Thursday, May 28, 2009

Osprey - old reliable

There are a number of species of bird of prey that you can feel you have a reasonable chance of perhaps seeing no matter where you are in the world. Though they may be locally very rare, the species are as a whole widespread on many continents. One of them is the Osprey and we saw plenty of these in Venezuela meaning I've now seen them on 4 continents (south america, africa, north america and europe) although they are present on others too.

osprey1

We've discussed my inability to take good osprey photos before and whilst those accompanying this post are by far and away my best (ie you can tell what it is). They are still not great - nevermind, I have a plan (about which you will learn more in June unless it doesn't work in which case we will never speak of this plan again).

osprey3

There were many, many ospreys working the creeks and pools of Hato el Cedral. At one point I had 4 in sight at once. Do you know how many osprey we have here in our entire nation? 4. As a result of this abundance I decided to drink in the sight of these awesome fishhawks working. They often flew by with fish and I did get to see (and take bad photos of) several stoop attacks...

osprey stoop

...this particular one came up empty.....

osprey splash

...many did not. This looks like a catfish but they were taking piranha 9 times out of 10.

ospreyfish

Osprey are special for british birdwatchers, I think, because we lost them and then got them back. As recently as the mid-late 90's I can recall an osprey flying repeatedly overhead as I hiked my way through one of my Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and being able, a short while later, to give a group of dipping twitchers an "it went thata way" as we passed them. That was probably the first "rare" bird I saw, although it really wasn't rare at all. Moments as special as that are though.

3 comments:

Keetha said...

Osprey may be "old reliable" but he's still gorgeous, isn't he???

jason said...

I think these are great shots of a beautiful bird. Osprey are so unique and exquisite...

tai haku said...

Thank you both!