There was a real buzz around the reserve this week as we had an osprey pass through. There were quite a few people out peering through binoculars and scopes at pylons as this appeared to be her preferred vantage point (the females are larger than the males, and this was rather a large one!). It was the first time I had seen one in this country, so you can imagine my excitement as she flow overhead as I was pootling around on the quad. These majestic birds of prey have a much larger wingspan than buzzards and are much paler in colour. Ospreys make the impressive migration between West African countries such as Senegal and The Gambia, and Northern and Eastern Europe – although some ospreys from Eastern Europe may travel as far as South Africa. When a team of scientist satellite-tracked a group of ospreys from Sweden, they found on average they travelled 4,200 miles (6,700km).
They often nest in tall trees, however it is thought this particular individual was into a nest perched on a pylon, which may explain why it was drawn to our pylons. As fish specialists, they often halt for a while on fish rich estuaries such as the Exe, before carrying on with their journey. RSPB Loch Garten in Scotland is a fantastic place to view ospreys nesting, and can be viewed online via the osprey webcam at: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/loch-garten/live-video-webcam/
Osprey in flight. Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)
It was another fantastic work part this week with a ten person team! Numbers really do make light work and we managed to get a great deal done. Split into two sub-teams, one tackled the ongoing lengthy grass on the Turf Path, and the other a mixture of fencing and gates. It seems that the grass has stopped growing… everywhere but where we don’t much want it to, with some of our paths looking more like jungles. We are slowly getting on top of it though, and the Turf Path is now far more accessible. This is a lovely path which winds its way through the Exminster reserve, providing some great views across the marsh – and it conveniently ends at the Turf Hotel which is a great place to stop off for a pint. If you feel like joining the growing team, making some friends and learning a few new skills, feel free to contact Exminster warden Becky on Rebecca.Longden@rspb.org.uk
Fencing with the team
The garden at Bowling Green Hide is a brilliant place to be and there are some really great events coming up over the next couple of months. At the RSPB, we like nothing more than inspiring children to get out in nature, which is why over the summer holidays we are providing a series of events aimed at doing just this! Booking is essential for these events and more information can be found by following the link and selecting ‘Devon’ and ‘in the next 3 months’ on the drop down menu: http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/events/
Hopefully see you at an event soon and have a great weekend!
Link to video of the Osprey which was ringed in 2016 in Germany. www.youtube.com/watch
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