Kielder Osprey recorded on migration in Senegal

An osprey which fledged from a nest in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, in 2012 has been recorded flying in the clear blue skies of Senegal, West Africa. It’s the first time that a Kielder bird has ever been seen at a migration destination.

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Image captured by Frédéric Bacuez

Ornithologist Frédéric Bacuez, in Senegal, snapped a picture of the bird identified by its ring as Blue 1H, on Thursday November 14 2013. The osprey was seen in the Todde area of Northern Senegal, described as a ‘hotspot’ for birds of prey.

Ospreys recolonised naturally in the North East in 2009 following more than 200 years of absence.

The first successful breeding pairs were at Kielder Water & Forest Park, rearing young on the trout caught in Northumbrian Water’s Kielder reservoir, the largest man-made lake in northern Europe.

Now the birds continue to return and successfully breed there every year, travelling over 5,000 miles to and from their wintering ground in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year the Park had four chicks successfully fledge from England’s biggest working forest – a record number since 2009.

Nature lovers enjoyed close up views of the action in the nest with CCTV cameras beaming footage to visitors at Kielder Castle and Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park.

Forestry Commission Recreation and Public Affairs Manager, Alex MacLennan, said: “To get a sighting of one of the 2012 Kielder ospreys in Northern Senegal is truly amazing. This is such exciting news for everyone involved with protecting and promoting these stunning birds, from Northumberland Wildlife Trust to the Osprey Watch volunteers.

“This year has been a fantastic year for the ospreys at Kielder and 2013 has produced more fledglings than ever before. Soon it will be time for the Forestry Commission Wildlife Rangers to check the Kielder Water & Forest Park nests in anticipation of the return of the birds in April and even Blue 1H could come back next year to breed.”

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