BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

Osprey



Osprey Pandion haliaetus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Osprey Pandion haliaetus haliaetus (Linnaeus, 1758)

(Uncommon PM)

  1. One, not aged, 4th Sep. 1914 (D. Carr per Palmer & Ballance).
  2. One, not aged, May 1936 (per H.H. Davis). See note 1 below.
  3. One, not aged, 8th Sep. 1938 (H.W. Neal).
  4. One, not aged, 23rd May 1946 (R.E. Alley, H.J. Boyd).
  5. One, probable juvenile, 11th Sep. 1965 (M. Kendall).
  6. One, not aged, 27th Sep. 1969 (per P.J. Chadwick).
  7. One, presumed adult, 7th-8th April 1978 (W. Dickson, K.E. Vinicombe, K.J. Hall et al.).
  8. One, not aged, 10th May 1978 (A. Tees).
  9. One, not aged, 26th July 1982 (P.J. Chadwick).
  10. One, not aged, 21st Sep. 1992 (per R.M. Andrews).
  11. One, not aged, 20th April 1996 (D.W. Bowring).
  12. One, juvenile, 22nd Sep. 1996 (K.E. Vinicombe et al.).
  13. One, not aged, 17th Sep. 1998 (N.R. Milbourne).
  14. One, presumed adult, 15th April 2000 (N.R. Milbourne).
  15. One, not aged, 26th May 2001 (R.M. Curber, N.R. Milbourne).
  16. One, not aged, 27th Aug. 2001 (N.J. Voaden).
  17. One, adult, 7th April 2002 (N.R. Milbourne, I Stapp, A.H. Davis).
  18. One, presumed adult, 27th March 2003 (C. Chapman).* See note 2 below.
  19. One, not aged, 24th August 2003 (pers. comm. J. Aldridge (reported by an angler), R.J. Palmer).
  20. One, not aged, 2nd May 2004 (D.E. Stainer).
  21. One, not aged, 22nd May 2004 (N.R. Milbourne, P. Delve).
  22. One, not aged, 6th Sep. 2005 (R.M. Curber, S. & J. Prince, D.K.T., D.A.). See note 3 below.
  23. One, not aged, 10th Sep. 2005 (K.J. Hall).
  24. One, not aged, 30th April 2007.
  25. One, not aged, 23rd Oct. 2007 (S. Ablitt et al.).
  26. One, adult, 14th Sep. 2008 (N.R. Milbourne).
  27. One, adult named Nimrod, 12th-13th April 2010 (pers. comm. Roy Dennis, tracked & roosted overnight at Butcombe Bank).
  28. One, not aged, 28th Aug. 2010 (S. Davies).
  29. One, adult, 1st April 2011 (N.R. Milbourne).
  30. One, adult, 26th March 2012 (N.R. Milbourne, M. Churn).
  31. One, adult, 5th April 2012 (N.R. Milbourne).
  32. One, adult, 14th April 2012 (N.R. Milbourne).
  33. One, adult, 19th April 2012 (N.R. Milbourne).

There were a number of records during the spring passage period from 23rd March to 8th April 2013, which has been written up by the author 'Ospreys at Blagdon Lake in Spring 2013' pps. 161-164, Avon Bird Report 2013. It was unclear just how many birds were involved in the passage, so I refer you to the article. Since that extraordinary event, the following records have been documented:

  1. One, not aged, 1st Sep. 2013.
  2. One, presumed adult, 3rd April 2014 (Dr A. Herring).
  3. One, not aged, 26th Aug. 2014 (N.R. Milbourne).
  4. Two or three, not aged, 7th Sep. 2014 (S. Isgar, L. Helliar).
  5. One, presumed adult, 6th-8th April 2015 (Unknown, S. Isgar, M. Hynam), presumed same 10th April (pers. comm. J. Hirst) & 12th April.
  6. One, not aged, 22nd June 2015 (N.R. Milbourne).

Donald Carr wrote in 1914: "Osprey, observed on September 4th, flying about ten yards above surface of Lake, mobbed by a large party or [sic] Rooks."

Note 1: H.H. Davis included the May 1936 record in his 'A Revised List of the Birds of the Bristol District' published on 27th August 1948 but appears to have deleted it in 'Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1948' published on 26th July 1949.

Note 2: The record on 27th March 2003 was posted on the SOS website messageboard by Chris Chapman with the following words "Osprey sighted over Blagdon Lake yesterday at about noon. Unfortunately it was being aggressively mobbed by 3/4 gulls so didn't stay long and flew off north". I assume Chris didn't submit the record but the description seems entirely plausible to me, so I have included it.

Note 3: The record dated 6th September 2005 was one I gleaned from the Top End diary. "10-11am Osprey fishing flew off east (D.K.T.). 2.25-2.38pm Osprey flew from top end hide to dam end. One dive unsuccessful, then flew off over east end of Blagdon and over hill (D.A.)." I don't know the initials of the observers in the diary, but it was accepted in ABR 2005 thanks to descriptions submitted by others.

Has anyone got more records to add to the list up to and including 2015? I am sure there have been a few more Ospreys seen, especially by anglers in recent years, and there have undoubtedly been many more occurrences unseen by birders since they returned to Scotland in 1954. I am not planning to add to this list owing to the regularity of sightings which have led to formation of a working party, the Mendip Osprey Group, that aims to install a number of nesting poles to try and attract Ospreys to breed locally. Two have been erected in 2016 with others to follow.

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. Blaythwayt, Rev F.L. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1938. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  2. Blaythwayt, Rev F.L. (ed.). Report on Somerset Birds, 1946. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  3. Chadwick, P.J. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 1982. Avon Ornithological Group.
  4. Chapman, C. Somerset Ornithological Society (SOS) website messageboard
  5. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1991. Avon Ornithological Group.
  6. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1992. Avon Ornithological Group.
  7. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1996. Avon Ornithological Group.
  8. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1998. Avon Ornithological Group.
  9. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 2000. Avon Ornithological Group.
  10. Davis, A.H. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2002. Avon Ornithological Group.
  11. Davis H.H. 1948. A Revised List of the Birds of the Bristol District. Reprinted from the Proc. of the Bristol Naturalists' Society, vol. XXVII, part IV, pp. 225-268. 1947.
  12. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1965. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  13. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Bristol Bird Report, 1969. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  14. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1946. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  15. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Ornithological Notes Bristol District, 1948. Bristol Naturalists' Society.
  16. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1965. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  17. Davis, H.H. (ed.). Somerset Birds, 1969. Somersetshire Archaeol. & Nat. Hist. Soc.
  18. Palmer E.M. & Ballance D.K. 1968. The Birds of Somerset. London.
  19. Payne, D. (ed.). Bird News, Apr. 1978. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  20. Payne, D. (ed.). Bird News, May 1978. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  21. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2003. Avon Ornithological Group.
  22. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2004. Avon Ornithological Group.
  23. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2005. Avon Ornithological Group.
  24. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2007. Avon Ornithological Group.
  25. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2008. Avon Ornithological Group.
  26. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2010. Avon Ornithological Group.
  27. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2011. Avon Ornithological Group.
  28. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2012. Avon Ornithological Group.
  29. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2013. Avon Ornithological Group.
  30. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2014. Avon Ornithological Group.
  31. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2015. Avon Ornithological Group.

Updated 23 November, 2016