Ospreywatch 4 July: Great views tempered by events on Nest 2

The Ospreywatch team learnt of the death of chick 3 on Nest 2 during the day. This added a sombre note to what was a fantastic day for seeing an osprey fishing. Five times

Storm clouds surround the fishing osprey. Wish I had a bigger telephoto!

during the afternoon an osprey, almost certainly not always the same one due to the timing of sightings, was visible hunting over the water around the Leaplish area and across on the north shoreline. A couple of times the volunteers and some lucky visitors saw the bird hover then dive fast towards the water. He didn’t get a fish in our sight but a visitor saw an osprey carrying a fish further along the Lakeside Way. All those who saw the spectacle were delighted.

About 115 visitors came during the day including a party of over 30 from Durham Wildlife Trust. Such an influx was a bit of a challenge with just the three telescopes but the group seemed to enjoy the experience of seeing such a rare bird.

Midges were an intermittent problem but the weather was mainly fair and occasionally sunny with good visibility across to the nest area. Both the adult ospreys were visible for much of the day, the male in what must be a favourite tree a short way from the nest. The female was usually on the nest or the camera pole but she did take a few flights.

The chick was often ‘resting’ in the nest but vigorous exercise of its wings was visible through the telescopes at times. When a fish was brought in during the afternoon the female fed the chick, although earlier it picked at some left over fish from an 11.00 delivery whilst she watched from the pole.

Apart from the ospreys, entertainment was provided by the starling chicks all being coaxed out of their nest by the parents. The swallows nest by the Boat Inn has six occupants and a spotted flycatcher is nesting under the eaves at the south end of the building. And a kestrel was chased away from the area by a flock of small birds. So much to see and enjoy!

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