Archer, the 50th Kielder osprey chick, flies the nest

Archer, the 50th Kielder osprey, takes flight.
Archer, the 50th Kielder osprey, takes flight.

The 50th osprey chick has taken flight at Kielder.

Nine chicks have fledged from four nests this year, including Archer, who takes the total up to half a century since the birds began nesting at Kielder Water and Forest Park in 2009.

This year is the second most successful breeding season ever for the Kielder ospreys, with only 2016 producing more fledged chicks, a record-breaking 11 of them.

However, this year's success has been tinged with sadness. One of the 13 eggs failed to hatch and three of the chicks died before they had a chance to fledge.

Extremely wet weather at times has affected a number of UK osprey nests this season, including Kielder. The overall productivity of just over two fledges per nest is still above the average for many UK osprey projects.

Joanna Dailey, Kielder osprey expert volunteer, said: "Kielder Water and Forest Park has proved to be a successful home for ospreys, with excellent habitat and food supply. A special pleasure this year has been seeing the Nest 3 adults, breeding here since 2014, raise three chicks for the first time. It is apt that the official 50th Kielder fledge is from that nest."

Visitors can still watch the antics of the birds until late August through nest cameras broadcasting at Kielder Castle Café.

For a chance to see the birds, join Northumberland Wildlife Trust volunteers at Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Waterside every Saturday, Sunday and Monday to view Nest 1A and 2 through a scope and see live footage broadcast from the nest to a screen in the cabin.

Fans of the birds can also keep up to date with them by checking the blog at https://kielderospreys.wordpress.com
Kielder Osprey Watch is a partnership between Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust, Forestry Commission, RSPB, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water and Calvert Trust Kielder.

The partners are working hard to ensure that the ospreys are here to stay by maintaining a high quality habitat in Kielder safeguarding and monitoring the nest sites. To find out more, go to www.visitkielder.com
Historically, ospreys lived in Northumberland, hunting on the once extensive network of marshes. However, records going back more than 200 years fail to mention any ospreys breeding in the county.

Ospreys were once distributed widely, but persecution resulted in the species becoming extinct in England as a breeding bird in 1847 and in Scotland in 1916.

Some birds re-colonised in Scotland in 1954 and by 2001 there were nearly 160 breeding pairs (today about 200). The same year saw the first successful osprey nests in England for 160 years by re-colonising birds in the Lake District and re-introduced ones at Rutland Water in the East Midlands.