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Egg-citement mounts at osprey nest sites

Kielder osprey assistant Ellie Kent shows a youngster how to use one of the osprey watch scopes. Picture by Neil Denham
Kielder osprey assistant Ellie Kent shows a youngster how to use one of the osprey watch scopes. Picture by Neil Denham

All eyes are on Kielder as the first of this year’s osprey eggs are due to hatch.

All four nests each have three eggs, despite a slow start to the breeding season caused by the Beast from the East.

Ellie Kent, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Kielder osprey assistant, said: “It’s been an incredible start to the 2018 osprey season so far, with all our ospreys successfully laying three eggs each.

“I cannot wait to see the first egg hatch and see how the rest of the season unfolds.”

There were doubts over whether all four nests would be occupied this year as the male osprey from nest three didn’t return from migration.

But a new male found the nest and has formed a successful new partnership with the female.

Joanna Dailey, Kielder osprey expert volunteer, said: “Sadness at the loss of the original nest three male is tempered by the arrival of an unringed male, who is doing well as a probable first time breeder. Sometimes, a new pairing will have only two eggs, so we’re thrilled to see the three eggs on nest three.”

Visitors can watch the birds on three of the nests through cameras broadcasting at Kielder Castle Café, or join Wildlife Trust volunteers at Kielder Waterside every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, to view two of the nests through a scope.