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The Winds of Winter

Posted: Wednesday 6th September 2017 by foulshaw-moss-osprey-viewpoint

Blue 35 in the Spanish sun - Credit: Alberto Benito RuizBlue 35 in the Spanish sun - Credit: Alberto Benito Ruiz

An update on the chicks, Blue 35 enjoys the Spanish Sun, and I publish the most interesting of my Foulshaw Photos.

Come fly with me

In this update, we have some sad but exciting news. Much like a particularly short season of your favourite T.V. show, all good things must come to an end. It seems the chicks finally realised winter is coming, and as of Friday 1st of September have left Foulshaw Moss to begin their 2000+ mile journey back to the west coast of Africa. The last time we seen the chicks, they were still growing strong, so we shouldn’t have to worry too much about them on their journey.

Azul 35

We also have an update on Blue 35 too! Last week she was spotted feeding in the north of Spain where this fantastic footage was captured.


This is doubly special for us at CWT, because now we have the first of potentially many points which will one day be used to map Blue 35’s route to Africa, and if we are very lucky we might find out exactly where she overwinters.

Foulshaw Photographs

A fortnight ago I promised that I would also share some of my photographs from my time down Foulshaw, and since I was taught to always pay my debts, here they are!

This was my first picture of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nest - before I had realised I could pull closer in with my video settings. It's not amazing by any standard but considering it's about 3/4 of a mile away it's not too shabby.  


To date, this is the best photograph of Blue 35 I have taken. You can clearly identify her by the blue band on her right leg. You can see a few flight feathers missing from her right wing - while ringing the chicks, we found them, and they are now on display in the shed at Foulshaw.


When ringing the chicks U0 was first out of the nest. While runty she (there is some debate, but I'm still convinced she is female) survived and fledged with the rest of her brood. It's theorised that she was quite greedy at first. Always being the first to the food, but her brothers began grabbing her by the back of her neck and pulling her back with their beaks, resulting in the eventual runtiness and the lack of feathers on her neck.


 U9 was next out of the nest. As you can tell he was the feistiest of the three, and probably the most dominant because of that.


 N0 was the last out of the nest, and definitely the most majestic. This is probably my favourite photo I have taken of the chicks. 


Just a four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) in flight.


When the four-spotted Chaser landed I managed to get one of my all time best photographs.


While looking for Adders I came across this monster Emperor (Anax imperator) in the undergrowth.  


I felt like I was intruding, but these common darters(Sympetrum striolatum) were too photogenic to resist.


It has been like a butterfly garden as you walk up towards the boardwalk through all the hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) and this Comma(Polygonia c-album) was one of the most relaxed of the butterflies.


The painted lady (Vanessa cardui) was also an uncommon treat to see there!


This reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) was one of the loudest singers on the reserve. You can even hear him in a lot of the osprey footage!


I was so lucky to catch this common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) hunting! He was very content to chow down with me right there


Now we get to my favourite all time photographs. This juvenile adder (Vipera berus) is much more orange than its fully grown counterparts (see last picture) 


This male adder was due a skin-shed soon after this photo was taken. you can see the protective scale covering his eye has gone cloudy (meaning it will shed soon) 


This is my favourite, and in my oppinion best, photograph.You can clearly see the difference in colouration between male (top right) female (top left) and juvenile (bottom).

Till next year!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this year's Osprey Viewpoint blog, but unless any more reports come in of their migration then this may be farewell until next year!  

Have a great year, and check back every once in a while for any more updates! 


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