Osprey Watch Report: 22 August 2015

Here’s today’s Report, another good day!:-

The day started really well when Neil brought our attention to the presence of two red-breasted mergansers just down by the jetty. David, meanwhile, had already spotted an osprey on his way to Leaplish, and it was flying over the Whickhope Anchorage.

When we checked on the live feed, there was one chick on Nest 1 and two youngsters on Nest 2. VY joined VP on Nest 1 by 10.30. The rest of the morning and afternoon saw the birds coming and going on both of the nests. In the afternoon VP spent a long time on the camera pole. We know it was her because VY landed at about 15.00, and then YA flew in with an enormous, thrashing fish, at which point VP hopped down from the pole to claim a meal.

VY makes clear the fish is hers (c) Forestry Commission England

VY makes clear the fish is hers
(c) Forestry Commission England

Too late – VY had already got her foot firmly on the fish and was mantling over it. However, to our great surprise, she surrendered it to her sister for about 20 minutes, but was not pleased that she had been ousted, and could be seen chuntering and complaining.

VY pushes VP away initially, but a few seconds later lets her have the fish (c) Forestry COmmission England

VY pushes VP away initially, but a few seconds later lets her have the fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

There were some spectacular views of VY looking directly at the camera.

VY tells YA in the tree behind the nest life isn't fair! (c) Forestry Commission England

VY tells YA in the tree behind the nest life isn’t fair!
(c) Forestry Commission England

She did manage to get the fish back again, and had a good feed too.

VP has a sneaky look to check if she could get the fish back (c) Forestry Commission England

VP has a sneaky look to check if she could get the fish back
(c) Forestry Commission England

We did not have the fly-pasts, or the closer sightings that we had been lucky enough to have on Wednesday, but we still had a lot of happy people, who were pleased to be introduced to our ospreys. Everyone was talking about the wonders of migration, and wanted to know when our birds would be leaving and when they would be expected back again. A couple said, late in the afternoon, that they would never have thought, when they woke up this morning, that they would see an osprey during the day. The fact that they had then done so had made it a VERY good day! We had many families in throughout the day. One family of four from Portsmouth spent a lot of time with us. The children were amazed at being able to see the nest, and to see birds on the nest on the nestcam in the cabin. They were full of questions, and I spent about 20 minutes answering questions and showing some of my photos of the structure of the osprey foot, the diving sequence, and so on. At the end of the time, the young girl said “I shall never forget this day for the rest of my life!” Wonderful!

We had to cover or bring in the scopes several times during the afternoon, when drizzling started, just as the forecasts had said. We must have spoken to about 130 people during the day, and many of them were very, very appreciative.

David, Neil and Gillie

The fish that Gillie mentions was the first seen on Nest 1 today. The streaming starts at 09.00. The juveniles may have eaten earlier than that but were present on the nest on and off all morning, much more so than usual, and were food soliciting so the large fish would have been especially welcome.

The Nest 1 and 2 females were both around yesterday. Mrs YA landed on Nest 1 at 19.00 and left a part fish for VY, who exhibited the usual juvenile ‘thanks for the meal’ mantle!

Mrs YA leaves a part fish for VY (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA has left a part fish for VY
(c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs YA may have caught the trout herself as she didn’t collect any fish from the nest earlier in the day. She wasn’t seen on the nestcam today by 16.30, but yesterday her appearances were late in the day. Mrs 37 may have had a very brief landing on Nest 2 just after 09.00 today but it was so brief it could have been the aggressive female  – the juvenile on the nest at the time mantled at the adult who flew immediately.

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