The arrival of a dozen chicks has made 2017 another record-breaking year for the Kielder ospreys.
Eight years after ospreys returned and began nesting at Kielder Water and Forest Park, the birds continue to be a popular attraction for visitors to Northumberland.
Last year saw a record 11 chicks fledge and, with the hatching of 2017’s 12th new arrival, that is hoped to once more be eclipsed in the coming weeks as the 2017 chicks fledge, and take their first flights.
The chicks will now begin building their strength for what is always a challenging first year of life that will include solo migration flights, normally to Africa.
If visitors aren’t fortunate enough to spot the birds directly, they can tune into webcams streamed to the Forestry Commission’s Kielder Castle and Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Waterside.
Joanna Dailey, Kielder osprey expert volunteer, said: “It’s proving to be another rewarding season for all involved with the Kielder ospreys, with another record hatching proving the icing on the cake so far.
“It’s fantastic to see the species thriving here once more, after an absence spanning more than 200 years.
“Now, they are here for all to see, thanks to cameras on the nests and the ability to catch a glimpse as the ospreys go hunting for fish to bring back to their families.”
Osprey Watch volunteer coordinator Katy Smart said: “The Kielder ospreys are once more proving very popular with visitors as interest has grown year on year since the re-colonisation in 2009.
“Osprey Watch itself has expanded this year, so that visitors can take part in activities every weekend and Monday until the birds migrate in mid to late August.”
Wildlife lovers can keep up to date with the story of the Kielder ospreys as it unfolds through the blog.