Nest 3 update

The chicks on Nest 3 include the last to hatch at Kielder this year. Soon after its arrival on 4 June the wet weather struck, and, although footage showed the chick was being fed well up until 10 June, there has been more wet weather since then. A power problem means there is no recorded footage over the last few days. During a brief visit this morning the female was brooding but 3 ‘part chicks’ were visible occasionally.

3 chicks are partly visible
(c) Forestry Commission England

One chick looks much larger than its siblings. Then a chick popped out, the smallest.

chick 3 has popped out
(c) Forestry Commission England

Chick 1 is 4 days older than chick 3, but the difference in size was quite a surprise.

little and large
(c) Forestry Commission England

We’ll never know what happened – illness, lack of food etc – to result in the limited development of chick 3. But it was alert when not snoozing and the forecast is for a settled and warm spell.

At the weekend there’ll be an update on UV, who resumed his wanderings not long after leading us to believe he might be thinking of settling down. Typical osprey behaviour!


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Piling on the pounds

The last update on Nest 2 was a week ago. How the chicks have grown since then!

last feed of the day
(c) Forestry Commission England

tucking in again
(c) Forestry Commission England

Chick 1 especially – 22 days old yesterday – looks like a young osprey now.

37 has been delivering 2-3 fish a day at least (as seen in 12 hours of streaming).

more food, hurray!
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks have been fed well by EB. Last year, her first at Kielder, she mostly stopped feeding whilst chicks were still asking for more. This year she pursues them across the nest to offer another morsel. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

Although there have been showers or spells of rain most days in the past week, with feathers developing and better temperature regulation, the chicks eat for several minutes in light rain.

the 6th feed – so not essential given it is raining and crops are quite full
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks preen or sleep when not eating (which can be for 2 hours of the 12) and also explore the nest and the world beyond.

Or chew bits of bark, just like the parents.

On Nest 4 – where the oldest chick is 6 days younger than the Nest 2 equivalent – progress isn’t quite as striking. Chick 2 hatched about 18 hours after chick 1, but the difference has looked more like 2-3 days.

chick 1 gets the lion’s share as usual
(c) Forestry Commission England

Although adults will often feed chick 1 first, then chick 2, on Nest 4 chick 2 has been ignored at some mealtimes even when a large portion of fish remains.

Chick 2 received more food yesterday afternoon and evening than has been the norm. It is looking stronger than it was around lunchtime yesterday, when it was quite lethargic.

chick 2 begs strongly – and is fed
(c) Forestry Commission England

Although there is rain at times today, the forecast is for dry and warm weather in the days ahead. Good conditions for foraging and eating!

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Nest 1A live streaming restored

The live web link to Nest 1A has been restored today. This is what you’ll see much of the time!

Mrs YA presides over sleeping chicks
(c) Forestry Commission England

But there is action.

(c) Forestry Commission England

Press HD for best quality in the clip.

Here’s the address, which is also in the “Nest 1A webcam” page in the menu.

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Cracking visitor photos!

We’ve received some lovely photos from a couple of visitors to Kielder, taken in very dfferent locations.

The first two photos were taken by Richard from Co. Down. He was in the bird hide along Forest Drive. For those who don’t know Kielder Water and Forest Park, the Drive is a forest track which links Kielder to the A68. The bird hide overlooks a pond, grassland and Kielder Burn. In late afternoon Richard saw an osprey catch a fish in the burn and eat it on a tree.

Osprey, Kielder
(c) Richard Moore
Bangor, Co Down

Osprey, Kielder
(c) Richard Moore
Bangor, Co Down

Richard’s photos and description of the event are very interesting. The osprey is likely to be one of the ‘floaters’ we see intruding on the nests. The forehead and deep chest markings are similar to the female who has intruded at Nest 4 a few times. The area she (probably) caught the fish is about 4 km from the shallow end of the reservoir.

The other photos kindly sent to us are from Gareth, who was on the first of the Calvert Trust/NWT motorboat cruises on 11 June. The weather was showery and windy but the guests on the cruise saw four ospreys foraging at the same time. What a treat! Here are Gareth’s photos. The ones in the slide show were taken within a few seconds of each other, an action sequence.

