High-definition cameras are giving experts the first close up views of the ospreys in Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland.
The footage shows a female osprey calling for a fish and pacing her nest soon before laying two eggs on an artificial platform put up by the Forestry Commission in the 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) wilderness.
Pictures – being beamed live to Kielder Castle Visitor Centre – also revealed that her male partner has an identification tag after being ringed as a chick. Rangers are now trawling through the records to track down his origins.
Elisabeth Rowark, Director of the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “The pictures are stunning. Last year the couple bred for the first time so we didn’t have cameras on them. But over the winter the Forestry Commission has erected a CCTV link to reveal daily story of osprey family life.”
News from Kielder’s other nest – which in 2009 produced the first osprey born in North East England in at least two centuries – is also excellent. CCTV has spied three eggs in the tree top eerie.
Martin Davison, Forestry Commission ornithologist, explained that the female on the new nest is pretty noisy, staying put even before laying eggs to guard the site from other ospreys. “That means the male must catch fish for her. Getting such a clear view of the male’s white tag is also a massive bonus. Knowing where he was born will help us chart the recolonisation of this once extinct species back into England. These are incredibly exciting times for everyone who loves these fish-eating superstars.”
New nest footage can be seen and downloaded at https://vimeo.com/41199271 and you can also follow the fortunes of both nests at http://kielderospreys.
Kielder Osprey Watch 2012 is being organised by the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, the RSPB and Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
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.