Wildlife Holidays: Readers' tips, advice and recommendations
The talons of an osprey are powerful and designed to grip the struggling fish as it is pulled from the water. Unfortunately, it does not appear to have a rapid release mechanism… with potentially dangerous consequences. We had cycled to a secluded beach on the west of Rottnest Island, off the coast of Western Australia, near Perth. Suddenly there was a commotion 100 yards offshore, as an osprey realised that its prey was too big to lift. It headed towards us, more swimming than flying, with the fish and part of its own body underwater. Exhausted and bedraggled, it eventually reached the pristine white sand, and tried to fly again without success. Finally, it realised that by tearing off pieces of the bream’s flesh it would be light enough. Silver gulls descended on the scraps and soon nothing remained as evidence of an osprey’s near-fatal mistake.