It’s that time of year again! One of my favourite things about spring is watching ospreys plummet into the water and emerge carrying huge flatfish, with the suave flourish of a magician extracting a rabbit.
I’ll be honest – I rarely get excited about larger raptors as they’re usually just a hazy speck in the sky. But ospreys bring all the drama, sometimes appearing out of nowhere and sending nearby herring gulls into a flap.
An osprey will hover high over the water, using its incredible eyesight to track a fish. Then it sidles down through the air, finally slamming into the shallows talons first.
It’s often a game of luck if you’re standing in the right place when they dive (and if you’re nimble enough to catch the actual dive, which I regrettably wasn’t), but you’ll hear the splash even from several hundred yards away.
Elsewhere on the water, I was watching a heron minding its own business when it was mobbed by a couple of common gulls. Despite the size difference, the heron was shooed off its patch and raced past me with a reptilian squawk and a sweep of its vast grey wings.