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What a difference a day makes

After the horrendous wind and rain of yesterday, the reserve has been basking in glorious spring sunshine for much of today. It has probably been even more of a relief for the Manton Bay Ospreys than it was for us.

The sun may have been out, but a brisk north-easterly wind has continued to make fishing difficult for 5R today. He finally arrived back at the nest with a small Roach at about 4pm. As usual he ate part of the fish before taking the rest to the nest. There wasn’t much left though and the female polished it off within fifteen minutes. Clearly not satisfied by her meal she flew back to the nest and began food-begging again. When 5R didn’t respond she simply pushed him off the nest – thereby forcing him to go off in search of another meal. Now that told him!

Brian Anderson at the Lyndon Visitor Centre having just completed his amazing ride

Well done Brian!

It has been an extremely wet and windy day at Rutland Water with the Manton Bay nest battered by strong north-easterly winds and driving rain. The female has sat resolutely on the eggs all day, which can’t have been a pleasant task – as this video shows.

Its not just the Ospreys who have suffered in the rain today. Just after 2pm this afternoon a rather soggy, but very relieved, Brian Anderson arrived at Rutland Water having completed his 450 mile charity cycle ride from Loch Garten in just six days. Brian, or Black Jaguar as he is better known to the Loch Garten bloggers, has raised over £2000 for the RSPB’s work at Loch Garten – a fantastic achievement. We welcomed him to the Lyndon Visitor Centre with a cup of coffee and plenty of congratulations. Well done Brian! If you would like to know more, or to sponsor him, check out his JustGiving page.

Brian Anderson at the Lyndon Visitor Centre having completed his amazing ride

Tim Mackrill, Lizzie Lemon and Paul Stammers with Brian Anderson at Lyndon

Tim Mackrill, Lizzie Lemon and Paul Stammers with Brian Anderson at Lyndon

Hold on tight!

We were hoping that today would provide the Manton Bay Ospreys with a respite from the recent bad weather, but no such luck. The nest has been buffeted by a strong north-easterly wind for much of the day with occasional heavy showers mixed in for good measure. It can’t have made incubating much fun, but as this videos shows, sitting hunkered down in the nest may actually have been preferable to the other perches favoured by the birds. In the video below 5R appears to want to take over incubation, but his mate was in no mood to let him! With more heavy rain forecast for tomorrow, it looks like they’ll be in for another rough day.

00(09) Up to no good…again!

The Manton Bay female hasn’t had a great day today. As if the weather wasn’t enough to contend with, 00 has been making a nuisance of herself in the bay again. And with 5R preoccupied in chasing off the intruder he hasn’t bought her back any fish either.

Judging by the females reaction from the nest and confirmed by our volunteers in Waderscrape hide, 00 has been making her presence known for most of the afternoon.

We caught on video this moment where the intruding female landed on the nest. Careful not to leave the nest and her eggs exposed to the elements the unringed Scottish bird sat tight and eventually 00 left her in peace.

Fingers crossed the weather clears a bit for tomorrow so they can get a good meal in and dry off before Sunday’s deluge!

Difficult fishing? Not for 5R

Another day of gusty winds and squally showers today; just the sort of conditions that usually make fishing difficult for Ospreys. As you can see in the video below, the water below the nest is extremely discoloured – a result of the heavy rain of the past few days. This combined with the gusty wind can’t have made fishing very easy for 5R. That said, he did manage to catch two large trout yesterday and another this morning. He’s also done his fair share of incubating – it’s him in the video below.

The conditions of the past couple of days contrast greatly with what the birds expereince on their wintering grounds in West Africa and it made me think back to the last morning of our trip to Gambia and Senegal in January. We spent a brilliant few hours on Tanji beach watching Ospreys plucking fish from the sea, seemigly at will. Here’s the video diary we recorded that morning.