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When it rains…

There is only word to describe today. Wet. Those volunteers and visitors brave enough to venture down to Waderscrape hide at Lyndon will vouch for the fact that conditions haven’t exactly been pleasant! It has certainly not been the sort of day you’d want to spend on an exposed nest in the middle of Rutland Water, but 5R and his mate have sat resolutely on the eggs all day. Here’s a video of the female incubating this afternoon, during a particularly heavy spell of rain.

The rain has relented once or twice, giving the birds a chance to change-over incubation duties. In this video the female takes over from 5R. Notice, in particular, how she curls her razor-sharp claws inwards to protect the eggs as she nestles down on them.

Barking up the wrong tree

Today is day ten of incubation in Manton Bay and it has passed very peacefully – just the way we would hope things to be at this time of year. It gives us a chance to look back on a funny incident that we managed to capture on camera on Friday last week. Like today it had been a fairly quiet day in the centre and we spent much of the day willing the Manton Bay female off her nest so we could all try and be the first to spot the illusive third egg.

And whilst we weren’t treated to number three until Saturday morning we were all kept amused by the female in the nest. In the early afternoon we noticed some very strange head shaking and on closer inspection she had a piece of tree bark stuck onto the end of her beak. She got more and more frustrated over the 15 minutes that she sat vigorously trying to shake it off. Eventually she flew off with it still attached and returned a few minutes later having finally got rid of the offending item.

So whilst her pin sharp beak is invaluable for ripping off bits of fish, on this occasion it was hindrance to her nest tidying.

5R's Favourite Fish

Fishing for two…

Now that 24 hour monitoring is well underway we are getting some fantastic information about Osprey fishing habits. We are very lucky to have many dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers and because of all their time spent in Manton Bay we know exactly what 5R was up to over the few weeks before the first egg was laid on April 15th. During the 19 days from the start of monitoring on March 27th, 5R has been away from the nest for 39 hours and 28 minutes. As well as chasing away intruding Ospreys, 5R spent much of his time fishing and brought in 28 fish. I should imagine the female is relieved that they haven’t all been as small as this one…

Fish delivery

 

There are 17 species of fish in Rutland Water but Ospreys like to target surface-feeding fish so there are only a handful of species you are likely to see being brought back to the nest. Here are a few of 5R’s favourites between March 27th and April 15th.

 

5R's Favourite Fish

Watch out…00 is about!

It feels like an age since the Manton Bay saga had us all gripped at the beginning of the season and after her visit last week, it would appear that 00(09) still has her eye on 5R’s nest. 00 has rarely been seen this week but she decided to pay us a visit this afternoon. She flew high over the nest and was quickly chased off by the resident male but he couldn’t have been very convincing. 00 soon returned to Manton Bay and even had the cheek to land on the nest next to the incubating female. 5R’s mate didn’t hesitate to give the young Osprey her marching orders and 00 left the pair in peace. Unless a young male returns in the next few days and is ready to breed, it looks as though 00 will become a regular visitor in Manton Bay. For the who’s who of Rutland Ospreys, click here. The video below shows 5R and his mate mantling as they defend their nest from 00(09).

A Manton Bay hat trick

For the third year running the Manton Bay pair have produced three eggs. As the next phase of the Osprey season begins, 5R is taking it in his stride and is already doing his fair share of incubating. Our first really good look at all three eggs was during a changeover when 5R took over to give his mate a well deserved break.