Sail away

We had an early start today, as this morning we had our first dawn cruise of the season. We met at Whitwell Harbour at 5.45 am to depart 6am, and we were happy to see conditions were perfect for fishing ospreys (although a bit dull and drizzly for humans).

The Rutland Belle ready to go (thank you to Sarah Box for the photo)

The Rutland Belle ready to go (thank you to Sarah Box for the photo)

Ready to spot some ospreys! (photo by Sarah Box)

Ready to spot some ospreys! (photo by Sarah Box)

Almost immediately after setting sail from Whitwell we saw our first osprey, flying near to the dam. It was great to see an osprey so early on in the cruise – whatever happened next, at least we’d had a good view of an osprey!
From then on the cruise just got better and better. We saw ospreys on at least 6 different occasions, and at one point we had 2 ospreys flying nearby, one either side of the boat! Just as we were nearing the end of the cruise and reflecting on what a good show the ospreys had put on, osprey spotting volunteer Sarah noticed a bird flying in the distance – no sooner had she pointed it out that we saw it descend into a dive and hit the water! So not only had we had brilliant views of ospreys in the air, we’d also got to see one in action fishing. Truly wonderful.

All eyes on the ospreys (photo by Sarah Box)

All eyes on the ospreys (photo by Sarah Box)

Just as we were pulling back into Whitwell Bay, volunteer Katie noticed another osprey on the horizon. Overall it was an absolutely brilliant trip which left us all feeling very lucky.

Photo by Sarah Box

Photo by Sarah Box

After the cruise we headed over to Egleton, where Information Officer Paul and his excellent team of volunteers were busy making bacon and egg rolls for everybody who had been on the cruise – delicious and just what we needed after a chilly morning boat ride!

Jan, Margaret and Libby hard at work (photo by Sarah Box)

Jan, Margaret and Libby hard at work (photo by Sarah Box)

Thank you to everyone who joined us on the cruise, and special thanks to osprey spotters Sarah, Sandra and Katie and breakfast helpers Jan, Margaret, Libby, Deb and Emily. We had a great time! Our osprey cruises are booking up fast, click here to book your place on one of our upcoming trips – we have just 8 spaces left on next weeks evening cruise and our next dawn cruise is already fully booked.

Meanwhile in Manton Bay, 33 has been bringing in some great fish! Here are two whoppers he brought in yesterday evening

Despite our early start for the cruise this morning, 33 was the much earlier bird, bringing in fish at 4.35am and 5.24am! The water behind our chicks was lit up beautifully by the sunrise as they had their breakfast.
Sunrise 2
Sunrise

33 brought in another fish, a huge roach, at 9.35am. Our chicks have been extremely well fed today!

Finally, here is an image of Maya and one of the chicks from the middle of last night!

"What are you doing out of bed at this hour?"

“What are you doing out of bed at this hour?”