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Slightly later
(c) Gareth Nixon

You can see the blue ring on the left leg. This is probably the result of that foraging!

69 arrives with a fresh catch
(c) Forestry Commission England

We’re very grateful to Richard and Gareth for allowing us to share their photos on the web.

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Nest 1A is back

Our young Glaslyn visitor Blue W0 must have had a magic touch – the Nest 1A stream is back at Kielder! Actually, we have the Forestry Commission Radio and Electronics Branch to thank. Live streaming on the web should resume by Wednesday after some additional work.

We lost the nestcam shortly before the hatching of 4 eggs. Last year, YA and Mrs YA raised 4 healthy chicks to fledging. This year a chick has died after hatching. But the others look very fit. Early views of the nest weren’t exciting.

nothing happening, but how many chicks?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Soon afterwards, Mrs YA fed the chicks from a fish on the nest. It was clear only 3 of the 4 had survived. But they look very healthy. Here, a chick takes a morsel.

not everyone is hungry
(c) Forestry Commission England

This clip shows all the chicks. Press HD for best quality.

The chicks are likely to have hatched between 17 and 25 May. From 19 to 21 May the weather was poor with spells of rain. Chicks 2 and 3 are likely to have hatched in that time. Thereafter the weather improved. Hard to say whether the smallest chick is from the 3rd or 4th egg. But that chick is doing well.

Later in the day, YA brought a new meal.

more food
(c) Forestry Commission England

A happy day to see Nest 1A action again, although losing a chick after all 4 reached fledging in 2016  is sad.

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A Glaslyn male visits Kielder!!!

Today we had a brief view of an osprey landing on Nest 1. A blue Darvic ring on the right leg showed it was a half-brother to Yellow 37 and White YA.

Blue W0 about to touch down
(c) Forestry Commission England

about to go out of sight
(c) Forestry Commission England

We’re thrilled to see 2015 Blue W0, a male, and offspring of Mrs G and Aran. He hasn’t been seen before in what will be his first return.

Here’s a slomo movie, press HD for best quality.

Many, many congratulations to Glaslyn.

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Nest 3 chicks weather the weather!

The last egg to hatch in Kielder Forest this year was on Nest 3, early on 4 June. Although the weather that day was fine, since then the prolonged spells of rain on several days have made life difficult for parents with very young chicks.

So it was a huge relief to see a healthy chick 3 on Nest 3 when recent footage was downloaded. The last recorded clips with a view of the chicks was last night, only two chicks visible in this screengrab.

chick 3 at 7 days old still has buff down
(c) Forestry Commission England

Analysing the footage over the past few days provides more evidence that experience aids the survival of chicks. On a wet day, 8 June, there was part of a fish on the nest in case there was a chance for the chicks to eat.

there’s food, but when can the chicks be fed?
(c) Forestry Commission England

Later they did, and tiny chick 3 received morsels.

the female leans over to feed chick 3
(c) Forestry Commission England

The next day, the chicks benefited from an early 8 minute feed. Here are a few seconds, Press HD for best quality.

That evening chick 3 was begging strongly in a later feed.

chick 3 feeds again
(c) Forestry Commission England

Yesterday it was wet in the morning, but rather better later in the day.

the female leans over to feed chick 3
(c) Forestry Commission England

The limited insight into Nest 3 has shown that the adults are provisioning their young well. Given the poor weather this last week, that has been so important for chick 3. Who endured some unwanted attention from chick 1 on 9 June.  Chick 2 had already been subdued.

Most years there is seldom any footage showing aggresssion on Nest 3, probably a sign of limited feeding opportunities this year for hungry chicks.

Why has Nest 3 fared better than Nest 4 this last week? Probably because 2 extra years of experience have helped the Nest 3 pair provide enough food to their chicks.

This paper about Rhode Island ospreys provides recent evidence of the gains from experience. Plus much more of interest.


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