Here is today’s Osprey Watch Report:-
A good day with lots of interested and interesting visitors – around 100 visitors we think, a little bit of rain and a very few midges.
The feeds to the screen were working well so we could show many of the visitors close up of the chicks and occasionally mum by swapping between the nests.
This was particularly helpful for families with small children who were finding it difficult to see the nest through the scopes.
Many of the visitors were staying in the area and came from as far afield as the Chilterns, Hampshire and south of London. Many were very knowledgeable about ospreys and in the use of scopes and those who were not really appreciated the help and guidance and the information we were able to give.
Just before 14.00 an osprey could be seen flying over the near peninsula then circling back over the water and coming down to fish between the ferry boat and the far shore. It could easily be seen through the binoculars but it was not altogether clear whether it caught a fish or whether the flash of silver was just the water on its feather glinting in the sunlight. It flew off in the direction of Nest 1 before being lost from sight in the trees on the North shore.
Several of the groups of visitors came back later in the day to see the chicks again. Their visits being interspersed with any number of activities from lunch to fencing lessons to Bird of Prey Displays. One family who came to see us three times in all but still missed the fishing osprey had a wonderful sighting of an osprey which enhanced the Bird of Prey Display by flying over mid display. Having been spotted the handler pointed out the osprey and gave the audience the chance to observe it before carrying on.
Around 14.45 there was lots of activity around Nest 1 with three or possibly even four osprey in flight. The light was good and the white of the wings could be clearly seen through the scopes as the birds went to and fro above the nest. The fourth bird may have been a buzzard which might account for all the activity.
We had heard a high pitched call on and off throughout the day from the trees near the cabin and one young teenager, who his mother told me had been keen on birds since he was about four, crept off to seek out the birds, coming back to tell us they were either gold or firecrests. Having discussed this further we came to the conclusion that they were goldcrests. A fledging willow warbler was also heard throughout the day and we had a fly past by 10 Canada geese mid morning and by the RAF in the early afternoon.
At least three groups of visitors were off to the Observatory this evening so were hoping for clear skies, one group told us there is so much light pollution where they live that they have no real sightings of stars at all. Others came having ventured into Northumberland having seen the Robson Green programmes of the area and some just found us by chance.
Ian, Tim and Margaret
It sounds like a great day at Leaplish – not even many midges!
As mentioned in the previous post the weather has been very poor indeed over the last few days, and as with Nest 2 there hasn’t been much presence on Nest 1 apart from feeding time. Unlike Nest 2 there are usually less fierce battles for possession of an incoming fish. VY is older and slightly bigger than VP but VP shouts more and rushes over to the adult bearing a fish and grabs it. Mostly VY lets her get on with it and waits for her turn. But sometimes VY is first to the fish and won’t brook interference from anyone!
Neither juvenile ever seems to have an empty crop unlike both parents on occasion.
At 10.10 this morning YA brought a still twitching trout to the nest which VP snatched from him. She can now tackle whole fish effectively – her tentative nibbling round the head and gills has been replaced by more determined despatch.