Today saw the sun rise on our first dawn cruise of 2014! It wasn’t actually all that sunny – a bit misty first thing, overcast and quite cool. But there was hardly any breeze, and that sort of weather is perfect for fishing Ospreys. The lack of wind meant the water was incredibly calm with hardly a ripple, the only movement on it coming from cormorants and gulls as they landed on its surface, and the gentle bow wave of the Rutland Belle as her hull sliced through the tranquil water. Also, with no sun there is no glare on the water to hinder an Osprey’s visibility, and the rain held off, which meant no other surface disturbance.
So it was with high hopes that we sailed out of Whitwell and onto the reservoir. As it was, we didn’t see an Osprey fishing, but we did see an Osprey! Strangely enough, it was sitting on top of the water tower, just like the one we saw on our first evening cruise on 31st May! The Osprey sat there happily for a while, as the Rutland Belle eased closer and everyone got a good view, then he took off gracefully and did a wonderful fly past of the boat. Unfortunately for us, he flew too far away from us and we eventually lost sight of him, but we cannot grumble at the views we did have! Perhaps this will be a new favourite perch for Ospreys, or this Osprey in particular? We’re not sure if it was the same individual as was perched there in May, but it’s possible. If you are booked onto one of our upcoming cruises, keep an eye on that tower!
We also had great views of Common Terns, Cormorants, Swifts, Sand Martins, Tufted Ducks (see photo) several Gull species, Great Crested Grebes and a Common Scoter, of which we have only ever had a handful of sightings at Rutland Water, and never before on an Osprey cruise!
This exciting cruise was followed by a mouth-watering breakfast prepared by a hard-working team of volunteers and staff. Wonderful breakfast baps by the dozens incorporating combinations of bacon, eggs and mushrooms, were whipped out in a well-organised production line, accompanied by tea or coffee and orange juice. What a wonderful way to start a Saturday morning!