nest is around 10.30. At the equivalent of 10.31 there was a fix – which Paul considers accurate – about 50m from the nest. (Many fixes are not in the correct position when the ‘object’ is stationary.)

In both the 1 hour recordings later that day Archer was absent from the nest.

No Archer on the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

The 3rd juvenile is Nest 1A’s Ayle.

It wasn’t until Sunday’s footage that we saw Archer flying.

Archer returns from a short flight
(c) Forestry Commission England

Since then, she has had a few flights. But the frequent rain has inhibited her – and the other fledglings – from gaining experience.

The final youngster to fledge was Acomb. The maiden flight could have been this one, on 30 July at 07.55.

first flight?
(c) Forestry Commission England

As can be seen from the first 2 images, Ayle is still spending plenty of time at Nest 3. There are some extremely interesting recordings. Another post will cover the behaviour later today.

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Nest 2 ‘drama’

Life on Nest 2 was ticking along nicely, apart from frequent inclement weather, until earlier this week. On Tuesday, there were no fish deliveries in the 12 hour recording slot.

I’m hungry!!!
(c) Forestry Commission England

The ospreys use the old nest quite often to feed, so that wasn’t overly concerning. But there was no sign of 37 either.

On Wednesday, no sign of 37. EB provided one fish for Aln, who spent much of the day before and after the meal food soliciting. But juveniles have a habit of doing just that! EB does forage once her young have fledged and had brought a fish to the nest on Monday, shortly after 37 delivered a small offering. Was Aln feeding on the old nest too? Her tracker shows she spends a significant amount of time there.

Yesterday was a repeat until mid morning when the probable reason for 37’s absence arrived on the scene.

Blue CN2 poses
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue CN2 has intruded at Kielder – and Nest 2 in particular – before. He is a 2013 osprey from Dumfries and Galloway. Last year he spent much time late in the season on Nest 2 – after EB had left and whilst 37 was provisioning 3 juveniles. 37 wasn’t seen for a couple of days in that period.

CN2 tried to land several times. Plucky Aln wasn’t keen on this.

However, CN2 persevered and he was on the nest for over an hour with Aln. He moved sticks around, stumbling sometimes as he walked. He did this last year, and usually has an empty looking crop, but he has survived two migrations despite looking a little weak.

Eventually, EB arrived and CN2 flew. He wasn’t seen again that day. EB caught a large Rainbow Trout which Aln ate for almost 2 hours before admitting she might actually be full!

Aln looks full
(c) Forestry Commission England

37 wasn’t on camera before streaming stopped at 20.00.

CN2 was alone on the nest when it started up today. However, things improved after that. EB and Aln arrived together and CN2 left. EB and Aln were on and off the nest, Aln mostly on. At just after 11.oo CN2 returned with a fish.

Aln took it and started eating. Then – HURRAY – 37 arrived with a larger one. He flew off and EB took the new trout. Aln decided she could have the best of both worlds.

Aln has CN2’s fish, but eats from 37’s offering
(c) Forestry Commission England

So, order is restored. Or is it? Last year, CN2 disappeared for a few days but returned. This year he is at Kielder several weeks earlier and his behaviour indicates he is attached to Nest 2. 37 seems to be away from the area when he, not EB, should be bidding a male intruder farewell.

CN2 wasn’t aggressive at all towards Aln, despite her jumping at him and pecking him. He has flown from the nest when an adult has arrived. But is he receiving sufficient discouragement to stay away?

It is likely to be an interesting few days.

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Alwinton fledges

The weather over the last few days has prevented the Kielder juveniles either exercisng much or gaining flying experience. Although he could have sheltered away from the wet nest, Aydon usually stayed with his unfledged sister on Nest 4.

solidarity in the rain
(c) Forestry Commission England

In a gap between showers this afternoon, Alwinton fledged.

about to fly
(c) Forestry Commission England

(c) Forestry Commission England

Aydon watched her fly around the fell off camera for a couple of minutes, then flew after her. Both are back on the nest.

Alwinton had been very keen to follow her brother since his fledge on Monday.

Alwinton’s highest jump to date
(c) Forestry Commission England

new high jump record
(c) Forestry Commission England

She’s also very eager to build up her reserves. Aydon just couldn’t wait any longer for his turn earlier today.

Aydon wants the fish NOW
(c) Forestry Commission England

In further ‘excitement’ for ospreys and humans, UV showed off his satellite tag to Nest 4 today. The data which proved it was him came later.

UV visits Nest 4
(c) Forestry Commission England

This short clip shows him at his nearest to the nest. Press HD for best quality.


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Loch lover

On 24 July, UV travelled to Scotland, covering 132 km. An animation by Paul is the best way to appreciate his journey, with course changes usually following some higher flying.UV concentrated on exploring several lochs, rather than forests or rivers.

The first was in early afternoon.

looking for fish or ospreys?

This video shows an osprey with a catch at the Loch earlier this year.

Next was St Mary’s Loch.

a little look at the narrow point

This image shows the area UV investigated for a short time.

courtesy Street View

Most readers will be familiar with Loch of the Lowes in Perthshire. There is a loch of the same name right next to St Mary’s Loch.

a not so well known Loch of the Lowes

UV concentrated on the south end.

courtesy Street View

There are plenty of photos of both St Mary’s Loch and Loch of the Lowes here.

UV’s final destination wasn’t really a loch, but a large reservoir, Black Esk. UV had flown down the west side in early May. This time the east found greater favour for several hours.

plenty of perches for UV

In this undated aerial photo you can see UV’s perching areas on the far shore.

He headed off south and after roosting in Scotland was back in the Longtown area the next day.


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