On the 22 of May at about 7.30 am I was on spot to do my Osprey watch, I am expecting to see chick feeding as i reckon the eggs should have hatched as she was sitting from the 10 of April, and perhaps a few days before. Well she was sitting and he was perched nearby and not a lot was happening except she moved off the cup a few times. On one occasion when off, she picked up a fish from the nest edge, fed herself and once or twice bent into the nest cup, that to me was offering a chick some morsel. Perhaps next week I'll see some chick heads. After this she took off, flew around for a while and collected a stick and came back, she took a long time to settle and I couldn't figure out why, till I spotted two burly walkers, going who knows where? Apart from the farmers I seldom cross any one's path. The walkers were unaware of the Ospreys, they were walking through the countryside completely unobservant of their surroundings, I was 20m away, admittedly behind a bifurcated slim tree and remained undetected, mind you they were walking as if escaping, but my wife did say a local young doctor is encouraging us overweight people to get walking, or die before we should. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Spey bay several times from the 24th May, this was ostensibly to watch dolphins which I did on every visit except the one where i took colleagues to see the dolphins, nothing, nix, nonche zero. (bad luck Dougie and Paul) We did see an Osprey fishing but not plunging, but during the day of the 26th in the afternoon I watched my first Osprey catch a fish, and what a sight! first dive, and I mean dive, not skim the surface and drop it's feet in, this was gannet like and immense to watch. In shallow, wave breaking water it plunged right in full dive speed, It then remained in the water wings akimbo and being washed by the waves, this remained the situation for some 30 seconds, then with a flap it revealed it's prize, a fish, a gleaming silver solid bar of a fish, easily 2/3 rds of it's body length. I watched all this from the shore through my telescope, BBC spring watch stuff and appreciated by watchers without binos standing to my right. The successful Osprey duly adjusted it's mighty catch and headed westward, within minutes another Osprey arrives, was it watching the other one? a hierarchy of  who can fish when? could be, as it fished for 30 minutes and 7 dives into the water and caught nowt, a clear distinction in abilities. The gooseanders were catching more than this amateur Osprey, whom I think was the same one in the picture resting on the storm shore at the river mouth. Spey bay in May, or any time,  plan your visit, and see much more than diaried here, very aggressive swans, terns, sand martins, swallows, herons, otters, ducks, lupins on the shore? and if  i'm not mistaken giant hogweed on the shore too. Oh and dolphins, honest ! As well as the Osprey on the shore, there is a poor picture of a Slavonian grebe, but the exciting thing is you don't have to tramp the moors to some small lochan, you can hear the traffic from a major road while watching these terrific birds. My car was 50m away. On the 29th May saw my local female Osprey feeding two chicks, so she has at least two wobbly headed chicks.

One Response to “Osprey Diary 7”

  1. Ian May 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    On the 30th may, 33 canada geese on the estuary, had spotted about ten of them in flight on the 29th and wondered where they were going, well nowhere, stayed around. Why so many non breeders? Canada geese are not shy at setting up home, in fact they are culled in England, now being an imported pest.

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