Returning ospreys set to be CCTV stars at Kielder
THE welcome mat was laid out yesterday as anticipation grew over the hoped-for return of breeding ospreys to Northumberland.
Forestry Commission wildlife ranger Adam Fletcher scaled the platform built on top of a conifer tree at Kielder Water & Forest Park which was used last year by a pair of the fish-eating eagles to raise three chicks.
Adam spread fresh moss on the decking to help entice the birds back. If they return, CCTV cameras will beam pictures of the osprey family to visitors at Kielder Castle.
Last year was the first time in at least 200 years that ospreys had nested in Northumberland.
And over the next few weeks, forest rangers and birders will be scanning the skies to see if ospreys return from their African wintering grounds.
The birds are strongly faithful both to nest site and mate.
The male is likely to be the first on the scene in late March after migrating back from sub-Saharan Africa.
But despite having made the 5,000-mile haul at least a couple of times before, nothing can be taken for granted, said Tom Dearnley, ecologist with the Forestry Commission.