Love is blooming at Kielder Water and Forest Park in west Northumberland. A pair of ospreys are together for the fourth year in a row.
Ospreys spend the winter in sub-Saharan Africa and will have made a journey of more than 5000 miles to the North of England.
Nick Adams, area conservation manager for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, was quoted in the Guardian as saying: “Last year the female was delayed for over a week due to bad weather en route, so we are delighted that the wait has been short this time. The birds have been exemplary parents since 2009, raising a total of seven chicks.We have great hopes of another osprey family being born in Kielder, boosting the re-colonisation of the species to other areas of England.”
The ospreys are the first of the breed to reproduce successfully in 200 years in the north east of England. Ospreys are noted for forming and maintaining a lifelong bond with one partner.
Nick says: “There is no time to lose in getting reacquainted. Within the space of just five months the birds must breed, incubate eggs, nurture their youngsters, wait for them to fledge and teach them how to hunt on Kielder Water. By the end of August the chicks will be on their own.
The site of the nest, and a second one where descendants of the pair produced two of their own chicks last year and are expected back soon, are not being disclosed, but live footage from the main nest will soon be beamed intoKielder Castle Visitor Centre, a Victorian hunting lodge in the middle of the wilderness. Commission rangers are monitoring both nests from a distance, after making the birds’ life a little more comfortable by climbing the trees with moss lining before the migrants returned.
This year live video footage from both of the 2011 nest sites will be shown at Kielder Castle thanks to the hard work of the Forestry Commission’s Radio and Electronics Branch over the winter. There has been a live feed from the original nest since the second year of breeding but the link to nest two is new.
Ospreys were persecuted to extinction in England in 1847 and in Scotland in 1916 but returned north of the Border in the mid-1950s and were reintroduced to Rutland Water and the Lake District in 2001. The Lake District birds can be seen from the visitors’ hide on Lake Bassenthwaite.