Here’s Margaret’s report on the latest Calvert Trust cruise:-
In mid afternoon as I sat at my desk working the heavens opened and torrential rain hammered the windows and I thought we were in for a miserable time on the cruise. Spits and spots of rain continued as I drove up to The Calvert Trust but as the guests started to arrive the weather continued to improve.
Joanna joined me with Dave and Rich as our “boatmen”. We had 15 guests in all, including two families, each of four. Some were day visitors while others were on holiday stopping as far a field as Jedburgh. Several had already seen the nests either through the scopes at Leaplish or via the live feeds.
The osprey did not disappoint with several sightings, including a particularly good one with the bird coming towards us and the sun highlighting the white front. From pictures Joanna took she is confident that one of the sightings was of the male White YA. We showed the groups Nest 1A as well as the three colonies of sand martins. Many guests had a good knowledge of birds and a general interest in wildlife and on my boat there was an interesting discussion about the order in which swifts, swallows, sand and house martins arrive in the UK and in which they leave, although no firm conclusions were reached.
Another question, which again I was unable to answer, was whether roe deer had been introduced to the UK by the Romans. My research since tells me they are native to the UK, having been here since before the Mesolithic period (6,000 to 10,000 years ago). That forest clearance and over-hunting led to their extinction in England by 1800 but they remained in wooded patches in Scotland. As well as naturally spreading back into England the Victorians increased the speed of their spread by re-introducing them to parts of England.
The NWT binoculars were all in use, including by the youngest on my boat who had the best views of all as he stood in the bow with his head through the front hatch which Dave had opened especially for him. His mum could not resist joining him and acting out the Kate Winslet Titanic scene, much to the embarrassment of the rest of her family.
A really lovely evening, lots of sighting, keen and appreciative visitors, and good weather all that was missing was sightings of diving for fish and a fish being caught!
No new catch was delivered to Nest 1A or Nest 2 by 20.00. The osprey likely to have been YA was last seen heading towards the dam at about 19.15 so if he fished successfully he was probably eating a portion elsewhere!