Birds of prey have always fascinated me. Gracefully gliding through the air almost motionless, scanning the fields or waterways for prey is always a sight for sore eyes.
Ospreys are fish experts and pick out potential prey from a long way out.
Not far south of Port Douglas, along the Captain Cook Highway, I came across this monumental natural construction. This oversized osprey nest is visible from a long way out and naturally grabbed my attention. It’s carefully constructed on an electrical post and appears to have been there for many years. Late afternoon sun rays reflected nicely on clear blue skies.
6 intriguing eyes stared at me as I pulled Troopy over to the side of the road.
The angle for a good photo shoot wasn’t ideal, but I was happy with what I saw. An almost fully grown osprey kept flying in circles around the nest, practicing and training it’s flight manoeuvres.
Effortlessly gliding over cane fields and right above me.
Or maybe it was just curious about me?
Dad kept an eye out on it’s landing technique.
Pretty good I thought.
Some left over fish was left in the nest and dad made a meal of it. Little bits get picked of with a sharp beak, before the rest is swallowed whole.
The lighter coloured young bird kept circling around the nest meanwhile.
The darker coloured adult flew off, over the cane fields to it’s favourite fishing ground.
To see and photograph an osprey with a freshly caught fish in its claws was something I couldn’t miss. I waited patiently, just as much the hungry chick!
A good 20 minutes passed before I saw this dark shadow in the sky again. Success, an airborne decent sized mullet had no chance of escape.
Like a jet plane, it circled in a big loop for the right landing angle.
Missed by the first attempt, he took on another round. Young mate looked a bit perplexed.
A picture perfect landing this time. I expected them to claw in to this fresh fish, but that didn’t happen.
Instead, the three of them watched their surroundings for quite some time.
Are they waiting for someone I wonder.
And so they did. Hardly visible, an even younger chick made an appearance. This is most likely this year’s offspring. How tiny and cute is this chick? The almost fully grown osprey will be leaving nest and shelter rather soon I presume.
Dad carefully sliced the fish in smaller pieces for the youngest family to swallow. I left them for their dinner as I was getting hungry too.
It’s great to see these majestic birds to thrive up here in Northern Queensland.