Rutland Ospreys at Birdfair

Thanks to Education Officer Pete for this great Birdfair blog and photographs!

We have just had a tremendous week-end at the annual “Bird Fair” based at the Egleton Reserve, where the Rutland Osprey stand was very busy for all three days of the 2017 event. Lovely weather, many visitors, and so much to do – it was great to meet old friends and meet many newcomers to the event!

Osprey Project stand and visitors

Osprey Project stand and visitors

 

There was a lot of interest in the Rutland Osprey Project, with many questions about the history of the project and the latest news about our 2017 season. It was also very useful to meet up with people involved in other conservation projects around UK and from countries around the world. We had many enquiries from teachers and parents wishing to find out how to get their children involved in our osprey activities, access our educational resources or organise group visits to the Lyndon reserve. On the stand the osprey badge making and the osprey ring quiz proved very popular with the children, and also with some adults!

Explaining how to get to Lyndon to see the ospreys

Explaining how to get to Lyndon to see the ospreys

Telling the story of the osprey project

Telling the story of the osprey project

 

Many attending Bird Fair then came over to Lyndon to take a look at the Manton Bay Ospreys before they migrate to West Africa.  A total of over 1300 visited Lyndon in the three days of Bird Fair and others joined the dawn and dusk Osprey Cruises on the Rutland Belle to get a different view of the birds around Rutland Water.

Boarding the Rutland Belle

Boarding the Rutland Belle

Simon King on Saturday's dawn cruise

Simon King on Saturday’s dawn cruise

 

At the beginning of Sunday morning’s cruise, an amazing spectacle was witnessed on the shore, as a mallard was seen catching and eating a swallow! Who’d have thought it?! Thank you Oliver Woodman for the use of your excellent photograph.

Mallard eating a swallow (Oliver Woodman)

Mallard eating a swallow (Oliver Woodman)

 

We explained to visitors about our educational  links with schools in the Basque area of northern Spain  which we have made via  the Urdaibai Bird Centre .“A message for Ozzie” activity gave the youngsters visiting Bird Fair the opportunity to write a short message which Ozzie will take on his migration to children in the Basque region of Spain. These messages will be used in their English lessons.

Messages to "Ozzie"

Messages for “Ozzie”

 

Talking to visitors about the Ozzie migration messages

Talking to visitors about the Ozzie migration messages

 

We must give a special mention to Sam Newcombe, our 11 year old School Osprey Ambassador from Casterton Primary School. Not only did Sam help on the Rutland Osprey stand for two days but he also managed to arrange to give short interviews with Nick Baker and Mike Dilger on Sunday! It drew a great crowd onto the Rutland Osprey stand and was enjoyed by all. Nick and Mike complimented Sam on his interview technique and wished him success in the future.

Sam interviewing Nick Baker

Sam interviewing Nick Baker

Sam interviewing Mike Dilger

Sam interviewing Mike Dilger

Making the video

Making the video of the interviews

 

Sam’s interviews with Nick Baker and Mike Dilger and other interviews with members of the Osprey Team and School Osprey Ambassadors will be sent to Urdaibai with the “Messages to Ozzie” for them to use with their school children during their Bye-Bye Ospreys Week (BOW) next month. We will post the interviews on the Rutland Osprey website soon.

As usual during Bird Fair the Osprey Team had the support of our dedicated team of volunteers to assist on the stand, at the Lyndon Reserve, and for the Bird Fair Osprey Cruises. Our sincere thanks to all who helped at Egleton and Lyndon this week-end.

Celebrity cruise!

Celebrity cruise!

 

Now that Birdfair is over, we have one more big event before the end of the season. We always have a celebration of the year with a special event, this year it’s a barn dance! Sure to be good fun, the price is only £20 for an evening of dancing, laughing and eating a delicious hog roast!

There will also be a raffle with some great prizes, including a session for 2018 at the River Gwash Trout Farm!

These events are important ways of raising vital money for the project to continue its work – we’d love to see all of our loyal supporters there celebrating with us!

Lots of you have already booked tickets, but there are a few left, so click here or call 01572 737378 to get yours!

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Osprey 28 fishing at Horn Mill (Geoff Harries)

Osprey 28 fishing at Horn Mill (Geoff Harries)