The first of the summer evening motorboat cruises, a Calvert Trust/Northumberland Wildlife Trust initiative, set off on a calm and balmy if overcast early evening. A contrast to the rainy and cold spring trip.
Before we had even got out of the inlet where the boat is moored we saw an Osprey! It was over a parallel inlet and we watched it flying quite slowly over the water until it went out of sight. A bonus was a Common Sandpiper at the edge of the water.
This was a great start for the two visitors on board, Carole and Paul, because it was their first ever Osprey sighting. Our driver Lucy headed over to another inlet which the Ospreys use when they hunt. We hadn’t been there long before an Osprey flew across the end of the inlet onto the main body of the water, so back we went! Probably the same Osprey was picked up again and obligingly landed in a tree where good views could be seen through binoculars.
From analysing the not very good photos the Osprey appears to be unringed and has quite a dark chest, which ruled out YA or 37.
After a few minutes the Osprey flew and tracked along the tree line just back from the water. It looked female and had damaged one of the primaries on the left wing at some point, P8, which is re-growing.
Lucy took us to the inlet where the bird was headed but we couldn’t spot it again.
We travelled along the north shore and watched Sand Martins wheeling about near their nests in the sandy bankside. Other bird life was relatively scarce although we noted Oystercatchers, Carrion Crows and a flock of eight Curlews. A pair of Ducks proved more tricky; they were adult male Mallards in eclipse plumage.
As we arrived back the sun was behind thinner cloud and there was a lovely glow on the water.
Carole and Paul’s verdict – a great experience!
There will be a cruise every Wednesday until the end of August. If you are interested sign on with the Calvert Trust.