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Thread: birdwatchers advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default birdwatchers advice

    Dear Twitchers,

    I have been exploring loch islands with my kids on day trips. We are trying to develop a list of places to go canoe camping.

    On our last 2 trips on very local waters we have come across massive nests which we have researched and found out to be osprey nests. The research told us that they are migratory birds and tend to come back from April until August.

    My question:
    Is the whole loch out of bound? If the island is sizable, is the whole island out of bound? (obviously only 100m or less it will be!)

    Where can you find info on this? Those 2 lochs weren't publicised for hosting those birds. I read somewhere that people deliberately do not talk about those places online on purpose.

    I am not that bothered about watching them myself, but I would be bothered about disturbing them. So I need to find a strategy to avoid being there at the same time.

    I would appreciate any info, links or even a steer towards people I could ask (rangers...?).

    Cheers Erick
    PS: BTW the family paddling has really taken on (often without the wife...we do it when she goes to do her own things, but she is not against herself) and we are really having a ton of fun.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Central Scotland
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    4,414

    Default

    There is an example on the SCA website here. I paddled up to these buoys before I remembered they were there and I was in that area. 100m from the nest site sounds maybe a little close, maybe ok on land though if less visibility/sound is deadend. The zone on map in the link is about 500m at it's largest so say a 250m radius? Note that tourist boats often stop there with camera flashes going off etc so sneaking by at the same distance would be much less disturbing. You can definitely ask the rangers, that's what they are there for!
    Cheers,

    Alan


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    We paddled past the site Chainsaw mentions at the end of March 2016 but there were no buoys present. We knew there was a nest somewhere about but did not expect the birds to have arrived at that time of year - we were surprised to see one in flight!

    I have also paddled past islands with Osprey nests in Sweden. Their maps have a 100m zone around all islands that are bird reserves, whether Osprey or others. On busier lakes the birds may become accustomed to boats passing, but if they see very few canoes I think 250m would be advisable. Camping would require a bigger buffer than just paddling past.

    Some research results here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Currently N. Somerset. Oftimes Quebec Province, Canada.
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    Default



    I've always been in awe of Ospreys. Something to do with their iconic status as such a rare animal here in the UK; also they just are spectacular, aren't they?

    But I think that the "keep away" warnings are perhaps more to do with the guardians' ability to monitor potential egg-theives than the timidity of the birds themselves?

    These three, basking in the very hot July sun in farmland South-Eastern Ontario, were on a platform on a power pole right next to the moderately-used road. Perhaps it was the heat but they didn't even bother to watch me as I left the car and walked up for a (photo!) shot.

    As for the one that took a fish 30 yards away from the canoe later the same month and then flapped off, very heavily laden, across our bow.....

    Magical.
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Avoch, Black Isle
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    Some research results here.
    some reading in that...I hope my English will not fail me. Hard to judge distances on flat water from a seating/kneeling point of view! I agree buffer will be bigger when camping.
    The island to camp on is not the island with the nest. Furthermore, nest site and potential excellent campsite (as declared by the wee one themselves) do not face each other.
    However, when it comes to distances there is not much more than 600m as the osprey flies (pardon the pun) according to the map! I'll have to seek advice with the rangers methinks.

  6. #6
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    May 2010
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    some reading in that...I hope my English will not fail me
    You only need to look at pages 126-130. Your English looks fine to me, much better than my French, and I find I can read and make sense of much more text than I could write.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
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    Grizzle - I too have seen Ospreys in Ontario - but yours have years of little or persecution by man.

    Ours, and other European populations have had years and years of persecution by man until recent years so ours probably haven't learned they are safe.

    A farmer in the Lake District was prosecuted this year for disturbing the birds - He'd driven by the nest and one of the birds flew off the nest. Although earlier I'd I'd seen a tractor/trailor drive past - within several yards and the adult bird took little notice.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Fife and Ardnamurchan
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    Osprey are a Schedule 1 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. It's a criminal offence to disturb them on the nest, or near the nest etc. Disturbance is probably definable legally, but the distance involved is not.

    The key wording goes something like this: "Intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 while it is nest building, or at a nest containing eggs or young, or disturb the dependent young of such a bird."

    There's a big difference between you approaching to within 100 yards of an osprey, and the bird approaching you. I'd be surprised if the former didn't result in disturbance, whereas the latter is clearly not a problem. Camping on an island known to have a nest might well be considered reckless.

    Osprey are now sufficiently numerous in the UK that individual nests are no longer necessarily recorded. But they are protected.
    David

    --
    Life is short and responsibility overrated - John Gierach

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Avoch, Black Isle
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    Very informative folks thanks!

    To make it clear, I do not intend on camping on those islands, unless they were of significant size (several hundred metres) and obviously nowhere near nesting areas.

    It is just that my last 2 outings to explore meant we found 2 potential areas to avoid during nesting season. Not being particularly informed, I want to make sure birds are ok...the law is for enforcement. I am about prevention. I will put those islands and lochs as to be avoided between April and September (or should I extend that period?).
    Thankfully there are others lochs with islands I can aim for...hopefully they don't all have an osprey nest on them though!

    Chris B, I was being facetious with my English. I have read relevant pages now (but thanks for pointing them out, the glossary does tell which page for others interested). I still need to read some earlier pages to understand some of the technicalities.

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