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Monday, 8 September 2014


My first Osprey
 You wait for ages … ….

Today was Wetland Birds Survey (WeBS) day for September at my Tamar Lakes sites. We planned to commence as usual at 10am for consistency and arrived on time. It is still summer here in North Cornwall so we did not expect any of the migrants to have arrived. And, we were not disappointed, apart from 300 Canada Geese and a small flock of Black-headed Gulls there were few ducks and heron.

A Common Sandpiper was a plus as was meeting a new acquaintance, Harvey Kendall, who has been watching birds around the lakes ever since the Upper Lake was flooded in the 1960s. He gave us good tips on what was about, Pectoral Sandpipers but no
sighting of the reported two Osprey seen over the weekend.,

Osprey fishing
Now, I can't really say that I have been waiting all my life for sight of an Osprey. When I was a youngster, they were almost impossible to find. But, in the last 20 years while I have been actively building my lifetime list – without travelling I may add – these have been on my wants list.

In recent weeks, I have just missed one on a visit to Lundy with grandchildren and Tim Jones (14th August) and failed to sight one on the Torridge Estuary WeBS patch of my friends, Tim Davis and Tim Jones (17th August).

The sight of not one, nor two, but three Ospreys wheeling, diving and fishing over Upper Tamar Lake is a lifetime experience. I did not have to travel far to see these enigmatic birds, they were not just on my doorstep, but on “my” WeBS patch. One appeared far bigger than the others and was seen to fish in the lake, feet hanging down and into the water, but unsuccessful whilst we watched. All three climbed high into the midday sky before soaring off eastwards.

Three Ospreys!

You wait ages for one to appear and then three appear all at once (platooning apparently!).

Well worth the wait though.