Watching the Ospreys

by guest blogger, Michael Redman

I enjoy an addiction to watching Ospreys. My joy has changed over the years from an occasional trip to Bassenthwaite in the central Lake District to my recent interest which has been dominated by understanding more about my local Ospreys in south Cumbria.

We are very fortunate in this part of the UK as there is one site which is easily accessible and rarely fails to excite.

Osprey in flight carrying a stick - copyright Michael Redman

Osprey © Michael Redman

Foulshaw Moss is a level site with a board walk, enthusiastic volunteers and Cumbria Wildlife Trust staff who are there to help you understand the reserve and, in particular, a very successful Osprey nesting site.

Osprey in flight against blue sky background - copyright George Cocker

Osprey © George Cocker

We’re (yes I do feel part of the place) on the south coast of Cumbria on the Kent estuary. The year begins with the wait for “our” birds returning from southern Europe or Africa.

By early April these wonderful animals are making a claim to their nest and we are all waiting for two or three chicks to arrive.

Fishing by the parents is effective with Morecambe Bay, the river and nearby lakes a great source of a ready meal.

Buzzard in flight against blue sky background -copyright Micheal Redman

Buzzard © Michael Redman

The live web camera is good, but nothing beats a visit to the reserve.
Michael Redman

My visits get more frequent as we look forward to the first signs of hatching. The live web camera is good, but nothing beats a visit to the reserve.

Distractions include Adders, Tree Pipits, Stonechat, Water Rail, Buzzards and other raptors, and of course the other enthusiasts.

Darter dragonfly - copyright Michael Redman

© Michael Redman

Soon the summer comes and the place shows off its other stars - common lizards, dragonflies, crickets - and the bog really comes to life.

Time passes comfortably
Michael Redman

Sand Martins, swallows, swifts and the summer warblers replace the winter winds with bird song. Time passes comfortably.

Last year three Osprey chicks, this year, who knows? Will other young Ospreys returning from the south take a part in the aerial drama?

Come along and see for yourself.