Cheshire to Somerset via Cardiff, 144.64 miles, 232.77 km.
While speaking to visitors last week we frequently said that it was going to be a close call between the viewpoints closing for the season and the ospreys leaving. As it happens 8A won …..just.
He started his migration on Sunday morning leaving Bassenthwaite Lake at about 10.30. By 11.39 he was over Pike O’Blisco, 12.00 Coniston Water, 12.37 Cartmel Sands, 13.28 east of Barrow-in-Furness, 14.03 south of Heysham, 14.22 over Garstang, 14.57 over Preston. He then followed the M6 to Northwich and then spent his first night away from Bassenthwaite just south of Nantwich near the village of Aston. We then have an annoying gap in our information so far for the 1st September but he probably roosted along the Devon / Dorset coastline to reappear at 9.30 on the 2nd crossing the English Channel heading for Brest in France. At 14.15 he left France to cross the Bay of Biscay reaching Spain around midnight yesterday. This morning at 8.00 he was still at his roost east of Coruna.
It is also interesting to note that the course he seems to be following is the traditional one to Gambia and Senegal.
Number 14 remains in Bioko.
Yesterday, when we closed the viewpoints for the day, we thought we may have seen the last ospreys for the season as we had not seen them for several hours. This morning, however, both our males slowly emerged as time crept towards mid-day. We expect them to fly southwards any moment of any day now, but with 8A fully loaded with a modern satellite transmitter we should be able to plot his journey to Africa and if necessary beyond. No transmitter was necessary this afternoon, however, because for at least two hours 8A was sat, a few hundred yards away on the lake shore directly below the Lower Viewpoint giving us one of our best sightings of the season. To add to this his parent did the same thing at the Upper Viewpoint, but this time in the diamond shaped field.
The next few days will probably – if we remain lucky – be the last chance to see our ospreys this year. Our viewing areas close for the season at five O’clock on Sunday.
It will also be the last chance to see the location of the now world famous ‘Nestie’ site at Dodd Wood. If you have missed out on your ‘Nestie’ so far don’t leave it until Sunday afternoon, when the nest will magically disappear, get along there now!
Remember, ‘Nesties’ not just an experience, more a way of life!
Some of us may be thinking of flying south for the winter, some of us are thinking about our departure from Dodd Wood but some of us just enjoy the company that this location brings – and the nuts of course!
Today we not only had the company of those above, in our feeder, but 8A and his parent were also visible for at least some of the time.
For the last Bank Holiday of the year why not pop along and see our ospreys (we hope) red squirrels, robins called Eric, lizards, slow worms and much much more. The views alone are not bad, the squirrels quite like the rain (just in case Monday gets iffy) the exercise is good for you and it may be your last chance to get a
not just an experience, more a way of life.
The Osprey viewpoints are open 10 – 5 until the 31st August along with the Osprey room at Whinlatter Forest Centre.
While 8A is still exploring Bassenthwaite but gradually making his outings longer, Number 14 four thousand miles away, on Bioko, is still exploring his environment. Since the beginning of August he has left his favourite roosts along the south side of the island and after circling the island a few times has now settled once again on the western side of the island just north of Luba.
Was it just a year ago that Number 14 was doing just what 8A has been doing today?
While all eyes have been on his brother 8A has been getting on with the job of being a young osprey. On Tuesday he was over Bassenthwaite for an after lunch flight, but on Thursday (7th August) he had a really good day out. If you were taking breakfast at Lyzzick Hall, near Millbeck (09.10) you may have seen a big bird in the sky – guess who?
Or you may have seen him on a jaunt around the lake at the following places
Over Mirehouse Gardens 11.05
Ravenstone Manor Hotel 11.07
Castle Inn 11.21
Armathwaite Hall 12.37
Higham Hall 13.04
Bassenthwaite Sailing Club 13.08
Mirehouse again out over the lake 13.15
Handy thing these trackers and so good of 8A to give us a ring on his mobile!