Osprey raises hopes of a Brockholes nest

Osprey flying over Brockholes by Emma Sharples
Osprey flying over Brockholes by Emma Sharples
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One of Britain’s most spectacular birds of prey has been exciting visitors to a Lancashire nature reserve.

An osprey is spending a little time at Brockholes, off the M6 in Preston, before it starts a long flight to Africa for winter.

Osprey searches for food over a Brockholes lake by Bill Aspin

Osprey searches for food over a Brockholes lake by Bill Aspin

It has certainly delighted both dedicated birders and visitors to The Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve.

Wildlife Trust recruiter Tony Pearson said: “On the first day we spotted the osprey, I think it might have been the most exciting day I have ever had at Brockholes.”

The osprey won’t have been fazed by the attention this week, as ospreys are often scrutinised by nestcams in Scotland, Wales and at Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Foulshaw Moss – all sites where they breed.

Brockholes general manager Donalda Williams said: “We built an osprey platform on an island at the Meadow Lake two years ago to attract nesting birds. Over the past couple of summers single ospreys have definitely spent time at the reserve raising our hopes even higher.

“This week’s displays have been far more spectacular than past visits and it has caused huge interest among birders who regularly come here.”

There have been displays of the osprey catching fish. They catch them in spectacular fashion as they dive towards the water, stretching out their talons and scooping them out of the water with ease.

The osprey is a black and white bird, its body is dark above and white below, and its wings have dark patches and are angled at the “wrist”.

Wildlife spotted at the 250-acre nature reserve in recent weeks has included kingfisher, grey wagtail, red kite, grey heron, kestrel and chiffchaff.

There are plenty of late summer flowers still on show and fungi is starting to show in Boilton Wood.

Visitors to Brockholes can take part in events that get them closer to nature including bat walks on Tuesday September 5 and Monday September 11. For more details of events and sightings go to www.brockholes.org.