Sunday, 10 May 2015

Osprey at Lossiemouth

Our first birding day in Scotland started with a big dip, top of my list were the White-billed Divers of  Portsoy. Birdnet were reporting four present on the Saturday, so, early Sunday morning we were off. By the time we had reached Portsoy Harbour the heavens had opened and a keen westerly was making life uncomfortable. I joined several other birders on the viewpoint and commenced the vigil, it rained, it blew, several Great Northerns and Black-throats appeared and disappeared. Finally, after several hours of constantly wiping rain from scope, bins and spectacles I gave up - thoroughly dejected.  We made our way back towards Lossiemouth, there had been several reports of Ospreys fishing in the estuary - at least we could watch from the shelter of the car because the East Beach car park is right on the river.

However, on the way I noticed a signpost for Loch Oire where an adult Iceland Gull had been reported. On arrival there were plenty of gulls, 100+ of the Lesser Black-backed variety, not sure that I have seen so many together before - at least worth recording as we sat in the layby adjacent to the lake.

With spirits lifted by a fresh brew we ventured to Lossie. With the tide half up or down it was ominously quiet, just a few gulls spread around the shoreline. Then, after a short wait, the unmistakeable outline of an Osprey working its way up the river from the beach. Out of the car, camera in hand, light conditions awful. Finally it dived, right in front of us and came up with a flatfish, as it disappeared to the east I thought that was it. Not so, another bird paid a visit followed by another, two possibly three birds present. Locals reckoned five were about and average time to wait was around twenty minutes. Whilst all this was going on it was great to meet Peter Lewis and his gang of photographers who happily supplied me with information on the whereabouts of birds. Cheers guys - spot on info.

Not the best of record shots but the light was awful - however it was the start of an incredible fortnight of watching Ospreys.

As we left for home we couldn't resist a visit to Miele's - tremendous gelato - this time a double scoop chocolate chip and Kit Kat special.

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