For the last week or so, there has been a juvenile osprey down at Maple Lodge. It fishes the lake opposite Long Hedge hide and roosts in the trees surrounding. I went down on Tuesday night to have a look with Judith and it was showing quite well, sitting in a tree for about an hour getting beaten up by crows and magpies. Eventually a low-flying helicopter scared it off.
Yesterday I went down in the afternoon but it didn't show.
So, this morning Judith and I decided to go along in the early morning when I has been fishing. Got into the hide about 9ish and it was sitting in the same tree. Hide was pretty full with the usual suspects - Geoff Lapworth, Steve Cater, Paul Lewis and a few of the other locals. After an hour or so it did a quick fly by and landed in a much better tree directly opposite the hide in beautiful sunlight. Another 20 minutes or so and it relocated again. All the time it was scanning the lake surface. Then eventually it dived into the lake. Motor drives fired like mad and it came back up with a fish and flew directly over the hide. Wow. I've never seen one catch a fish like that so well before and certainly not a mile from my house!!
So, if that was the best of times, what was the worst. I was surprised on holiday that a lot of our otter photos weren't as sharp as they could be, and the ones in poor light on Tuesday were a bit sub-optimal, but I put it down to conditions etc. Checking the camera back today I was concerned my photos looked very poor compared to everyone else's. Getting home it was clear they were rubbish. The lens seems to have a fault and is giving me a double image. Not a sharp image there. I really could cry. The best set of photos in this country of one of our favourite birds and I really should delete the lot.
Below are some of the more salvageable ones, including a set of the dive and recovery with the fish, which apparently is a 4 to 6 ounce roach..... Ah well.