Nature lovers are being urged to turn their eyes to the skies to watch for the return of some of Northumberland’s most popular visitors.
Homes will be made, relationships rekindled, new family members born and feathers may fly as the 2017 osprey season and its soap opera in the sky unfold at Kielder Water & Forest Park.
The iconic birds have bred successfully in Northumberland every season since the species returned to the North East in 2009.
Following a record-breaking year in 2016, it is hoped that this year will see another exciting season for local residents and visitors alike.
Last year was the most successful breeding season since the return of the species, with 11 chicks fledging across the four nests.
The bird dubbed Yellow 37, who has inhabited Kielder’s Nest 2 site in past years, has historically been the first of the ospreys to return from migration in Africa. It is anticipated that he will arrive back at Kielder in the next fortnight.
Alex McLennan, Public Affairs Manager at the Forestry Commission, said: “The journeys, lives, habits and relationships of the Kielder ospreys have captivated visitors to Northumberland since the species returned in 2009. We are all set to welcome them back once again and will have a team of volunteers in place to help people get the most of the experience when they visit the Kielder area.”
Lynn Turner, Director at Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “The Kielder ospreys have become a major part of the visitor experience at Kielder, fascinating those who choose to enjoy the Osprey Cams at Kielder Waterside and Kielder Castle, and thrilling those who get a rare sight of activity including the birds fishing in Kielder Water. The return of the ospreys is an exciting event in our calendar and all eyes are now on the skies for a glimpse of our favourite birds.”
Once more, the arrivals will be viewable via Osprey Cams at the Forestry Commission’s Kielder Castle Visitor Centre and at Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Waterside. Fans can also keep track of this year’s osprey season at www.kielderospreys.wordpress.com.
Kielder Osprey Watch is organised by Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, with support from the RSPB. The partners are working hard to ensure that the ospreys are here to stay by maintaining a high quality habitat in Kielder Water & Forest Park and safeguarding and monitoring the nest site. To find out more, go to www.visitkielder.com.
To post osprey sightings go to the VisitKielder Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kielder or the VisitKielder twitter feed at www.twitter.com/visitkielder.
You can also keep up to date with the ospreys at www.kielderospreys.wordpress.com.