It’s eyes to the skies time again in Northumberland as wildlife lovers prepare for the return of the Kielder ospreys.
2020 will be the 12th year of the ospreys’ summer residency at Kielder Water & Forest Park, following their recolonization in 2009.
Anticipation is building for another season of the soap opera in the sky, with births, deaths, reunions, pairings, hatchings and even the odd spot of philandering likely to cause a stir.
Enthusiasts are busy tracking the ospreys’ journeys as they make their migration from warmer climates back to the North East of England, and the first sighting at Kielder could only be a matter of days away.
In 2019 the first known Kielder-hatched osprey to returned to setup his own territory in the forest. Hopefully, ‘Blue UV’, the 2014 satellite-tagged offspring from Nest 1 will come back this year and attract a mate.
Following the alphabetised scheme put in place in 2017, 2020’s chicks will all be named using parts of Northumberland beginning with the letter D.
Shortly after the birds have returned, visitors will be able to enjoy Osprey Watch at Landal Kielder Waterside and at Kielder Castle, and observe the birds on nest 1A using telescopes, and the live nestcam network provided by Forestry England. Northumberland Wildlife Trust will be running Osprey Watch between 11am and 4pm every Saturday and Sunday from 25 April until 16th August.
Lynn Turner, Director at Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: "Osprey season is now as much a part of the Kielder calendar as Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and everyone’s starting to get excited for the return of our annual visitors.
“The recolonisation has been a huge success and ospreys are very much a part of Kielder’s wonderful wildlife story.”
The Kielder Osprey Project is a partnership between Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Forestry England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water and Calvert Kielder. 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 sites.
To find out more, go to www.visitkielder.com.
To post osprey sightings go to the VisitKielder Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kielder or the VisitKielder twitter feed at www.twitter.com/visitkielder.
You can also keep up to date with the ospreys at www.kielderospreys.wordpress.com.