Chick 15 left the nest on Thursday just before 15:00, much to the delight of the watching crowd at Whinlatter and our volunteers Elspeth and Mary, who were on duty at the time. The osprey family are now all airborne and both chicks are finding their wings, perfecting their landings and slowly coming to terms with the momentous event that being able to fly brings. Fledging is a true highlight of the season, and a defining one for our staff and volunteers, who have dedicated thousands of hours of their time protecting 14 &15. Whereas our work for the season is nearly done, we can all sleep a little easier now, knowing that this tremendous team effort has once again provided these young birds with the best possible start to their lives.
One of our volunteers, Josh, captured some nice film today while on duty at Whinlatter. Both Chicks are on the nest, one is doing some excercise. KL joins them on the nest, then the Male arrives with a headless fish, which KL takes and begins to feed the chicks as the male leaves….happy families indeed !
Today, the Lake District Osprey Project hosted a visit from friends and colleagues from the Kielder Osprey Project in Northumberland. Good practice and lessons learned were exchanged, and an agreement was reached to work together more closely in the future as our shared aim of increasing osprey numbers in Northern England moves forward. The thing that binds us together, our birds, performed much nest exercising and were the ultimate film stars when required…..welcome news also came across from Kielder Castle that the newly ringed 6H was feeding well back in Northumberland after yesterdays ringing.
The LDOP learned this week of a chick which fledged from Bassenthwaite in 2008 and is now breeding in Cowal, near Dunoon in Scotland. Along with an unringed female, it has raised a brood of two healthy chicks. The bird was ringed on Weds 9th July 2008, at a nest in Dodd Wood, and was fitted with a yellow identification ring 7V, and BTO ring 137115. Not only is this the first Bassenthwaite osprey known to breed North of the Border, but is a first for this area of Western Scotland for over 100 years…great news!
We have given our chicks their health check, and believe we have a male 14 and a female 15, given their measurements.
For those who are interested, their vital statistics are:
White 14 Right leg BTO ring number 1447452 Wing 300mm Tail 152mm Weight 1450g
White 15 Right leg BTO ring number 1447453 Wing 340mm Tail 154mm Weight 1670g
Here they are safely back in the nest with KL attending.
We can confirm that we have at least one chick !
Behaviour yesterday (Thursday) evening saw KL becoming very restless and ‘fidgety’ around the nest bowl. Protection reported her putting some small morsels of food into the nest last night, and today we have seen food going into the nest at two to three hour intervals. How many there are, we do not know, but we expect any other eggs to also hatch in the next few days, but it is impossible to speculate. Rest assured, this new pair of birds have now produced another generation of ospreys adding to the English population, and the LDOP moves into a new phase in 2013.
Day 28 of incubation has possibly seen the highest temperatures of the 2013 season in Lakeland. Interestingly, another modification now adornes the nest….a large stick on the left brought in by the male. This picture, taken this evening just after 21.30, shows KL having supper with the male on the eggs, she will be well fed for another long nights’ incubation ahead.
One of our former staff members, Philippa (Phil) Bell, has taken the plunge and married her partner, Graham in a beautiful ceremony beside Loweswater in the Western Lake District, on the family farm where she grew up. Phil had two spells with the LDOP, in 2010 and 2012, and was a popular member of the team based at Dodd Wood, welcoming visitors and showing them the ospreys. All of the staff and volunteers from the LDOP wish Mr and Mrs Chadwick all the very best for the future.
Assuming our calculations are correct, this is day 23 of incubation. Things remain calm at the nest which is good news as there nothing significant to report. Ospreys are individuals, this is plain to see with this pair, as the nest is adorned with things ranging from decking, to plastic, to cow manure…our male is a collector! One thing the birds do seem to dislike are the cows….unlike last years pair. This couple take exception to the animals grazing too close below the nest….really all individuals they must be.
Thankfully we have restored our nest pictures, and our webcam feeds. Huge thanks to the Forestry Commission Radio and Electronics Branch, who identified the problem and worked with local staff to resolve it without affecting the birds. You can also now see image grabs via our webcam again, click on the Latest News then Osprey Webcam icon on the homepage. More updates and photos to follow…..