Sunday, 8 April 2012

Magnificent 7! - 8th April 2012

Stocks Res have now gone ahead of Brockholes on the light hearted annual competition. As a result, I was very keen to get on the scoreboard for a second time this spring. I arrived on site to to drizzle, wind and very poor visibility. I didn't fancy my chances but I thought I'd set up camp in the M6 Motorway hide to have a look for any waders or terns that may drop in. Mark Farnshawe had had the same idea as me as we looked up to a complete lack of migrants present on No1 which was surprising considering the westerly wind and showers...

An hour or so into the visit, the weather began to clear up, so Mark and I moved over to the infamous eastern bank and began to scan. The first 360 degree scan produced nothing except a few annoyingly osprey-like Grey Herons and Black-backed Gulls. The same again for the second scan. Half way around my third scan and I picked up a large bird flying towards us directly south of the car park. Instantly I noticed this wasn't quite right for a Buzzard. Mark arrived on this bird at this point. The wings looked too long. As it got closer, the tail seemed longer than a Buzzard and it appeared to show a shallow 'M' in its wings. Getting closer and closer, our heart rates increased as it was looking better and better. In the very poor light, it seemed to take ages before it looked anything other than dark. It slightly banked and revealed its two-toned dark and white underside. An OSPREY!

It gradually started descending and as it drifted over the car park, everything on No1 pit took flight and a mass panic started. The bird circled over No1 twice and moved over to the eastern end of Boilton Wood almost right above and hovered briefly over Redscar Weir on the Ribble. It then flew directly north over Redscar and out of view leaving Mark and I pumping with adrenaline. Always a thrill!

My 7th Osprey of the Spring and I'm well on the way to getting into my double figure target.

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