I know many of you have been wondering what has been happening since Samson appeared last Monday and whether he’d found a willing female this year. Well, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t witnessing a flash in the pan but he has found a female and she seems very interested in breeding. What some of who are regulars readers of the blog may be more surprised to hear is that it is JW6. Last year she was, to be frank, a real headache. She chased away any other females but showed little interest in Samson, the nest or any aspect of breeding. When she arrived this year she again spent long periods of time away from the nest area for the first few days, including visiting various nest sites at Kielder, and then wasn’t seen at all for several days. It looked like she may have gone for good but, she was clearly keeping an eye on the nest site because the morning following his arrival, there she was on the dead tree calling at him for fish.
Since then she has displayed exactly the sort of behaviour we would expect from a female preparing to breed. She has allowed Samson to mate regularly with her, she has spent far more time than she has done previously in the nest itself, rearranging the nest material, and has been regularly seen collecting more material herself. Most importantly, she has stayed in and around the nest area, not wandering out of sight for more than very short trips.
All in all, things look very promising and, while I’m not counting my osprey chicks, we are hopeful that we may see eggs laid in the next week. I promised that I would give her a name when she laid her first egg; I have a few ideas but if you think of an appropriate name, please let me know but you’d best make it soon!
After significant frustration, the nest camera is now working and a picture can be seen in the restaurant once more, so I hope that we may be able to soon bring you exciting news with photographic evidence. Please keep your fingers and toes crossed and I’ll let you know when something happens.