And then there were 4 and 6

At the beginning of the season there was one – Unring – sitting all alone, waiting for KL.

On May 6th there were two ,Unring and a young female with a long streak on the back of her head. ‘Longstreak’

A young male bird, probably Blue 2H, has been spotted on the Lake. As he starts visiting the Southern waters of Bassenthwaite,  there were three.

This week another female osprey has been seen also visiting, in his company – so now there are four.

When in the neutral territory, under the Lower Dodd Viewpoint, they seem to be getting on amicably, fishing and playing on the wind together. For long periods they have been seen sitting on the shingle shoals that have emerged as the Lake has receded. With the sunshine maybe it reminds them of balmy sandy spits of the West African estuaries.

However, Unring is still vigilant over his nest, defending it vigorously with talons outstretched against 2H and his new girlfriend if they fly in too close.  ‘Longstreak, however, is still inclined to sit back and watch the tournament rather than helping him.

And where does 6 come in?

Staff travelling around the Lake this week were excited to see no less than 6 red kites flying above. Until now we have only seen the odd one at long intervals. Their butterfly wing beats, colours buff, red and brown, glinting in the sun against a blue sky and the constant re-adjusting of their forked tails to wind and thermals make them one of the most beautiful raptors. Where have they come from? As we are mid-way between 3 re-introduction sites, Galloway, across the water, Gateshead, across the Pennines and Grizedale, our South Lakes sister forest, they could have come from any of these. Keep a look out for them and let us know if you can see any wing-tags.

Wood sorrel blooms on the forest floor