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Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 14:46 UK
Kielder ornithologist delighted at ospreys return
Ranger ringing osprey
Martin ringed the osprey chicks born at Kielder in 2009

A pair of breeding ospreys, who last year parented the first chicks born in Northumberland for more than 200 years, have laid three more eggs.

The two birds were reunited at a specially-created tree-top nesting site in Kielder Forest in early April 2010.

The exact location of the nest remains a secret, however one man who will get to see the chicks up close if the eggs hatch successfully is Martin Davison.

Martin is an ornithologist and ringed the young ospreys born in 2009.

He said he was delighted - and relieved - to see the breeding pair back at Kielder for a second year:

"There's always that bit of worry that something might happen to the birds," he said.

"Birds are wild creatures, once they leave you have no control over them whatsoever, and these birds are going down to the Gambia and Senegal and places like that to winter.

A webcam is monitoring the activities of the ospreys in the nest

"So they've got an awful long migration and a lot of hazards [to overcome]."

First encounter

Martin, who was born in Stocksfield, has worked for the Forestry Commission for around 30 years.

As an ornithologist he is responsible for monitoring birds of prey in the forests around Wark, Redesdale and Tarset and making sure their nests are not disturbed by felling work.

He also has a licence from the British Trust for Ornithology to ring birds.

Ringing involves placing a uniquely numbered, metal ring around a bird's leg, which then allows it to be identified.

This helps conservationists gather data on such things as bird migration patterns, population changes and survival rates.

Martin ringed the ospreys born at Kielder last year and if the current clutch of eggs hatches successfully he'll be ringing those chicks too.

I never go for a walk without binoculars. Even if I'm just walking around [outside] my own house
Martin Davison

He explained that he has been ringing birds since he was very young:

"I probably saw my first owl brood when I was about four.

"It wasn't a case of 'How are you going to do the owls?' it was 'Here are the pliers, get on with it!'

But he had to do his homework before getting close to the ospreys last year:

"It was the first time I'd ever been to an osprey nest so it was great.

"They were totally docile - but I knew that, because before you go to ring any new species you talk to someone that's done it before."

'Perfect' job

Martin's work with the Forestry Commission keeps him busy for about six months each year - centring around the breeding season.

Martin Davison with tawny owl chick
Martin also keeps an eye on the owls in his part of the forest

He said that usually he's out and about for 12 hours a day, six days a week, come rain or shine.

But, whatever the weather, it's a job that he loves; his work is his hobby.

"I never go for a walk without binoculars," he said. "Even if I'm just walking around [outside] my own house and the fields where I live.

"I enjoy seeing common birds as well... Sometimes you can just appreciate a robin singing.

"I reckon it's pretty perfect."




SEE ALSO
Kielder ospreys caught on film
04 May 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
In pictures: Kielder tawny owls
30 Apr 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Tawny owls flourishing at Kielder
30 Apr 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
In pictures: Ospreys
14 Aug 09 |  Nature & Outdoors

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