Osprey Excursion

July 18, 2010 at 1:40 am



Red Backed Shrike

A quick trip to Finland during the week and two days spent filming the eyrie of a pair of Ospreys. On the first day I spent eleven hours in a hide on scaffolding just above the height of the eyrie and twenty meters away. It was a magical experience during which there were nine visits to the eyrie by the male with fish. The female would then feed the three young on the captured prey for up to ten minutes. She was extremely vocal and would call to the male to bring more prey every time he came within her sight. The added bonus to the day was filming a pair of Red Backed Shrikes that had young in a nest in a pine tree only fifteen feet from the Osprey tree. During my filming of the Ospreys Honey Buzzard, Crane, Whimbrel, Greenshank and Golden Plover were all seen from the Osprey tower. On my second day in the hide I spent ten hours watching the eyrie and there were only two feeds compared to the nine the day before. It just shows that in the bird world there are no repeat performances – no two days are the same.

When I arrived in Helsinki airport on the way home I had six hours to wait for the Manchester flight. The temperature outside was 34°C, the highest ever recorded in Finland in the last fifty years! I went for a very hot walk around the airport gardens. Fieldfares had young in a pine tree and a Wheatear was feeding in a gravel area but most surprisingly was the finding of a dead Willow Warbler and a dead Whitethroat only three feet apart in the shade of an airport car park. As Helsinki has had a week of temperatures of over 30°C ,had they died of heat exhaustion?