After careful scrutiny following her arrival last week, John identified the female at Site B as a new bird. Her head and underwing patterns showed that she definitely wasn’t 03’s mate of the last two years nor was she a bird we had seen in Rutland before. The chances were, therefore, that she wouldn’t linger for long.
She remained at Site B throughout the weekend – accepting several fish from 03 – but shortly after first light on Tuesday morning she was off. Our best guess is that she is probably now on a nest in Scotland; if only she had been colour-ringed we’d have known for sure. We have seen this behaviour numerous times before – females stopping off for a few days, getting a free meal or two and then continuing their migration. So we weren’t surprised at her departure.
With this interloper now heading north, the wait for 03 goes on. Last year his mate returned on the 4th April, so we will be keeping a close eye on the nest in the coming days.