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Amber listing,nest surveillance and still sitting tight !

Posted: Friday 23rd May 2014 by foulshaw-moss-osprey-viewpoint

The osprey is listed on the Amber List of UK birds of conservation concern because of the long-term population decline and since it is a rare breeding bird in the UK. Although osprey have no natural predator, their main threats are from human disturbance, habitat loss and decline and shooting while on migration.

We have several cameras at Foulshaw Moss that provide us with 'round the clock' surveillance. This allows us to watch the nest, the nesting tree and importantly around the vicinity of the tree (across the Moss). Although osprey have been reported to be tolerant of regular activity, such as roads, they are extremely nervous of unusual activity. It is therefore very important at Foulshaw Moss that visitors wishing to see the birds do not try to cross the Moss to get closer and never stray from the boardwalks and raised viewing platform. Walking onto the Moss is hazardous at any time of the year due to the very soft waterlogged peat and myriad of water filled pools and ditches. 

The threat of illegal egg collecting is never far from our minds. If you do see anything suspicious then please do not hesitate to contact the police as soon as you can and never approach anyone you suspect as being involved. Ospreys have the highest full legal protection under UK law (Schedule 1) and it is an offence to injure or disturb any bird, nest or egg.

Protection of their food source and foraging habitat is also very important and is being achieved through coastal zone and estuary management planning as well as taking good care and improving river catchments. Contamination of birds with mercury and organochlorine pesticides and entanglement in fishing lines can also occur, but is gradually being reduced. 

Migrant birds are still regularly shot in southern Europe, although British ospreys usually migrate through Spain where they are at less risk.

Supporting the comeback of osprey is therefore a much wider environmental effort than providing safe and secure nesting habitat and something we can all campaign towards. 

Todays image shows the female still sitting tight on the nest. 

Read foulshaw-moss-osprey-viewpoint's latest blog entries.

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