Ospreys at Kielder
2018 was the 10th successive year of Ospreys breeding in Kielder Forest. During that time, the population has grown from 1 to 5 breeding pairs, with other birds in the area each summer. Highlights of the 2018 season included the discovery of Nest 5, a natural nest built by two young Scottish ospreys. They had at least 1 chick, but it failed to survive. We hope the pair will return and succeed in 2019. Eight chicks fledged from the other four nests, with a female from Nest 3, Blue 224/Bywell, being seen on migration in SE Portugal in October.
A new nest platform erected by Forestry Commission England was occupied from mid-season by a Welsh male and an unringed female. They formed a strong bond, and breeding may occur in 2019. Watch this space!
The new nest platform is now designated Nest 6, and awaits the return of the 2018 pair. So far in 2019, the breeding pairs on Nests 1A, 2, 3 and 4 have returned safely from migration. The first egg was laid on Nest 1A on 14 April. Storm damage to Nest 5 has probably caused that pair to move to a new platform, rather than take on a major rebuild of their nest. It looks like it will be a busy season in Kielder Forest!
Every year, once the ospreys return to Kielder, Northumberland Wildlife Trust coordinates a team of knowledgeable volunteers who share their expertise with visitors from the viewing point situated behind the Boat Inn at Kielder Waterside. As with previous years, Osprey Watch will be situated at the cabin behind the Boat Inn between 10.30am - 5:00pm every Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday Monday (and extra Wednesdays in July and August) from Saturday 20th April until Sunday 18th August.
You can support Osprey Watch by donating via the link below.
Between late March and early September visitors using the Lakeside Way may see ospreys hunting over the water, The birds use all parts of the reservoir, but some favourite areas are either side of the water at the dam, the area between Bull Crag and Leaplish Bay, and Leaplish Bay itself. The ospreys regularly hunt soon after first light and again in the early evening, around 17.30-18.00, but can be active at any time of the day. As the breeding season goes on, more fish will be required by ever-hungry growing chicks. So June-August are the peak months, giving the best chance of seeing this magnificent bird plunge into the water and emerge with a fish
You can follow the progress of the Kielder ospreys by visiting the blog at, http://kielderospreys.wordpress.com.
Photo: Simon Mackie. Blagdon Lake. Somerset 31.3.13
What you said:
“Great to see the male and female together.” – Murray family, County Durham
“Fantastic to see such a rare sight!” – Lindsay Kemp, Isle of Wight
"Wonderful! Really excellent information.” – Margaret Clate, Newcastle
“Very knowledgeable guide. Great to see the ospreys. Thanks!!” – Dawn Livesey, Lancashire
Kielder Osprey Watch is possible thanks to the hard work of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Forestry Commission, RSPB, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water and other partners. We would like to thank Bellingham Fund and Northumberland National Park Area Action Fund for their support this year which has funded volunteer support and leaflets to improve the visitor experience.