An Osprey, fishing in a reservoir in the middle of Buckinghamshire, for more than a week. That isn’t the start of an ironic birding joke, or the bird watchers' equivalent of “pigs might fly”. It’s true! I kid you not. Just north of Wendover is Weston Turville Reservoir (WTR) and this has been the main feeding ground for a young Osprey for well over a week. On Wednesday, I finally got to take a look.
I arrived around 10am to discover the bird had just caught a huge fish and disappeared. It would likely be perched up for the next hour or more, whilst it fed. Fair enough. Bird’s gotta eat. Tring reservoirs are just down the road, so, I headed there to kill time. Three Wheatears and a couple of hours later, I was back at WTR watching an Osprey approach from the south. Magical. Set against a deep blue sky, bathed in sunshine, it hovered high over the water before retracting its wings and plunging like a stone. I couldn’t see whether it emerged with a catch but, mid air, it purposefully stalled, shook itself like a wet dog - spray showering down - before continuing its flight into a dead tree. There it stayed for the next 30 minutes, giving me enough time to walk around to the hide and get a few digiscoped photos. (Conditions were far from ideal: busy hide/constantly shaking floor/scope, strong winds, distance of 120+ metres to bird and use of 50x eyepiece magnification meant paper thin plane of focus).
At 12:30, the bird flew back over the SE end of the reservoir, quickly caught a medium sized fish and disappeared east. What a spectacle. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. If I’d had the energy, I would have hung around for the chance at some flight shots but, by this point, I’d run out of steam and had to call it a day.
I wonder how much longer it’ll put off the necessary migration south? In the meantime, it really is the local highlight of the autumn...so far.