Feathered visitors’ return to Kielder

Some of the first visitors to return to Kielder Water & Forest Park this year have already flown in from warmer climes to start their summer.
Osprey YA - Kielder Water & Forest Park

Osprey YA. Image by: Kielder Water & Forest Park

The area’s famous ospreys have become a fascinating and beautiful part of the Northumberland wildlife scene since the species re-colonised the area in 2009, with people able to watch their lives unfold via locally-streamed nest cams.

From arrival, to eggs being laid, to chicks hatching, then fledging, to their departure late in the summer, the patterns and habits of the ospreys have become familiar to avid and casual watchers alike.

The arrival of the breeding male known as Blue 69 on March 25 was his earliest return by more than a week. Of the 13 established breeding ospreys, all but one has already returned, with the last expected in the coming days.

As the Park prepares to welcome visitors once more over the coming weeks, the ospreys’ return is perfectly timed, ensuring that those who come to take in the area’s beauty can find it in all directions – including up!

While travel restrictions limited visitors’ ability to enjoy the ospreys first hand in 2020, thousands used online footage captured via nest cams to watch the wondrous life cycle of the birds unfold

Osprey KM18 - Kielder Water & Forest Park

Osprey KM18. Image by: Kielder Water & Forest Park.

Following the decision in 2017 to start an alphabetised naming scheme for ospreys that hatch at Kielder, the 2021 chicks will all be named for parts of Northumberland beginning with the letter E.

Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust Director Graham Perry said: “There is always something very special about the ospreys’ return to Kielder each year. We are hopeful that their arrival is a good omen for the year ahead, as we start to welcome visitors back to the park. We can’t wait to watch their ‘soap opera in the sky’ unfold for another year.”

Kielder Osprey Watch is a partnership between Northumbrian Water, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Forestry England, and Calvert Kielder.

To find out more about the Kielder ospreys, visit Osprey Volunteer Joanna Dailey’s excellent blog: kielderospreys.wpcomstaging.com.