As KL was sat eating her lunch who should turn up on the nest but another Osprey. We think it could well be her partner from last year. KL was first seen and positively identified this morning at 8.15 from Whinlatter Forest Centre. The new bird first seen from Dodd Wood at 13.35. Judging from the mating attempts that have been seen this afternoon it seems that we could well have a project this year.
All this and sunshine as well.
We start our new season on Wednesday the 1st of April. At Dodd, weather permitting we hope to see these views from the top viewpoint, weather not permitting why not go to Whinlatter Forest Centre and see if our ospreys have arrived from the comfort of the Osprey Room with its live nest cameras. While there you might like to take a look at an art exhibition by local artists called ‘Celebrating Ospreys’ – some of whom happen to be our volunteers. You could also take a very nice break at ‘The Siskin’ while contemplating the pleasures of becoming an osprey volunteer – if so ring Nathan on 017687-78469 or just leave your details at the information counter.
Chris Pond did and see what wonderful photographs he can take!
Having taken a short break on the mainland Number 14 has now returned to Bioko. During the seventy mile crossing he seems to have even taken time out for a little fishing (two dots next to each other).
Meanwhile back at his birthplace preparation is being made for the next generation. If you are interested in volunteering this year why not come along to our ‘Introductory Osprey Evening’ Friday 13th March, Crosthwaite Parish Hall, Keswick 6.30 in the evening or ring Nathan on 017687-78469.
As Number 14 continues to study the coast of Nigeria, back in Cumbria things are starting to move. A Red Kite has been seen over the M6 near Shap, yesterday and today. Could it be one of the ones released at Grizedale a few years ago? Look out for a buzzard like bird, but with style as well as the famous forked tail which seems to operate on its own. Curlews are also being seen on the fells having wintered on the coast. At Whinlatter the frogs are beginning to get excited on the pond and there are a few Crossbills around. Time to polish up the old binoculars and start looking.
It’s beginning to look as if Number 14 has gone on a holiday visit to the mainland. Over the last few days he has moved east along the coast, crossing the point where he came ashore from Bioko last week. The thunder storms from last week have also disappeared so that may have something to do with it, just thirty degrees and a little rain forecast for this week – just like Cumbria then, but without twenty eight degrees.
Next big question is will he cross the border into Cameroon – yellow wiggly line right hand side of map ? Is this another country for the L.D.O.P Quiz team?
Like the good Cumbrian bird that he is Number 14 keeps us all on tenterhooks. Having travelled 92 miles (148km) across the Bight of Bonny he has over four days only progressed 32 miles (52.6 km) to the west of his last position. It is, however, the wetlands of the Niger delta that he is over, so no doubt very interesting territory for a young osprey.
As the snow flurries blow around your ankles think of poor old Number 14 with temperatures hovering around 29 degrees centigrade – but humid and stormy with it.
The interesting bit, however, is that as Chinese New Year brought in the year of the sheep our young bird has taken a trip over the Bight of Bonny to the Niger delta region. He roosted for a night north-west of Ataba and then continued west. The next question is, will he now return to Bioko, as he did last February? Will he fly north to face the long route across the Sahara ? Or will he keep flying west towards Gambia and Senegal?
Does he already have the sound of Cumbrian sheep in mind?
We are out of hibernation – watch this space!
Fortunately for us some of our trusty volunteers were stirring even on Christmas Eve – All through the dark days of winter our team turn out on a daily basis to make sure that the feeders for the birds and red squirrels have something in them.
This photograph was taken by one of our volunteers, Chris Pond while visiting the top viewpoint just before Christmas. You can perhaps understand why the ospreys move south for this time of year. The lake is normally to the right of the big Christmas tree in the foreground – must put some lights on that next year! – Whinlatter Forest is in the distance.
Unfortunately we have not received a signal from 8A since the end of September 2014 but Number 14 continues to have a subdued life on Bioko. We will do updates on both between now and April.
If you wish to help Chris out with his feeding duties or get involved with more seasonal activities contact Nathan or Barbara at Whinlatter Forest Centre 017687-78469.
Many thanks to Chris Pond for the photograph and Clement Clark Moore for the poem – ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’.
Last Friday the Lake District Osprey Project staff and volunteers met at the Siskin cafe, Whinlatter Forest Centre to celebrate the 2014 osprey season. During the course of the evening Pete Barron one of the founding fathers of the project was honoured for the second time this year. This time friends and colleagues presented Pete with a mounted photograph of 5S our bird from 2004 that was seen and photographed by Bjorn Einrem in Norway in 2007. In his comments after the presentation Pete mentioned how the project had evolved from a small local project to an international one. We currently not only have several birds in Africa but also have had returned chicks influencing nests in other parts of the UK. Nathan Fox conducted the presentation and is the person to contact at Whinlatter if you wish to volunteer for the 2015 season.