Come cruising with us!

Phew! What a busy few days it has been for everyone involved in the project. The 26th Birdfair was another resounding success, with thousands of people descending on Rutland for the world’s biggest and best wildlife show. Very many thanks to those of you who came and chatted to us on the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust stand; it is wonderful to know how much support the project has from all over the UK – and further a field.

One of the real highlights of the past few days were the five Osprey cruises that we ran during the fair. We were treated to some truly spectacular views of fishing Ospreys, with successful dives seen on four of the five trips. On Thursday evening project volunteer Pete Murray managed to record this superb footage of one of the catches. Many thanks to Simon King who joined us for three of the trips, for his excellent commentary.

There are now just three Osprey cruises remaining this year, and we have a few spaces left on each of the trips. If the Birdfair cruises are anything to go by, then these trips are not to be missed. In the ten years of running Osprey cruises I don’t think we have seen such amazing fishing action as we have in the past few weeks. Tickets cost just £20 per person (£12 for  kids) and that includes an introductory talk before the one-and-a-half hour cruise. To book your place, click here. But make sure you’re quick, the remaining places will sell very fast!

Another very pleasing aspect of the last few days has been the incredible response to our appeal for football shirts. You’ll recall that we have teamed up with kits4causes to collect football shirts that will be distributed to children in the Gambian schools involved in the Osprey Flyways Project. In all we received 196 shirts of 40 different clubs as well as numerous footballs, shorts, socks and even a few pairs of boots! The shirts came from all overt the world, including an Athletic Bilbao shirt from our friends at the Urdaibai Bird Center and several South American and African shirts. Particular thanks must also go to Speyside Wildlife who donated enough Inverness Caledonian Thistle shirts to be worn by three full teams! Thanks to everyone who has donated shirts to the project and to Neil Glenn for organising it all.

Teresa Andrea  of Birding Euskadi presenting an Athletic Bilbao shirt and football to Paul Stammers

Teresa Andrea of Birding Euskadi presenting an Athletic Bilbao shirt and football to Paul Stammers

Meanwhile at Manton Bay both 33(11) and Maya are still present at the nest. Maya is now fishing for herself on a daily basis and this morning she and 33 both brought fish back to the nest within a few minutes of each other. The two birds have spent the rest of the day in the bay, providing great views for visitors to Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides at Lyndon. With a bit of luck the two birds will stay at the nest until early September, so there is still time to come and enjoy seeing them.