Tuesday was drizzly to wet with high midge levels and low visibility most of the time. On setting up the fieldscopes the female osprey could just be made out on top of the camera pole. Very few visitors ventured to our site – or Leaplish generally – in the first couple of hours but after 1100 we were able to direct those who failed to make out anything through the ‘scopes inside the Boat Inn to see the chick or, more often, mum covering chick.
At 1130 there was a slightly clearer spell and the male was visible in his favourite tree to the left and mum left her station to stretch her wings. By noon she was sheltering the chick again. Just after lunchtime a party from Durham Wildlife Trust arrived and some of them saw the outline of the female on the pole during a less wet period. Thanks to them we recorded about 40 odd visitors before we packed up at about 1530. We could barely see the headland on the south shore, let alone the nest site on the north side and the rain was relentless – as were the midges despite three applications of various deterrents!
A couple came off the Osprey ferry to report seeing an osprey hunting near the dam, but there were no sightings from Leaplish, sadly.
A final look at the TV shortly before we finished showed the chick standing up and stretching its wings before the female went to try and cover it again, no mean feat given its size now.
Other wildlife was more easily spotted than ospreys, with oystercatchers, mallards, chaffinches and swallows in most frequent view. The swallow chicks near the entrance to the Boat Inn have grown hugely since the photo on 3 July as you can see, and adults whipped in and out to assuage their appetites.
Don and Joanna