Where do I even begin…
Here at osprey watch we have exciting days, we have nerve-wracking days, we have calm and quiet days and then we have THOSE days. Days so thrilling, so action packed, where viewing is so excellent, we daren’t look away.
The day began, as all good days do, with a visit from a red squirrel at our lower viewpoint feeder, where it spent a little while taking its breakfast, much to the delight of our visitors. A sparrowhawk gave us a fly by, along with a young buzzard and ravens danced in the air in front of the viewpoint. Little did we know, that was only the start of the day’s excitement.
Just before lunch we observed dad cruising off towards Derwent water, presumably to do a spot of fishing. All in a days work for a busy dad. So, when we spotted a male osprey displaying over our heads at Dodd wood, parachuting down whilst calling and clutching a fish in its talons, we were a little confused… was this dad? Thankfully, mum recognised the bird as an intruder and scrambled to intercept, chasing it up Bassenthwaite lake before returning to the nest.
The break was short lived, however, for quite soon after a pair of osprey began to circle over the nest containing mum and youngster. With dad still away it was up to mum to handle them. And handle them she did. In a remarkable display of stoops, swipes and passes on a much larger female, it was quite clear that mum was pulling no punches. This aerial battle went on for some time before finally she was happy that they had got the message, having chased them 5 miles from the nest site! Over lunch and clearly fired up the parents spent time bringing in nesting material and venting their frustrations on some (well grown) heron chicks in a nearby nest.
If we thought that the morning had been busy, it was nothing compared to what was in store for us in the afternoon for the rogue pair weren’t finished. Again and again the four adult birds clashed in dramatic scenes over the lake, so clear that we had no need of scopes or even binoculars. A passing kestrel found itself in the crossfire as one osprey stooped on another. Needless to say it high tailed it out of there. To cap it off, the elusive marsh harrier chose this day to make an appearance, quartering over the marsh.
The spectacular viewing of the day was topped off by dad FINALLY getting a moments peace enough to catch a fish just below the viewpoint to feed his hungry, and undoubtably bored chick!
Whilst we can’t say every day is this busy, we are certainly spoilt here at Dodd! Come along and see for yourself.