No simple life

Crows, magpies, buzzards, and four pairs of herons keep house around the new nest site. It’s a crowded and diverse neighbourhood, unsurprisingly, on the border of a National Nature Reserve. The arrival of two huge predatory looking characters with sharp beaks and claws, taking over one of the properties is not something anyone can blame them for objecting to. They are not to know that it is only the fish in the Lake that need shudder. So, there has been a fair amount of hassle on the street. However, with Unring being a mature bird and, as we will see, the new lady a pretty feisty one, the ospreys have not been driven off. Their biggest test yet came on Thursday. Not from the neighbours but from strangers out of the blue.

It was mid afternoon and suddenly above the nest we could see two more dark shapes diving onto the platform; another pair of osprey attempting a well planned coup. Our female rose into the air accompanied by Unring and for about 8 minutes they were swirling in a series of dog fights over the marsh and field. Then our female realised that the priority was her eggs and swooped back down on them, holding herself flat against the bottom of the nest. Meanwhile Unring chased the attacking female up towards Derwentwater.

This left the attacking male with a clear run for the nest. All to gain, nothing to lose, but it was a lady he was dealing with! A softer touch was needed and he already had a plan B for this eventuality. During the whole fight he had been carrying a fish, which to onlookers had seemed a mad idea but now it looked as if he hoped it would tip the balance. He landed on the nest and thrust the fish towards our female. For a few moments they confronted each other, then after an initial reaction of shock she leaned forward snapping at him. Not good. He did a quick turn in the air around the nest waving the fish seductively and landed again. This time she was prepared and before he had time to balance she went for him beak and claw. No way was she to be lured or bullied off the nest she had chosen for her first offspring. Taken aback and with his own female far away he retreated.

Half and hour later Unring was back on the nest side and all returned to relative peace and tranquillity.

Oh! I forgot to say, whilst all this was going on a fifth osprey flew across the Viewpoint, seemingly uninterested in the fracas below.

The million dollar question is of course, who is this new pair and where are they based? Any ideas or sightings please contact NathanFox.

nathan.fox@forestryengland.uk