“The bird who dares to fall is the bird who learns to fly”
Thankfully falling was far from what happened on Tuesday, when at 16:45 the not so little osprey chick took to the sky! And didn’t she keep us guessing?
In front of a packed viewpoint, just as we said that she hadn’t been flapping much at all and didn’t seem in a rush to fledge, blue 400 decided to find her wings. Her leap of faith was a strong one, and she maintained height really well. Heading out towards the “spindly tree”, somewhere she has seen her parents fly to and from hundreds of times in the last eight weeks, she had only one slight wobble. Once over those twiggy perches though, the realisation seemed to dawn on her that she didn’t actually know how to land… lift off was the easy bit!
Getting tired she seemed to visibly falter in the air. Luckily mum was close by and rose up into the air to join her. Staying close, mum appeared to herd the youngster back towards the nest where the very large, stable and reasonably level surface provided a safe landing pad. There was a moment when the youngster was bombing back towards the nest at speed that I did wonder if she was going to land with a crash but she managed to apply the air brakes, executing a very tidy hover over the nest before plopping down to safety. Mum hovered overhead to supervise the landing before disappearing back to her perch. Osprey-copter safely landed!
Amidst the elation, the excitement and the pride (because how can we not be proud) there was hugging and a round of applause. Fledging is something all chicks must face, but it can be an incredibly risky occassion with chicks sometimes crashing into trees or ending up grounded. Though blue 400 had left it till late in the day, she was safely installed back on the nest and we could pack up the viewpoint with huge grins on our faces. In the days since then we have seen her start to tackle perch landings…not always the most gracefully. She had also started to explore the many trees scattered throughout the marsh, going further and further afield, leaving us to play a game of “spot the osprey” as we try to keep track of her. The distance she is flying in one go is increasing rapidly so whilst the sky isn’t quite her only limit at the moment, it will only be a matter of time!
Come along and see her as she gets more and more confident every day.