A Sunday Afternoon in Waderscrape

A Sunday Afternoon in Waderscrape

Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Osprey Ambassador Sam is back with another blog where he delves into an afternoon he spent monitoring the Manton Bay nest from one of the bird hides.

It was a perfect afternoon. The sun was shining and the bees were humming as we wandered down to Waderscrape Hide. On our stroll we were met by some lovely lambs in an opposing field and some weird flies. These flies were called Saint Mark’s flies, they were black with long dangling legs and look very funny when flying around!

We couldn’t wait to get down to the hide as we knew that one of the three eggs had hatched the day before! When we got there, it was empty apart from the two previous volunteers who were packing up. They updated us and mentioned that 33(11) had caught a massive perch that morning and that they had seen the Water Vole. Every year without fail the Water Voles are there, swimming across the three channels out front of the hide, it’s just a shame we didn’t see them this time! We had some lovely visitors as well, who’s local areas ranged from here in Rutland, to places like Kent! We helped them as much as possible (considering the restrictions) and were rewarded by learning more about their local areas.

About half way into our Sunday shift, my Mum suddenly called me over to the scope and asked “Sam, what is this?!”. It turned out the bird she had spotted was a beautiful Red-kite. It was very far away and had its back turned to us but it was still amazing! It had obviously scavenged something as it was eating and we hope that it is its favourite spot so we can see it again.

Shortly after that, we spotted an osprey flying along the opposite side of the bay. At first, we thought it was 33 but he was on the perch and Maya was on the nest! We leapt out of our seats and tracked it as it was an intruder! The most shocking part was when it tried to land on the nest, but Maya soon saw it off and then 33 chased it out of their territory. From the near landing on nest, we were able to identify that it was an unringed bird which only led to more mystery as to why it was hanging around.

As our shift began to end, I happened to look out the back of the hide and saw a muntjac deer! Although they are considered and invasive species by many, I thought it was beautiful. It was feeding on some grass behind the hide and I managed to get some okay camera shots of it.

On our walk back we saw three more Ospreys all chasing after each other. Sadly, I was too slow with my camera but it was still an amazing experience. We also saw a beautiful yellowhammer on the walk back singing its little heart out, it was sat on the telephone wires shining in the sunlight. It was my first of the year so it brought a big smile to my face.

It was a brilliant shift and felt vaguely normal with the public back which made it even better. I can’t wait to see what the next one has in store!