Kielder Forest Osprey makes first Test Flight!

At least one of Kielder Water & Forest Park’s three osprey chicks has earned his wings. The remaining chick in the original nest located in the 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Border wilderness has taken his first flight watched by visitors and staff at Kielder Castle Visitor Centre on a live video feed from the nest. 

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“It was quite emotional,” said June Banks, who manages the Forestry Commission shop in the castle.  “The youngster perched himself on the edge of the nest and eventually plucked up the courage to take a leap int the dark.  Everything else went like clockwork and after a circuit around the nest he arrived back safe and sound.”

As in previous years, three eggs were laid in the tree-top nest, but due to stormy weather in May, only one chick survived.

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One of the three Kielder Osprey rung by Martin this year

News of the other nest at Kielder – which for the first time has produced two chicks – is also positive. The osprey chicks in the second tree-top eyrie  have been spotted flexing their wings on the edge of the nest getting ready for take-off.

The development of the osprey’s this year is a few weeks behind previous seasons because the adults arrived back late in the county after spending the winter in Africa.  

Now the chicks face a race against time to learn how to fish on Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Reservoir. By the start of September they will be hitching to head south to avoid the harsh northern European winter. 

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Kevin Hudson, Leisure Manager at Northumbrian Water said: “With two osprey families on the wing hunting for trout it gives visitors a unique chance to see these majestic creatures.”

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There’s no place like home, even at the top of a wind-blown 15 m high pine tree

A short video shows the ringing of two chicks by the Forestry Commission can be found here.

Video footage can be seen at http://vimeo.com/27507632

You can follow the story at the osprey blog at http://kielderospreys.wordpress.com/

 

 

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