It’s been a while since I’ve seen an osprey. Back in my aquaculture days they were not an uncommon sight, attracted by the seemingly rich pickings of all those caged salmon and trout. This one was similarly haranguing my local trout farm and fishery, banking on the wind and looking for a target of opportunity.
These days farm ponds are protected by overhead wires and netting and judging by the number of abortive semi-dives I have to assume it is suitably visible to avoid collisions. Decades ago such netting was almost invisible leading to outrage and calls for change, including from the farmers themselves. The industry fixed the problem many years back thankfully and all the fish farmers I know react to ospreys turning up with a proud cheer (“our osprey is back”) and a dive for the camera. It just shows, things can change for the better.
It’s hard to believe that anyone would kill a raptor, but they do. The common word used for this is ‘persecution’ but personally I prefer plain and simple ‘kill’, because that is what we’re talking about. Ospreys are, thankfully, not in the firing line in the same way that hen harriers are, so much so that the RSPB have a running appeal to help save them. Good luck trying to understand how someone could bring themselves to kill any of these birds – I can’t.
But watching that fabulous bird circle almost effortlessly in the stormy, snow-laden sky my only sadness was the fact that my 200m lens was at home. That disappointment didn’t last; being out for a walk and seeing an osprey should be enough to thrill any sane person. It made my day.