Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Track My Osprey

Well I've still not seen an Osprey from the house... but I have seen two Ospreys!

The first was during our daily family walk through the wetlands on Saturday afternoon. It flew up and down the Estuary, looked to hunt but then circled low over Black Hole Marsh before completely vanishing...

My best shot - shortly after taking this I lost it. Still don't really know how!

Although I didn't notice this in the field, when I came home and downloaded the photos it turned out it wasn't your average Osprey.  As you can see in the below pics, this bird has an unusual and fairly large white patch in its left wing...

I put a plea out on Twitter, hoping someone else may have seen this bird during migration, or better still knows where it breeds.  So far I've had just the one positive response, and that was from our very own Phil! He photographed the same Osprey on the Axe back in April 2018, see this tweet...

So we know it likes coming through the Axe in spring - but come on birders of the UK/the world, someone somewhere must know or have seen this Osprey before!? It's at least three years old now and it would be great to track some of its movements.

The second Osprey I saw this week was from my office at work, I spied it after all the gulls lifted up on Monday at about 10:40.  It flew up river and was later seen to catch at fish north of Tower Hide, per James Chubb. It came 50 minutes after a Red Kite flew low east overhead, also flushing the gulls.  Now that's what I call a productive morning at work!

I have managed some more house ticks for the lockdown list since my last post.  My total now stands at 66 thanks to a waffling Green Woodpecker on Friday morning (not often heard here so much appreciated), my first two House Martins of the year, along with quite possibly my last two Wigeon of the winter (they flew into Black Hole Marsh just prior to dusk) on Sunday, a vocal Coot flying around for twenty minutes after dark on Monday and several Swallows today - along with a few more House and Sand Martins.

I'll finish this post with a bit of national gull news.  The American Herring Gull from West Bexington and here, turned up in south Cornwall at the weekend.  Amazing that it's still around but has only just appeared for the third time.  And today I was completely shocked to receive a request to ID a gull from a mate who lives on a farm on the Devon/Dorset border - it was a first-winter Laughing Gull!  Stunning find Neil well done, hopefully it will make its way to the coast soon enough.

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