Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"A visit to Ospreylia"........

You wait years for one........ and then three turn up at once !!
It's the start of our fifth season at the caravan in Llangors and despite putting in the hours I'd yet to see my first passage Osprey in the area,I just could not have predicted what was about to happen last Sunday 8th April.
I'd arranged to meet Wayne at the layby at Craig Cerrig Gleisad at 8.00am to have a look for Ring Ouzels and whilst driving up through Libanus at 07.55 Wayne phoned to say he thought he'd seen an Osprey overhead near Llwyn-on Reservoir and that he was stopping to check it out.
I suggested that he also check Cantref Reservoir on his way through and I would drive on and check the Beacons Reservoir.
I pulled into the layby,scanned the pines on the far side of the water and to my amazement immediately picked up the bright white breast of a perched Osprey !
Assuming it was the bird Wayne had seen I tried to phone him but "no mobile reception",I quickly got the camera out of the Jeep and fired off a few record shots of the perched bird.
The minutes ticked by and then an hour had passed,by then I had guessed that Wayne must have also found an Osprey and we had both been frantically trying to contact eachother,I wasn't going to leave the bird as I hoped for a flight shot,Wayne finally arrived at 09.20.
He advised that he had got the word out quickly of his initial sighting,Rob Mitchell had dashed up from Cardiff and they had both seen an Osprey take a fish and then disappear out of sight behind larches on the west side of the reservoir to enjoy it's meal.
I replied "different bird to that one perched over there then" pointing out my find !!
Wayne's face was a picture and as we couldn't contact Rob by phone Wayne dashed back to Cantref to tell him the news and they both soon returned,the bird had just taken to the air and we all enjoyed good views and myself and Rob rattled off some shots as the bird headed north-east to disappear from view towards Pen Y Fan.
We waited a while but the bird did not return and so we decided to head down to Cantref hoping that Wayne and Rob's Osprey had put in another appearance,we waited at the layby for about an hour and suddenly the bird appeared from nowhere to perch in the trees opposite.
We moved down to the shore and after a while the bird took to the air again to move a couple of hundred yards down towards the dam,Wayne said his goodbyes at 12.45 and Rob and myself moved along the shoreline to get opposite the perched up bird.
Rob scanned with his bins and to his amazement exclaimed that there was another Osprey perched not 30' from the bird we had followed,one was terrific but two was incredible !!
We watched both with cameras poised and after a while one of the birds made a dive and connected with a large Rainbow Trout,it really struggled to get up out of the water with the fish and being what seemed only 15-20' from the shore eventually dragged the fish ashore and proceeded to tuck in.
After a few minutes the other bird plunged from it's perch and a major squabble took place with the original bird eventually managing to hang on to it's prize.
It did however take it's "eye off the ball" and the other bird quickly nipped in to take the fish and fly off over the hill behind us in a north-easterly direction,it didn't return.
The other bird returned to it's perch in the pines and after a while made another dive,this time missing it's intended victim and proceeded to fly off north-westerly at a brisk pace.
We decided to call it a day and after walking back up the shore to the layby where we were parked glanced back with our bins to see that the bird had doubled back behind us and returned to it's original perch.
We weren't going to give it another go and said our goodbyes after reflecting on what had been one of those incredible days that only happens all too infrequently,I didn't get to see any Ring Ouzels after all,still there's always next time...............

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