Friday, 25 March 2016


Or maybe it should be - tour de raptor.

Two OSPREYS in the space of ten minutes, Peregrines a plenty, Kestrels, Sparrowhawks. 2 Red Kites and 4 Buzzards.

With the recent trickle of patch year ticks in the last week and the first whisperings of migrants passing through the patch in the last few days, a few patchers decided to get onto the patch early.

And boy are we glad we did!

We headed for Lockwood first. We got halfway up the east side, when Jamie turned his eye to the direction of some noisy gulls and found an OSPREY being harassed by several gulls (the gull obsession pays off in more ways than one).

After watching it in the bins, I tried but failed to catch it on my bridge camera. Jamie then called Lol in the hope he might get the bird from his house.

Like the weather on Lockwood, Twitter was a bit erratic and almost immediately after clapping eyes on the OSPREY and watching it fly into the distant North West horizon, we all got Stuart’s Walthamstow Birders Twitter group message:

 Osprey heading n over olympic park . Keep a look out everything chasing it!!

Probably Stuart’s one.

The dust settled:

Then… David nonchalantly declared “There’s another.”

Maybe this was Stuart’s one?

Literally following the same route across Lockwood, a second OSPREY made its way North West.

Not expecting two OSPREY in ten minutes, our collective efforts in photographing the bird was a tad unprepared. Paul had his iphone hovering over his scope’s eyepiece while I pressed the camera button on his phone.

Resulting in this:

It's in there. Honestly.

Two OSPREYS in the space of ten minutes! Rapturous!

We covered the rest of Lockwood, East Warwick and West Warwick. We then made our way back to East Warwick and took another look at the island for any interesting gulls.

Then I saw two small waders. And as we still needed them for the day, and as they are the most common and generally only wader found on most days, I blurted out Common Sandpiper. But they weren’t – they were a pair of winter plumaged Dunlin.

I would have got there (Dunlin) in the end, as Lol delicately asked me.

And as it happened, on route to the marshes, prior to exiting the reservoirs – the pair of Dunlin gave ample opportunity to peruse their winter plumage on the east bank of East Warwick.

Laying flat on my belly, I watched the two birds get closer and closer to my camera’s view finder. I put my camera down, watched them and hoped that they might just wade on past me.

Alas they got to within 3 metres and turned back on themselves.

Cannot wait for Spring proper!

@leevalleybirder  @porthkillier @jarpartridge @StuartFisher16 @LolBodini @birdingprof  

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