10 August 2008

Raptors in the rain

Following a tip-off, got excellent views of an Osprey at a rather soggy Llareggub this evening. At one point, having caught a large trout, the bird managed to attract the ire of both the local gulls and a young female Peregrine, all of which took turns dive-bombing the hapless visitor. Nathan had already bagged a series of corking photos by the time I arrived (see here), definitely one or two for next year's report.

As can be seen in the pic, the bird appears to be in at least its third calendar year (a minimum of three generations present in the remiges, all of which lack the neat pale tips seen in juv. feathers; the barring on the secondaries is indistinct, if visible at all, and they have at least a broad, solidly dark tip [some appearing almost wholly dark]; and the crown is white).

Anyone want to comment on the sex? Given the prominent breast band and spotting on the median underwing coverts, I was erring toward putting it down as a probable female.

PS. The fish in the photos is (was?) a carp of some description, the trout mentioned above was the Osprey's next victim.
PPS. This evening's rain was coming down onto an already brimming reservoir, the lack of any muddy margins meant the only wader noted was a single Common Sandpiper.

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