On Saturday evening, the Osprey team and the Rutland Belle hosted our last Osprey Cruise of 2015. It’s always sad when things come to an end, but we can look back happily on an absolutely fantastic season of cruises! We have run eighteen cruises this year, fifteen afternoon ones and three dawn ones, and they have all been incredibly popular and well-attended. They have also all been very successful in terms of Osprey sightings. This year, we have seen Ospreys on every single cruise. Some viewings were better than others, of course, and occasionally we even had up to six Ospreys in the air at one time, and we’ve seen several actually catching fish!
Saturday’s cruise was no exception – it was a superb cruise to end the season. We followed an Osprey we thought to be 33 as he circled and soared, looking for fish in the water. He attempted several dives, pulling out at the last second, then we were treated to a spectacular view of him plunging into the water, sending up glistening shards of spray. He had clearly caught hold of a fish, and he was struggling on the surface of the water for some time, trying to lift it out. We were beginning to think he would have to give up, but eventually he dragged the enormous trout out of the water, and flew past us very closely to get back to his nest. It was 33, and our volunteer Mick informed us he had landed on the fallen tree with his catch.
On the way back down the South Arm of the reservoir, we were treated to another view of an Osprey carrying a fish – it was coming towards us from the east, and did a great fly-by.
What a brilliant cruise – we all agreed it was one of the best we have ever had, and perhaps the best view ever of an Osprey fishing. Thank you to everyone who came on board, and to the Rutland Belle and her crew.