The Lake District Osprey Project is marking the start of its fifteenth season by holding an art exhibition at Whinlatter Visitor Centre called “Celebrating Ospreys”. The exhibition showcases paintings and 3-D work created by the Independent Cockermouth Artists’ group and long term volunteer Ralph Bell.
Keith Fitton, artist in residence for the project said that the exhibition was aimed at highlighting the link between wildlife and art, whilst at the same time promoting the invaluable work done by the project team and volunteers for ospreys. A percentage of the proceeds from any sales will go to help fund the project’s work.
The exhibition runs from the 1st to the 30th April. Everyone is invited to spend some time appreciating the artwork, and if it takes their fancy, having a go at still life drawing at the pop–up sketching station.
A freezing swirl of snow, a dash of ice-filled wind and a slap of chilly white waves opened the osprey season at Bassenthwaite Lake. A recurring comment, regarding the weather and non-arrival of our ospreys today, went along the lines of Senegal 10 Bassenthwaite 0.
However, as we know, cold in itself does not deter ospreys; in one past year first evidence of our pair’s arrival was their footprints in the thick layer of snow covering the nest! Adverse wind may halt their flight for some time. For example, birds will often stay for days on the North coast of Spain waiting for a favourable wind to cross the Bay of Biscay. Breeding condition is also an important consideration in whether an individual will make haste in reaching journey’s end or linger to feed itself up somewhere en route.
The major factor though in the variability of arrival date is just the huge distance. Even assuming a travel start some time in early March no-one could possibly predict exactly how long a flight of 3000 to 4000 miles might take. The miracle is that they arrive at all.
(At least 2 passage birds have been seen in the area in the past 5 days)