Whitehead bird-watcher Cameron Moore has added another ‘first’ to his impressive collection of sightings in East Antrim.
The eagle-eyed enthusiast managed to train his lens on an osprey making its way along Larne Lough towards Magheramorne recently.
Cameron takes up the story: “I was having a look from Ballycarry Bridge. It’s very quiet at this time of year.
“You are always looking for the unexpected. I could hear gulls agitated, I expected to see a buzzard as there are buzzards about the area.
“It was a big osprey, it jumps out at you the size of it.”
The keen ‘twitcher’ who had arrived only moments earlier made a dash to his car and got out his camera just in time to capture the image (right) of the elegant bird in full flight.
“It is more or less the size of an eagle, it has long, thin wings and quite a hooked beak. It is a fish-eater, they have powerful talons.
“It headed on up the Magheramorne direction. It is surprising how quickly a bird that big can cover that distance.”
The osprey’s other tell-tale features are that it is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts with a black eye patch and wings.
Cameron has relayed information about the sighting to the Northern Ireland Birdwatchers Association which is working to improve knowledge of the population and distribution of the province’s birds.
“I did not see it again. It is the first one I have seen at the bridge. I have seen them at Downpatrick and Toomebridge, never Larne Lough.
“It was most likely going to Scotland,” Cameron added.
Cameron who is keen to see more people, especially the younger generation pursue an interest in bird-watching, went on to stress the area is rich in wildlife with a white-tailed eagle in the hills above Larne and a kingfisher at Glynn River among other sightings.