Here is the Report about yesterday’s cruise – it didn’t quite go as planned!:-
We had an eventful cruise but very enjoyable. And the weather was kind, not raining until we returned to shore. Andy from the Calvert Trust drove the boat, and there were six paying guests – a party of four who had travelled from Hexham including a young woman from Oregon, USA and a Trustee from the Calvert Trust, and a couple from Whitley Bay. The man from Hexham was a keen watcher of raptors in various parts of the world, and the couple from Whitley Bay had seen Osprey in Wales. The question was asked, do Osprey and Fish Eagles compete where they are found together? Answers please.
We had a good tour of the reservoir with Andy pointing out some of the art installations and other features of the reservoir such as remains of a coal mine and a road. Unfortunately, at one point we hit a submerged rock but no damage seemed to be done. However, soon after, the main engine stopped and couldn’t be restarted so the rest of the trip was on a second outboard motor with Andy perched on the back of the boat. There were times when we thought we’d have to be rescued but Andy battled on and brought us safely back to the jetty.
We had two main sightings of Osprey, the first was two Osprey flying up the reservoir towards the dam but they were high and soon gone. The second came towards us as we headed back to the jetty and that one gave us a good display. It appeared that this bird had a missing feather on the left wing. We also saw Grebe, a family of Teal, a Cormorant, various Geese and several Buzzards, and fish were rising in the calm inlets. We got a good view from the water of Nest 1 but no Osprey in sight there.
Overall, we think everyone, including Andy, enjoyed the trip, particularly when it was pointed out that no other people were out on the water!
Our last cruise for now. Back to dry land for Saturday’s Watch!
Lynda & Joe
Definitely an eventful trip!
None of the three breeding pairs appear to have a missing feather although we’ll scrutinise new footage carefully. The fishing Osprey could be one of the intruders.
Re Ospreys and Fish Eagles, in his excellent book “Population Ecology of Raptors” Ian Newton says this :- “The Osprey as a breeder is extremely scarce and local in Africa and as a migrant is largely coastal, thus avoiding to some extent the resident Fish Eagle which occurs mainly inland.”
Finally, FC Wildlife Ranger Gordon was on his patch very early today near Nest 1 and watched VP having a couple of dips in a pond. Bathing is important even for juveniles, so it is good to hear VP indulged. It makes a change from eating, her favourite occupation!