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The Osprey is a magnificent bird of prey which breeds in northern Britain. However, like many others it is not so keen on our winters, it heads off to the sun mainly in West Africa. Whilst on passage in the spring and late summer the Ospreys stop off at areas of open water to rest and feed. The lakes and pools of the Avalon Marshes provide a great service station for many passage migrants and our first Osprey of this summer arrived at Ham Wall Nature Reserve at the end of July. Steve Couch the RSPB’s Ham Wall Site Manager wrote on his blog (31st July):
“I hadn’t been well for a few days and it was great to be back at work and catch sight of an Osprey. The bird was looking rather tatty – perhaps after a busy breeding season so there’s a chance that it will hang around the local reserves for a few days. Good views were had over Waltons, Loxtons . . . . .” Link to Steve’s blog
A few weeks later another Osprey arrived and as I write this is still here. Simon Clarke, Natural England’s Senior Reserve Manager Tweeted; “Feeding up before heading south. Our annual summer Osprey visitor has arrived at Shapwick Heath NNR Somerset”.
They are magnificent birds which after a period of decline are now recovering in number thanks to the hard work of conservation organisations and volunteers who work to protect their breeding sites.
Title photo, Osprey at Shapwick Heath, with thanks to Andrew Kirby www.akwildlifeimages.com
Osprey at Ham Wall – With thanks to John Crispen