Here’s Margaret’s Report about yesterday’s trip:- An eventful start to our cruise on a warm (yes warm) and dry evening with hardly any midges. Our seven guests consisted of a party of four from Reading who were towards the end of their stay in the area and a family of three who were yet to visit the Osprey View Point. While donning the life jackets I explained how to try to spot ospreys in flight, something which came in very useful as having boarded the boat Dave could not get the engine to run, despite his best efforts. While he was trying to get it started we had our first sighting of an osprey, coming over the reservoir from the left of the jetty. I suspect that this was the same bird that Lynda and Joe saw last week as it appeared to have a feather missing from its left wing. One of the guests pointed out another two birds on the sky line right of where we had seen the osprey. These turned out to be buzzards so gave the guests the chance to see the differences between the two species. By the time the bird went out of sight Dave, who we had left to sort things out on his own, (sorry Dave) had called for assistance and while he went to unlock the gate the osprey returned from the same direction and flew even closer to the jetty giving everyone a good view and an opportunity to take pictures. By the time the engine was running the bird had again gone out of sight so we set off on a tour around the reservoir with Andy pointing out some of the art works around the shore and in quieter moments entertained us with several “cheesy” jokes. During the trip we spotted two cormorants but little else. We went up towards Nest 1 in the hope of further sightings of the ospreys but the area around the nest was quiet. Andy and I told them a little more about ospreys, the reservoir and the surrounding area. The family from Reading told us they had already seen red squirrel, fox, a jay and deer and were amazed how few visitors there were in the area and that we were the only boat on the water. As we came down towards Tower Knowe we spotted birds taking off from the water near the dam and heading towards the Tower Knowe jetty. Through the binoculars it was clear that these were gulls (sorry not sure which species) and to our surprise the jetty and its railings were absolutely covered in gulls – I estimate 150 plus with more coming in from the water. Headed back we got a third sighting of osprey, a different bird, I think. It landed in a tree close to the shore but unfortunately not in sight. The wind had dropped by the time we were taking off our life jackets so there were a few midges around but not enough to prevent the awarding of Osprey stickers to everyone. A reward promised by Andy for anyone who spotted an osprey! A really great trip and very satisfied guests! Margaret It seems likely that the osprey with a missing feather on the left wing is Blue 2H, the 2012 Nest 2 male who has been seen several times recently on nestcams. He also has a broken tail feather. This image is from 1 August when he landed on Nest 1.
The Report for yesterday’s Osprey Watch will appear later today.