My 50th year of ospreys

A friend, Duncan Halley, dropped me this email today from Washington, USA, to remind me of an anniversary. “First and foremost, if I have my dates right today is exactly 50 years since you started work at Operation Osprey. Congratulations on all the work in species restoration since then. To say the least you have made and are making an impact the rest of us can only admire and hope in some degree to emulate.”

Thanks Duncan for the kind words. I’d forgotten it was even the 1st of April this morning – I had to stay overnight in Inverurie as I couldn’t get home by car after landing in Aberdeen last night because the main A96 road home was blocked by snow drifts. The traffic was still there this morning but by using back roads I got home to find a foot of snow there. Not good weather for the early ospreys but it will soon melt and spring will continue. Just checked the ospreys to find Beatrice flying up through Oxfordshire this morning and photographed by a birder, while Red 8T is storming through Spain. What an incredible change since 1st April 1960 when we were waiting for just one pair of ospreys in Scotland (and UK) with no idea when they would arrive or where exactly they had been. We didn’t even ring them then because they were so rare. Now we can study them in such great detail and the British population is over 230 pairs.