The Osprey is making a welcome comeback in the British Isles. After being persecuted to extinction as a breeding bird by 1916, this bird started to re-colonise itself with a pair breeding in 1954. After a faltering start due to egg collecting and continued persecution, the numbers of this bird have gradually grown to number over 150 pairs, still a very small number when you consider that Golden Eagles number over 450 pairs. These birds are still persecuted with individuals being shot or 'disappearing' from breeding areas. One individual at Rutland Water 'disappeared' last year after having mated and started to raise young, it was feared that he was shot.
In the Peterborough area the sighting of these birds is pretty much an annual event, with birds passing overhead in the Spring and Autumn. Some even hang around for a while, favouring a lake from which it fishes before moving on. This is in part due to the close proximity of Rutland Water, one of the sites where a re-introduction programme was started in 1996. The bird in the photos below show an individual that has been hanging around for a while now and was seen by myself at Maxey GP on Sunday. I thought that I would get some shots using my new camera and some using my trusted digiscoping method. You can see the difference in results for yourself. The first two are with the Canon Powershot SX40 HS with the other two being digiscoped.
The shots with the new camera were taken with the lens at full 35x zoom, with the digiscoped images using my scopes 30x eyepiece. I am happier with the 'camera' photos, but to be honest, not truly happy with any of them! The bird was a bit distant and the heat haze was pretty horrible, but then again I am not complaining about a bit of heat haze!