I was busy taking photos of humpback whales when this Osprey decided to go fishing in front of me.
At Kilcarnup there was an Osprey nest that had been built up over many years. Each year I visited Kilcarnup and could photograph the proud parents with their chicks. You can see images of the Ospreys in earlier posts. After the Margaret River bushfires, the nest was abandoned and I was disappointed that I couldn’t see these magnificent birds at Kilcarnup. I visited the nest a few weeks ago, and it was in a state of disrepair. The day I visited the weather was dreadful and I didn’t bother to look around. However I was told that the Osprey’s were building a new nest, so today I went to see. There were 3 Osprey in the area that I could see. The new nest has a long way to go before it reaches the size of the old one, but it is a good start. The new nest is about 500m from the old ones on Cape Mentelle.
I saw this Osprey as I was coming home last night. He was circling, and riding the thermals. I didn’t realise at the time that he had a fish, and I thought he was hunting. I’m guessing he was trying to gain height for the flight back to his nest – I have photographed an Opsrey previously in this area with a large fish in his claws.
I went down to Kilcarnup where there is alarge Osprey nest. Each year I have been there a pair of Ospreys have been there and they raise 2-3 chicks each time. They normally leave the nest around October, so this time they were well and truly out. THis year I think they have had 3 chicks. The mother was feeding the other bird in the nest. I am pretty sure the pair of Osprey outside the nest were young chicks waiting for dad to return home. (These Osprey have nothing to do with the Osprey in the previous post).
I was hoping they would go for a quick flight, but all they did was look at me.
This Osprey had a good catch – I would have been proud of that fish. He was taking it home – I am surprised he could carry a weight like that.
I went down to Kilcarnup again today to get a shot of the Osprey chick in the nest before it grew up and left. They grow very quickly and in a few weeks they are nearly full size. Last time I was there the chick was only just tall enough to peek above the rim of the nest, but today it had grown a lot. It was still happy to hide behind mum when I appeared and I had to wait to get the shot.
When I have been there previously I noticed mum seems to get “cabin fever” about every hour and takes off for a quick flight. This time she was checking me out and with the strong sea breeze was able to hover directly above me – a bit scary because Osprey’s have formidable beaks and claws. I was lying on my back to get this shot – partly because I wanted to keep an eye on her! The nest is on a small limestone outcrop which is a small island, so they feel pretty sure that I can’t get to the nest. I am sure she just wanted to stretch her wings and to give me the message that I was to stay away.
While I was at Kilcarnup photographing the Ospreys I got a number of good images. Here are some samples.
Access to Kilcarnup is by 4WD only, and in summer the track is very boggy. In summer you can walk up from the mouth of the Margaret River when the sandbar is across the river mouth. It is about 3k.