Osprey Ahoy

Emma Sharples

They've yet to nest, but beautiful Ospreys have been spotted flying overhead at Brockholes and fishing in the ponds.

The osprey is a black-and-white (or sometimes dark brown and white) bird which could possibly be mistaken for a seagull at a distance. It is a large bird of prey with dark brown upperparts and contrasting white underparts that can appear mottled in females.

Their heads are white with a dark brown through their eyes. Their wings during flight show strong barring and distinctively dark brown, angled ‘wrists’.

Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4, Ospreys have been a firm favourite at Brockholes for many years, and, anxious to see them on the reserve, we erected an Osprey pole to help encourage the stunning bird of prey to nest in Preston.

Our new camera installations have also been placed around the nest, so if (and when!) the Osprey do decide to nest, we will be able to capture it on our new wildlife cameras.

Osprey

Craig Smith

A migratory bird, Ospreys are present in the UK in summer. Ospreys eat fish, catching them in spectacular fashion as they dive towards lakes and lochs, stretch out their talons and scooping them out of the water with ease.

At the moment, Osprey's nest in parts of Scotland, Cumbria, the East Midlands and Wales. They can also be spotted at large waterbodies across the country during migration, which is when we see them at Brockholes!

Ospreys migrate to West Africa during winter; satellite tracking has shown them flying up to 430 km in just one day. It takes them about 20 flying days to complete the journey, but, in autumn, birds stop off to refuel at lakes and reservoirs.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Osprey updates...we hope they will return very soon!