What an evening to remember? I was at Venus Pool hoping for a wader or a Tern and checking out the small Gull flock - for once there was an interesting bird present - a Herring Gull type but with distinct small beady black eye and from certain angles bloody long bill! I'd given Andy a call to discuss and for want of something better to do (Mire lake was dead) he was on his way to have a look.....
Meanwhile, out of view to the South of VP and also on their way was....... an Osprey......!
As ever, the first locals to pick up the intruder were the Corvids and then immediately after - the Gull flock - including the interesting Herring type! They were all up mobbing the unfortunate bird who seemed totally unconcerned and giving those which got too close a playful 'slap' with those powerful wings.
Most Ospreys I'd seen at VP circled and dived from great height - this was working at a much lower level, stooping at 45 degree angle on at least four occasions into the water and emerging fishless!
The wingflap shedding of water soon got the bird airborne again before the next plunge!
Photography was difficult (excuses I know) but getting technical..... The poor light meant too slow a shutter speed for flight photography - merely 1/100-200 at 640ISO and the changing background of dark trees (-1 stop) to milky sky (+2 stops) meant I was constantly adjusting the in camera exposure settings.
Amazingly I did get a few 'keepers' as the bird was circling
It was THIS close at one stage!!
Eventually (at roughly the furthest point of the pool from the hide!) success was achieved in the form of a large Roach for supper.
Then, off to consume the meal....
Hmm, surprisingly I'd forgotten all about that Gull.....