I was in a kayak, having my first paddle across the nearby marina, when I saw a bird of prey where I didn’t expect to. It was above my head on the balcony of a large house, and I was sure it was an osprey. I knew that ospreys had bred on the coast nearby in recent years, but I hadn’t seen one until then. Since then, I have undertaken the most civilised bird watching ever. The balcony is on the opposite side of the marina to the shops and cafes. So I am forced to sit in a cafe drinking tea and eating cake in order to watch the ospreys (and enjoy the view) – such a chore.
The balcony is too far from the cafe to get a decent picture with my little (not very zoomy) camera, so, the following weekend, I set off again in the kayak, this time with a camera. I rounded the corner to see not one but two ospreys. Fantastic. I still had to zoom quite a lot, and the kayak was wobbling and drifting a bit, but I did get a picture. Very cooperative birds. Ok, so the picture is quite grainy, but I think it’s quite good given that I was bobbing about and using a little camera at quite a distance.
The council thoughtfully erected an osprey nesting platform in the wildlife reserve about a kilometre away, so I’ve been going to look regularly. On one occasion, one of the
ospreys flew over with a fish in its talons. No, I didn’t manage to get a photo, it was far too fast for me. So far, no luck with the nest, but I’ll keep an eye out as I’m sure they’ll nest somewhere nearby fairly soon. I hope so as I’d really love to watch them raise a family this season.
Some of you may be thinking that an osprey isn’t just an Australian Bird. No, you can find them in many parts of the world. I’ve seen them in Britain, but the great thing for me here is the ease of seeing them, right on my doorstep – no hikes in the rain to remote places.