We have had some superb osprey cruises on the Rutland Belle this season, and last night’s has to rank as one of the best! We spotted an osprey almost immediately, over Half Moon Spinney on the end of Hambleton Peninsula. The bird looked like he was attempting to fish in the bay on the other side of the trees, and we inched around the corner to get a good view. We saw him hover and swoop several times, then he dived and hit the water with an almighty splash! He was there for several seconds, but he came out the water with nothing. He had possibly caught hold of a fish that was just too big for him, and had to let it go. Hearts in our mouths, we watched as he broke the skyline fishless, then diverted his path and flew in front of us towards the dam. There, he dived again and this time pulled out a lovely big fish, which he proceeded to fly towards us with! The osprey then turned and flew away into the distance with his fish. What a view!
We turned to head down the south arm of the reservoir, and as we did so Matt spotted a very distant osprey over the nature reserve ahead of us. The bird slowly made its way towards us, and it flew past the boat but then disappeared over the trees. Still, we had a good view of him fly past, and we were feeling happy that we’d seen two ospreys and one catch a fish, and we sailed on contentedly towards Manton Bay.
Soon after, I had a message from Jan in Waderscrape saying 33 was fishing near the Lyndon Centre. Luckily, at that moment we were right there and we saw him! He crossed in front of us, the early evening light catching the pale underside of his long wings. He turned and swooped towards the water, his wings pinned back and his talons out, and he hit it with a splash! We watched as he came out of the water holding an enormous fish, and began to make his way towards Manton Bay with it.
33 seemed to go to the nest the long way round for some reason, but get there he did and we’re sure the chicks were happy with the huge fish Dad brought home.
So we began our journey back towards Whitwell, feeling incredibly lucky to have witnessed two ospreys catching fish. The atmosphere on the boat was one of excited joviality, everyone was happy and enjoying the evening. The weather was lovely too, albeit a wee bit windy, but it made for a pleasant trip.
However, it wasn’t over just yet! Two more ospreys (yes, TWO!), came flying towards us over the sailing club as we passed it. They were seemingly following each other, but then the first one veered off and disappeared, and the second one turned around. The bird then flew east, and seemed to be heading towards Whitwell, so we followed behind it as if it was showing us the way home!
The osprey rounded the end of the peninsula, and we could see it in the distance heading away. Then, as we passed the spinney again, Matt looked up and said “what’s that?” and we gasped and shouted “osprey!” Osprey number six then flew over us then away behind us. We were almost breathless with excitement!
As if six ospreys weren’t enough, right at the end of the cruise as myself, Matt and Paul were standing on the quayside after everyone had gone, there was another osprey attempting to fish over the harbour! Wow!
Thanks to everyone who came along on this cruise, we hope you had a great time! It’s no overstatement to say this cruise was one of the best we have had this season, and we hope that our final two cruises are just as good!
As expected, places are selling very quickly on our final two osprey cruises of 2016. Book your place now to avoid disappointment! Click the links below or call 01572 737378.