Sunday, 2 August 2009


I went to Kielder yesterday with Steve H and D McK. Now that the Osprey chicks have fledged we planned to try different vantage points around Kielder.

On the way we stopped at Ridley Stokoe to look for Mandarins. The river was flowing a lot faster than usual so there wasn’t anything on the water.

We stopped at the raptor viewpoint at Bakethin. We only stayed ten minutes as the trees were blocking most of the view and we were being attacked by insects.
Five Crossbill were around the viewpoint including a male, which showed well in a tree opposite the viewpoint.

Are next stop was the viaduct at Bakethin Reservoir. As well as the Ospreys we were still keeping an eye out for Mandarins but only found Tufted and Mallard.
9 Cormorants were flying around before landing on the water and a Little Grebe was diving.
Willow Warbler and Goldcrest were calling from the trees around the viaduct, as was a Yaffling Green Woodpecker.

We then tried to park at the area where other birders had said to park, but in the last week the car park has been closed for the summer.
Instead we parked at Otterstone Viewpoint car park at Bull Crag, somewhere none of us had been.
After following the access track out of the car park we stopped on the side of a sloping meadow next to some stone benches.
From here a good view of the open water and forest on its banks is given, the perfect place to see an Osprey and other Raptors.

A slight breeze was starting to pick up and the first Buzzards of the day began appearing over the treetops.
I took my eye off the ball for a second and Steve had an Osprey just dropping out of sight behind a clearing in the trees.
Whilst waiting for it to reappear 3 Crossbill and 2 Siskins flew overhead along with a very vocal Lesser Redpoll - Lifer.
A Raven flew east along the treetops and three Buzzards were dropping in and out of view. Not long after this a distant Raptor appeared in the same area. As it turned in the air I could see its body was all white and it hand slightly rounded wings pointing to it being an Osprey.It stayed in the air for a few minutes before disappearing again.

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