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Thread subject: British Ospreys
Name Date Message
Anne UK1 02/24/07 10:36 am Is it too early for ospreys to be making their way back to our nest sites?
I see plenty of buzzards in the skies around here, but yesterday I saw a bird which looked much bigger and paler under the wings. I'm on the coast, south of Bristol and looking at a migration map on the Rutland osprey site it looks as if they do pass this way.
I'm probably just getting a little over-excited at the closeness of the new season, but would this be the time to be watching our skies?
Marie 02/24/07 11:05 am oh yes............always watch the skies.........
You never know, you might see a rarity fly over, especially with the better weather that England and Europe seem to be having. Anything is possible with global warming.
Check with Rutland and Loch Garten's blog in a few days. Who knows Anne. you maybe just the first person to have sighted the first return of an osprey heading north from its Europe stop over. Maybe it is one of those early birds that stuck around the mediterranean all winter long.
Anne 02/24/07 02:40 pm I subscribe to a rare bird alert service, and no Ospreys have been reported yet. I think the first one seen last year was in the second week of March.

But as my teacher says - 'Never say never in birding'.
Anne UK1 02/24/07 05:59 pm I expect it was just a very large buzzard. It was over the rooftops with trees allowing me only a quick glimpse here and there, plus it was facing away from me and being harried by a crow. And the binoculars only served to remind me it's time to clean the windows ;)
But I can kid myself I saw something good, can't I :)
Anne UK1 02/24/07 06:17 pm I've just found this photo of a buzzard and an osprey on the Rutland site.

http://www.ospreys.org.uk/Images%2006/osprey-buzzard-intruder.jpg

To my untrained eye, it's not easy to spot the difference and I think that probably confirms that I was getting a little over-excited. Ah well ... it can't be long before someone who does know what they're talking about spots the first returnee.
Pam 02/25/07 07:11 am Nice pic of the Buzzards Anne. We often see them on the M5 our way down to Cornwall. Just as an aside - we are seeing more and more Red Kites on our way down to Bracknell on the M40, south of Oxford. One flew right down nearly on to a car on the opposite carriageway, swooping and doing a twisting turn, showing all its red feathers. Amazing that it was not killed. Mostly they are just soaring around overhead.
Anne UK1 02/25/07 08:44 am Oh! I remember coming across red kites in Wales - must be 25 years ago now. In those days they were a rare site (I think they were down to something like 200 pairs?) and we came across them purely by chance. It was such a thrill to watch them gliding and soaring and the wing patterns were incredible. I hear they are starting to spread far and wide nowadays which is great news.
I'm right next to the M5 so I often see buzzards gliding on the thermals - sometimes they come right over the house. And on the motorway they're such a common sight either flying or sitting on the fence posts, but again I can remember years ago we used to go over to Wales on day trips and would get so excited if we happened to spot even one. All good news of course, though in contrast I see far less kestrels now than I used to. I'm not sure why that would be.
Anne 02/27/07 02:48 pm Anne, the best way to separate Osprey from Common buzzard is by the flight action. You will be familiar with the way buzzards soar into the wind ,living where you do. Well Ospreys are more like a giant seagull the way they fly. They have a shorter tail and their wings are more angled.

Speaking of Red kites, I have been over to West Yorkshire to see some friends this weekend. We went for a walk around Eccup Res and were thrilled to see 4 Red kites, 2 of them displaying. What stunning birds they are.
Anne UK1 02/28/07 08:53 am Looking at the photo I found on the Rutland site the main differences seem to be the tail which is more rounded on the end and the body which is paler. If that bird would only come back so I knew what to look for! The flight action was different from what I associate with a buzzard though - it was flap, flap, flap, glide for just half a second, flap, flap, flap. But I wasn't sure if that was enough to go on. I need to study more.
I'm very pleased you saw red kites. They are magical I think.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 17, 2007