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Guess who’s food begging?

For most of this morning there were no birds to be seen in Manton Bay. The female and juvenile female left Manton Bay at about 9.15am and were both away for over two hours. 5R was there even less; and spent four hours away from the nest.

He returned with a small pike and 9F must not have been far away as she returned shortly after in hope of a meal. Despite 9F’s constant food begging, 5R ignored her and proceeded to eat the whole fish himself meaning that she hasn’t been fed all day.

03 delivering a fish

Another departure?

It’s now been over a week since the first two Site B juveniles set out on their long journeys south and over three weeks since the adult female decided that it was time to leave. It now looks as though the young female, 3F, has been left at Site B on her own. Her father, 03(97), didn’t return to the nest last night and he was nowhere to be seen this morning so it could possibly mean that he has left Rutland for the 15th time. Here are some of John Wright’s photos showing the last time 03 was seen at Site B. I wonder how long it will be before 3F realises that she may now have to start fending for herself?

03 delivering a fish

3F at Site B

8F(12) sitting with his Dad

8F is heading south

As we suspected, 8F definitely migrated yesterday morning. Shortly after 9:30am he appeared over Manton Bay from the north, glanced down at his mother and sister on the nest and then headed powerfully south-west. Unbeknown to us at the time, he was off on his 3000 mile journey to West Africa. We know that now because he didn’t return to the nest yesterday evening. Over the previous week or so, the young male had spent prolonged periods away from the nest, but always returned in the evening. This time, though, he didn’t reappear; and only his sister was present at dark. Who knows how far 8F flew yesterday, but conditions were good for migration and he may well have reached the south coast. There were numerous Ospreys reported in southern England yesterday. I wonder if one of them was 8F?

8F perched with his father on Monday this week

8F (near bird) with his sister (middle) and father on Monday

8F (right) with 9F and his mother (left)

8F in flight across Manton Bay

The last view of 8F as he set off on migration

A migrant juvenile male passed over the bay yesterday too

Unlike her brother, 9F has shown no inclination to leave, and has spent most of the last 24 hours food-begging incessantly either on or close to the nest. Not that you can blame her for not flying far today. We’ve had heavy rain for much of the day; definitely not the weather to set off on your first migration to West Africa. Who knows how much longer she’ll stay for but, gievn what we’ve seen over the past few days, she could be here for some time yet!

9F being fed by her mother on the T perch this morning

06(09) circling over Manton Bay

Comings and goings in the bay

It’s been a beautiful warm, sunny day in Rutland; just the sort of day that you would expect a young Osprey to set out on migration. And 8F may have done just that. He flew west from Manton Bay at 9:45 this morning and hasn’t been back since. So could he have left? We won’t know for sure until later this evening, but it certainly seems a possibility.

In 8F’s absence, 9F has spent much of the day food-begging on the nest. It’s been a long wait for the young female because her parents were absent from the bay for several hours from 11:35am when they chased 11(10) – one of the two-year-old Ospreys who first returned earlier this summer – away from the nest.

Having said that, 9F hasn’t been on her own all the time. Shortly before midday an adult male appeared over the nest and landed on one of the t perches nearby. It was obviously nervous and it’s gleaming white underside suggested it wasn’t 5R – he has a fairly pronounced breast band. Instead, it turned out to be 06(09). 06 is one of four three-year-old Ospreys to have returned to Rutland this summer. Unlike his compatriots from that year though, 06’s visits have been rather more sporadic, making us wonder if he has set up a territory elsewhere. Last year he spent six weeks at Fishlake Meadows in Hampshire; so perhaps he has been summering further south?  Whatever the case, he spent over three hours in the bay today, the majority of which spent looking intently into the water below the t perch; evidently watching fish swimming beneath him. 9F, meanwhile, continued to food-beg on the nest, clearly oblivious to the fact that it was highly unlikely she’d be getting any fish from 06!

9F food-begging

06(09) circling over Manton Bay

Eventually another three year-old bird, 03(09) flew over and both he and 06 headed off north together, leaving 9F alone in the bay once more. It wasn’t until a few minutes ago that her mother finally arrived in the bay with a Roach. Interestingly though, there is still no sign of 8F…

Simon Dudhill, Tim Mackrill and Geoff Williamson at the cheque presentation

A generous donation and some freedom for 09

Last year 09(98) left Rutland on 2nd September, but with his family already heading south, he could leave earlier this year. With this in mind we’re checking his satellite data a couple of times each day; and once he does leave, we’ll be posting daily updates on the website.

In the meantime, it has been fascinating to follow his daily movements now that he doesn’t have a family to feed. Since his offspring left the weekend before last, 09 has spent very little time at Site N. Instead he has roosted up to seven miles away and visited several of the vacant nest sites in the Rutland Water area. In fact his movements are now very reminiscent of the kind of thing we were seeing last summer, when he wasn’t breeding. Perhaps he is enjoying rekindling his bachelor lifestyle again?   

It is this information on the birds daily movements around Rutland that make the satellite tracking data so useful. It goes without saying that it is fantastic to be able to follow their migration, but to be able chart an indivdual’s local movements is extremely valuable too. For this reason we’re very grateful to the East Midlands branch of the Hawk and Owl Trust who donated £500 last week to help cover the costs of receving the satellite-tracking data. Here is a photo of me receiving the cheque from Treasurer Simon Dudhill (left) and Chairman Geoff Williamson (right). Thanks very much guys!  

Simon Dudhill, Tim Mackrill and Geoff Williamson at the cheque presentation

The Hawk and Owl Trust East Midlands Group has started putting together a series of future talks and events for the coming year, with talks in September and October already arranged. The group holds the majority of those talks at Birdwatching Centre at Egleton. If you are interested in being included on their mailing list for information on all those events then please contact the group on eastmidlandshot@gmail.com or visit their website.