Newspaper article from Belgium (from January 17th 2014):
http://www.gva.be/regio-antwerpen-noord ... arend.aspx
(Anglers miss "their" osprey)
Nu de ijslagen op de vijvers smelten, hopen ze in Viersel binnenkort hun forellensnoeper terug te zien. In november kwam een tijdlang een visarend elke morgen klokvast tussen 9u en 9.30u ontbijten in forellenvijver 't Veer aan de Veerstraat.
"Een machtig schouwspel", omschrijven de uitbaters van de forellenvijver het spektakel. "De visarend dook met zijn kop naar beneden en haalde de forellen met zijn klauwen uit het water. Hij kwam altijd als de verse vis juist geleverd was. Nee, wij vonden het niet erg dat hij een paar forellen kwam stelen, voor onze hengelaars was het prachtig om te zien. Maar met de vrieskou trok hij weg. We hopen dat hij spoedig terugkeert."
Ook Jeremy Reusen van taverne Hoogwater hoopt de visarend binnenkort aan het werk te mogen zien. "Het tafereel speelde zich af vlak achter mijn taverne, maar ik hoorde het pas achteraf vertellen. Spijtig, want ik had hem graag met eigen ogen in actie gezien."
Translated (by me) it says this:
Now the layers on the ponds melt, they hope to see again their trout-'connoisseur' in Viersel. In November for a while an osprey came to have breakfast in trout pond "'t Veer" in the Veerstreet every morning between 9:00 and 9:30. "A mighty view", describe the owners of the trout pond the spectacle. "The osprey dived down head first and took the trouts out of the water with his talons. He always came just when the fresh fish was delivered. No, we didn't mind that he came to steal some trouts, for our anglers it was a marvellous sight. But with the freezing cold he left. We hope he returns soon."
Also Jeremy Reusen from tavern Hoogwater hopes to be able to watch the osprey soon again. "The scene happened just behind my tavern, but I heard about it only later. A pity, because I would have liked to watch him with my own eyes."
What puzzles me a bit here, is the fact that there was an osprey fishing in North-Western Europe in November, long after he should have migrated south, to at least the Mediterranean, if not Africa proper. Was he a straggler? A migrating bird who took a wrong turn? Or an adventureous, perhaps juvenile, osprey who saw opportunities for easy meals every day and who maybe was already looking for a good site to establish a nest in 2014? It is known that juvenile Scandinavian birds, those without a nest of their own yet, lately have started to use the Low Countries (i.e. The Netherlands and Belgium) to 'oversummer'. But could it be that some juvenile Scandinavian ospreys also use the same area to overwinter?
On this map ( http://waarneming.nl/soort/maps/346?fro ... nd_specie=
) which covers the period of Nov 1st 2013 till today (Febr 11th 2014), it shows 6 osprey sightings in The Netherlands.
And on this map ( http://waarnemingen.be/soort/maps/346?f ... nd_specie=
) it shows 3 osprey sightings in Belgium in the same period. The little red dot just northwest from Antwerpen is the osprey from the article above.
This American article ( http://hamptonroads.com/2013/02/sightin ... all-winter
) is about the same issue of overwintering ospreys. Just some quotes from it:
In January, ospreys are supposed to be in the Caribbean and South America. The earliest the big birds usually return to their huge stick nests in Hampton Roads is late February and early March.
But Brown's sighting was not unusual. He has seen ospreys year-round since 2008, when he began to take a casual interest in the birds' winter presence after hearing one call in the middle of January.
"It piqued my interest," he said, "And not long after that I began to see osprey on the lake around Linlier pond."
In 2012 he decided to make his observations "more systematic." He tried to make routine checks of certain areas, especially during the cold-weather months.
He saw ospreys in every month of 2012 and he has several photographs to prove it.
In the past, an occasional osprey stuck around for the winter, perhaps one too old to migrate or a youngster who didn't get with the program.
But recently this appears to have changed. Last year, Brown relied not only on himself, but he also added sightings from top-notch birders, like Reese Lukei, Woody Stephens, and Steve and Julie Coari. Brown deduced that some of the big birds are making a choice to stay here for the winter.
Also a sighting of an osprey in Scotland in January 2014:
https://www.rspb.org.uk/community/place ... nuary.aspx
A rather unusual bird sighting this week in the form of an osprey. It was seen by two different people. Firstly, over the village of St Combs on the 8th and 9th and then over Savoch Farm just west of the reserve on Saturday 10th. It is the earliest record of osprey in Scotland ever. I think its fair to say that this bird is a long way from where it should be at this time of year.