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Osprey's in Scottish Borders (1 Viewer)

Troutman

Member
For many years we have Ospreys visiting our fish farm (funnily enough)..We love seeing them arrive in the Spring and love to see them go in September after depleting our stock.
We have had up to 12 above the farm at any one time, but 1 or 2 is normal. I got in touch with the RSPB last year to see if we could get financial help with the fish they take seen as the local economy must be benefitting from so many being around, and quite rightfully they said "they're not our birds and can't compensate you"..makes sense but I had to try. They were extremely helpful though and they suggested I set up a viewing area and charge the public to come and see them, so that's what I'm looking into doing and thought this a good place to start.
Basically I want to know what sort of interest there would be in this. You would almost be gauranteed to see an Osprey as close as 50yds or closer and quite likely taking a fish in front of you. Facilities would be basic, like sitting in a large log shed for cover, I could provide a kettle and water but not much else unless it really took off. What are your thoughts? Location is Scottish Borders.
Please feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer them.
 

Adam W

Well-known member
Plenty of Photographers would be willing to pay for gauranteed views like that I would have thought.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Currently some of the photography hides charge prices that keep away the "ordinary" birder-photographer. Part of the reason they can do this is supply and demand, so I welcome any attempt to increase supply.

You're a lot closer than Aviemore, as well!

John
 

Troutman

Member
Yes , not nearly as far as Aviemore, about 1.5hrs North of Newcastle.
There is a couple of good local pubs that offer accommodation, and we could also let people stay in tents I suppose.
Like I said, the birds can be around all day and are not shy really. If you were sat down or stood still they are not bothered at all. They really are incredible to watch especially in a dive.
Please pm me if you want to come and see them. I could take a photo of the log shed and I might be able to get a loan of a drone to take aerial film so you could see where it was in relation to where the Ospreys will be.
 

Boom

Well-known member
I think it's a great idea, as someone who spends quite a bit of time birding in the Borders this sounds ideal for a visit.
Hope it works out for you
 

Sandra (Taylor)

Registered User
Supporter
I don't think the facility in the link in post no. 2 above is a fish farm but I'm willing to be corrected. There's a fish farm on the Rothiemurchus estate - turn left off the Glenmore Road before you get to the Visitor Centre - and we used to spend hours watching ospreys here. They accepted birders onto the site after 5.30 when angling closed on the ponds. For a small amount (maybe £2) ospreys were regularly seen coming in to fish. They were also visible from the platform of Aviemore railway station.

Then things changed after a few years and mega bucks were charged for photographers to buy space in the 'shed' to photograph these stunners. Birders were banned - unless they wanted to pretend to be a photographer and spend £95 (?) for the privilege.

I shall always be grateful to the guys in the shop who encouraged us to stop and watch for the birds as this is where I saw my first osprey - what a magic moment!

I don't know what the position is now with this estate. But I'd go and stand on the station platform with your back to the main road and watch carefully.
 

pe'rigin

Well-known member
I certainly think this idea is worth exploring.

I would go back to the RSPB and suggest a breeding platform being erected, if you have the room. You'll need their advice on this and the possibilities.

They may give you some financial backing for this, or approach your local Bird Society for help. Either way you've asked the question. They may like the project so much to agree to stump-up the dosh.

They should also advise you on these birds whether they are local and your fishery is part of an occupied territory.

Your problem would be your existing 'fishing' clients, having a better fishermen about probably isn't going to go down too well.

But, having a nesting site with some sort of viewing hide would bring in enough people to pay for the fish these birds would take. You could then ask the RSPB to set-up Date with Nature view point, and then the financial rewards for them and you could be endless. Who knows you could even attract a film crew.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I don't know what the position is now with this estate. But I'd go and stand on the station platform with your back to the main road and watch carefully.

I wouldn't, I'd pop down to the Old Bridge Inn, get a pint and sit outside: same views of Ospreys and occasionally Dipper on the river! :t:

John
 

Troutman

Member
We have Dippers in the river too and a flock of Oyster Catchers nesting in the gravel. About 15years ago a Bittern flew past us about 20ft up right over our heads..amazing
I take it there are "birders" and then there are photographers trying to get the perfect photo.
Personally I just love watching them.
They have been nesting here for 20+years , lots about now but the weather can have disastrous effects on the newly hatched birds.
 

BimmyB

Well-known member
I can't remember the exact details but there's a similar thing to what you're proposing at a fish farm next to Rutland Water, I did look into it a few years back as they had an online booking system, and you booked-in for, I think, two hour slots during the day. What put me off in the end was no price displayed on the website and you had to fill out loads of booking information, and, if I remember rightly bank or debit card details before they told you the price. I still have no idea how much it was.
Might also be worth looking into that one for any ideas on how to go about it.
All in all, sounds like an excellent idea, and I think you'll more than recoup the losses you make with all the fish pilfering! Good luck, and hopefully one day I'll be able to come, sit, marvel and photograph.
 

Boom

Well-known member
I can't remember the exact details but there's a similar thing to what you're proposing at a fish farm next to Rutland Water, I did look into it a few years back as they had an online booking system, and you booked-in for, I think, two hour slots during the day. What put me off in the end was no price displayed on the website and you had to fill out loads of booking information, and, if I remember rightly bank or debit card details before they told you the price. I still have no idea how much it was.
Might also be worth looking into that one for any ideas on how to go about it.
All in all, sounds like an excellent idea, and I think you'll more than recoup the losses you make with all the fish pilfering! Good luck, and hopefully one day I'll be able to come, sit, marvel and photograph.

I've just looked out of interest, their website says it's dawn until 8.30am and 4.30 until dusk and it's £75 a per person, per session.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I've just looked out of interest, their website says it's dawn until 8.30am and 4.30 until dusk and it's £75 a per person, per session.

The sessions actually make sense as they are the most likely times for Ospreys to fish, but £150 for a full day, yeah, puts one off considerably!

John
 

Troutman

Member
I was thinking of something like £50/half day and £75 for a full day. Would that be something folk would be prepared to pay? If your coming from the South you are saving a 6hr round trip not going up to Aviemore although it's a lovely part of the world and well worth a visit (the Highlands in general)
As for the Ospreys, when they first return they're in all the time, then they start nesting and brooding the eggs which is a rest period, then the fledglings appear and it's all go.
To be honest there is rarely an hour goes by without on around, at least that's how it seems.
I need to set up a website but computer tech is not my thing at all, if it hasn't got an engine...
 

Boom

Well-known member
I was thinking of something like £50/half day and £75 for a full day. Would that be something folk would be prepared to pay? If your coming from the South you are saving a 6hr round trip not going up to Aviemore although it's a lovely part of the world and well worth a visit (the Highlands in general)
As for the Ospreys, when they first return they're in all the time, then they start nesting and brooding the eggs which is a rest period, then the fledglings appear and it's all go.
To be honest there is rarely an hour goes by without on around, at least that's how it seems.
I need to set up a website but computer tech is not my thing at all, if it hasn't got an engine...

It all depends on what people are prepared to pay I'd say, personally I'd find that a bit steep considering you can spend a day whale watching off Mull for £80 for a full day for example.
If people will pay it though, then it must be worth it to them,
and obviously it would serve as some recompense for your loss of fish. There are good sites for Ospreys in northern England and the borders these days, some of them really accessible
 

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