WILDLIFE ranger Adam Fletcher paved the way yesterday for a hoped-for second nesting osprey couple in Northumberland.
Adam scaled the heights at Kielder Water & Forest Park to install the first of three Forestry Commission artificial osprey platforms.
The top of a 20-metre spruce was lopped with a chainsaw to make way for secure wooden decking.
This approach has already worked with an earlier platform having enticed Kielder’s resident osprey couple who have produced six chicks over two years.
Last year they had an unwelcome house caller when a lone male turned up and tried to seduce the female on her nest while her mate was away fishing.
If one of the new platforms is a success, Kielder would be the only location in England to have two osprey nests with birds which have recolonised naturally.
Elisabeth Rowark, Kielder Partnership director, said: “We won’t have long to wait to see if it does the trick as ospreys begin to arrive back from southern climes from the end of March.”
This year’s Kielder Osprey Watch is organised by the Kielder Partnership, the RSPB and Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Meanwhile, a special hotline has opened so people who spend time in the English uplands can report sightings of one of the country’s rarest birds – the hen harrier. This is the fourth consecutive year the RSPB has operated the Hen Harrier Hotline in a bid find out more about these birds in northern England.
The RSPB says the hen harrier is the bird of prey most affected by illegal persecution, with a recent review concluding illegal killing is the biggest single factor affecting the species.
The Harrier Hotline number is 0845 4600121.
Reports can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org