First osprey returns to Northumberland

Two of the osprey chicks born at Kielder last summer.
Two of the osprey chicks born at Kielder last summer.

The first osprey this season has returned to its nest in the heart of a Northumberland forest.

At 11.23am on Wednesday, a female bird landed on her nest at Kielder following her journey from sub-Saharan Africa.

It comes as Northumberland Wildlife Trust is seeking volunteers to help with the fifth Kielder Osprey Watch at Leaplish Waterside Park this summer.

Breeding pairs of ospreys have arrived in Kielder for the last few summers between March and September and activity on the nest tends to be mainly throughout July and August as the chicks hatch, are fed, learn to fly and hunt.

The wildlife charity is looking to recruit a large team of volunteers to spend weekends, including bank holidays, and Wednesdays from June until August, between 10.30am and 4.30pm, to staff an information area complete with information boards and telescopes set up for visitors to view the birds at their leisure. It is a very busy day, but the Trust says that it’s very rewarding and a great opportunity to meet new people.

Don’t be put off getting involved if you are not an expert as full training will be given at the 2014 season induction session on Thursday, May 15, at Leaplish Waterside Park and Kielder Castle and all new volunteers will be in a team of three with members who have volunteered in previous years.

Last year, some visitors had never used a telescope and knew little about birds whereas others arrived with their own kits and had been touring all the reserves in the region; whatever the level of knowledge, everybody appreciated the help from the volunteers and the opportunity they were given.

Contact Lou Chapman on 0191 284 6884 or by email.