When we arrived the kids were pretty excited about it and we walked up the wooden walkway into the Centre for a look around. I believe most of the staff are volunteers and are extremely attentive and one lady approached us and asked had we seen the Osprey nest and I said "no". She then asked another Volunteer to take us down to show us. The Volunteer took us down the stairs back to the carpark and pointed to the huge pole at the end of the carpark with the next on top. (see below). Hard to miss now someone had pointed this out to us.
She took us inside and even though there are no Osprey in the nest at the moment she showed us the nest on the computer which was linked into the webcam. She showed how to get the camera to show different angles of the nest and/or zooming in or out. She show us old footage when the birds had their baby in the nest which you can see below. There is a Mummy and apparently she is bigger than the Daddy and then the baby if you can make it out in the middle it's grey and has no feathers on it yet.
We watched a short video of a BBC Film on Osprey and showed us how they catch fish with there claws and they swoop down into the water to grab the fish and the fish that they grab can be huge and they take the fish back to the nest. After this film they talked about Dugons in Moreton Bay and how we shouldn't let any litter end up in the bay because it kills the marine life. As there were lots of kids sitting watching the film as they had a group in they showed a short video of a Dugon (as in a person dressed up as a Dugon) walking along the road with a huge rubbish bin and it walked into someone's home and into their kitchen. By this stage in the video the Mum is in the kitchen and the kid is yelling to Mum "Mum, Mum there's a Dugon in the house" and the Mum turns around to see this 6 ft Dugon standing there with a big rubbish bin and it looks at her and then tips out the entire contents of the rubbish onto her kitchen floor and walks out. Everyone started laughing because it looked so ricidulous but it was making a point "Don't litter in the home of the marine life". Cute and the message was understood by all the kids.
After the 10 mins or so of little films we were handed binoculars each so we could go check out the birds. We walked along the wooden pathway and there were 3 areas were you could walk down the the water and see the birds. The first one was sort of like a bunker where you were hidden and got to look out to the water and sky and I thought that was the coolest one. I decided to try and get a family portrait of us while we were there and it was quite challenging as there was no way I was going to put my camera on top of the fencing because it could go in the water so I opted for placing my handbag on the ground, it on top and me lying down on the wooden pathway to focus and organize the shot, hit the self timer and got up off the ground (no easy feet) and got into the shot. I took 2 photos and this was one of them. Adding to the photo difficulty was the light and shadows but I'm determined to make sure I get in more family photos with the kids even if I'm lying on the ground to get them. That has never bothered me before truth be known.
We looked for Osprey however we didn't spot any that day as we were told they will be back in the nest in February/March as it's too hot for them at the moment so we might go back then. One interesting piece of information about them is they like a clean nest so when they poo they lift up their tails and squirt it over the edge of the nest which when you looking from above them (ie the webcam) it looks so funny and the volunteers told us you never walk directly under the pole because there is a good chance you'll get some of that on you. That's how they like to keep their nest clean. Here's a link to some of the webcam videos.
Here's a look at the rest of the photos from our little adventure to Osprey House Environmental Centre. When we had finished looking for birds we had some lunch and then heard from someone who had just arrived that the Highway was closed due to an accident so I found out how to get home from where we were not using the Highway. It was closed and you couldn't get on anyway and we proceeded to head home and for 1.5 hrs we drove 0-5 km and then the last 30 mins drove 60 kms and made it home 2 hours later (normal trip is 30 minutes) so I was very thankful that I had packed lunch for us even though we were going to be home by 1pm. It was a big accident involving 5 cars and 1 caravan so as I pointed out to the kids as annoying as it was sitting virtually still for 1.5 hrs in the hot car travelling 0-5 kms at least we were safe and had no appointments that afternoon anyway. Apart from our 2 hr drive home we had a lovely morning and the kids would like to go back when the Osprey return, as would I.
I am wanting to connect more with nature this year and get the kids out and about and this was a great free adventure to take them on.