Ospreywatch 24 July: Mediocre morning, fantastic finish!

Nothing was positive about the morning session – very poor visibility, drizzle, midges, little wildlife about, hardly any visitors and to cap it all, problems with the nestcam feed so we couldn’t rely on that to find out what might be happening over on the North shore. We did manage to see the youngster take off expertly when the TV burst into life for a minute or two at about 11:25, and there were occasional glimpses through the mist and low cloud of an osprey shape on top of the camera pole. Probably the female.

The first real excitement was at about 14:15, when the volunteers and a few visitors were treated to about 4 minutes of an osprey hunting around the bay at Leaplish. The youngster was being observed on and off the nest through an improving nestcam stream and intermittently clearing mist. Another sighting of an osprey hunting near the headland was followed at about 15:15 by a fish arriving on the nest ( no-one saw the male come in but it seems likely it had been him fishing) and on the TV the juvenile could be seen tucking in. The female soon came back to the nest, but the youngster flapped her wings to hold mum at bay when she tried to get a bite! The selfless mum stayed patiently in the centre of the nest, with occasional unsuccessful forays near the fish, until the fledgling had eaten enough. The female then ate for a few minutes before feeding her offspring. A number of visitors and the volunteers found this behaviour very interesting, especially one young man who fired off about 10 questions a minute about parent/child relationships in the osprey world!

At about 16:25 an osprey was spotted hunting in the bay again, but the male from Nest 1 was seen in his favourite tree shortly afterward as the light improved, so probably not him. Soon after all three of the Nest 1 family were on the nest. As we packed up after a relatively busy afternoon with around 90 visitors, we were reflecting on some interesting observations when we had the best yet! We heard calling and looked up to see an osprey with a fish firmly grasped in its talons. It was only 100 yards or so away, and was moving slowly away from the water. Glancing back to the lake we saw a second osprey, equally near! The two drifted away towards the dam end. What a great end to the day.

Joe, Mike and Joanna

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