Ospreys join in the hunting

osprey_teton2 It’s a good news story again for 2010, which is getting plenty of headlines in the local papers. Like old friends, the ospreys are back to Bassenthwaite after a long return trip to West Africa.

Under 24 hour observation by RSPB volunteers, the nesting site in Dodd Wood, only a mile distant from us, is just visible from the Belvedere with a good pair of binoculars. There’s a good webcam too and much more on the award winning Osprey Watch site.

The ospreys are good news for local shops, hotels and small businesses as they attract visitors to the area, still recovering from last November’s floods. But they are not the only show in the valley.

There are other birds of prey which are fascinating to watch. Peregrines and sparrow hawks are frequently about and yesterday, walking with friends on Coledale Common below Barrow, I looked up to see 20 metre ahead of me, a kestrel hover in the wind, stoop down on a small vole and carry it off still squeaking to a nearby rock.

An hour later a buzzard was wheeling in huge circles high above Braithwaite Lodge and the nearby plantation, as we descended to the village. If you want some good bird watching, the Derwent valley and the northern lakes take a lot of beating.