Bird field guide > Bird watching diary > Osprey


I have never met with the Osprey (Pandion halioeetus) myself in the Channel Islands, nor have I, as far as I remember, seen a Channel Island specimen. I include it, however, on the authority of a note kindly sent to me by Mr. MacCulloch, who says: "An Osprey was found at St. Samsons, in Guernsey, on the 29th of October. I cannot, however, say whether at the time it was examined by a competent naturalist, and as both the Osprey and the White-tailed Eagle are fishers, a mistake may have been made in naming it."

Of course such a mistake as suggested is possible, but as the Guernsey fishermen and gunners, especially the St. Samsons men, are well acquainted with the White-tailed Eagle, I should not think it probable that the mistake had been made. The bird, however, cannot be considered at all common in the Islands; there is no specimen in the Guernsey Museum, and Mr. Couch has never mentioned to me having had one through his hands, or recorded it, as he would have done had he had one; neither does Mrs. Jago (late Miss Cumber), who used to do a good deal of stuffing in Guernsey about thirty years ago, remember having had one through her hands.

There can be no reason, however, why the Osprey should not occasionally occur in the Islands, as it does so both on the French and English side of the Channel. The wonder rather is that it is so rare as it appears to be.