Welcome to the 2019 osprey season. This is just a very short note to remind you that we are expecting our birds back at any time and, if you are in the area, to keep your eyes to the sky. For the previous 3 years, Samson has returned on 2nd, 9th and 7th April so it’s likely that he’s well on his way. We have no idea when Freya might return. Last year she arrived with us at the beginning of May but non-breeding birds usually arrive later. This year, with a mate and a territory, she is likely to be quite a bit earlier, so who knows? What we do know is that ospreys rarely dawdle on their way north, so not stopping off at Kielder, young lady!

The handsome Samson surveying his territory

We have done some cleansing of the nest of the invariable baler twine (I hate seeing that lying around; it can be a death trap for wildlife), the camera is working, the screen is on in the restaurant and we are only now waiting for the stars to make their appearance. And they’d best be quick because I’ve already seen jackdaws in the nest, stealing some of the smaller sticks for their own nests!

Freya learning the tricky art of landing on a nest while carrying a stick

My thanks to Kirsty Smith of Tree Bird Arboriculture for carrying out the tree top work in “less than ideal” (ie blowing a hoolie!) conditions and Jain Jameson of Techstar for providing the technical, wiggly amps expertise.

I will be looking at recruiting a few volunteers to help me monitor the nest. If you are interested and have time to spare between now and Sep, please drop your contact details in writing off at the restaurant, for my attention, and I will get back to you.

I will of course blog again once we have news. Come down and see us and maybe you will be watching when our birds touch down for the first time this year on the nest.

Rosie Shields


  1. Thanks for the update, Rosie! If I lived near you (instead of miles away in the U.S., I’d sign up to volunteer!).


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