The Kielder ospreys have been making the most of the warm weather and adding to their numbers, following a record return to Northumberland.
Already, at least 11 chicks have hatched and are doing well, while there are further eggs on nests, bringing the hope of even more new arrivals. Amazingly, for the fourth year out of five, the pair on Nest 1A have four chicks, an unusual feat.
2020 has also proved the best year ever for returning ospreys, with three 2018 chicks having found their way back to Kielder, the trio are among an overall total of 14 to come back. This is the twelfth year ospreys have returned to Kielder, following recolonisation in 2009, prior to which the species hadn't been witnessed breeding in Northumberland for almost 200 years.
Lynn Turner, Director of Kielder Water & Forest Park, said: "We're really pleased with the way things are going for the ospreys so far this year. We've been able to confirm 11 chicks, but we believe there are at least two more on one nest and we know another nest has a pair of birds incubating, with potential new hatchlings expected around the middle of the month.
"This is brilliant news and we are really excited to see how many more we get and to start the naming process in the coming weeks. This year, the chicks will be named after Northumberland places beginning with D, as we mark the fourth year of the new naming process."
While Covid-19 has meant that Kielder's Osprey Watch hasn't been able to operate so far this year, videos, images and updates are being regularly posted on Osprey Consultant Joanna Dailey's blog at kielderospreys.wordpress.com.
Over the past 12 years, Kielder Water & Forest Park has been proved to be the perfect environment for ospreys to thrive, with 250sq miles of forest surrounding the birds as well as the open water of the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe.
The Kielder Osprey Project is a partnership between Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Forestry England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water and Calvert Kielder. 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 sites.