Archives by date

You are browsing the site archives by date.

5R fishing at Manton Bay

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

The Manton Bay Ospreys had a busy start to what was a rather murky morning in Rutland.

As we arrived at the visitor centre at around 8am we could see that the juvenile 3J was tucking into half a trout on the nest and beside her lay another half-eaten trout. ‘They’ve done well this morning’ we thought! We were further impressed when on speaking to our volunteer, Chris Wood, in the hide we discovered that 5R too was filling himself up on a freshly caught trout and that the Manton Bay female flew in close to Waderscrape hide carrying another trout, the largest one of the three.

3J with the to trout this morning

3J with the to trout this morning

As you may have noticed if you’ve been watching the webcam or reading our updates over the last week or so, 5R’s delivery of fish has reduced and 3J has been left incessantly food begging to no avail. But today it seems the adult birds have had a change of heart.

Following this morning’s feast there has been no slowing down. This afternoon all three Ospreys have been sat side by side on one of the perches each with another fish. The Manton Bay female and 5R each caught their own and 3J is tucking into the ‘spare’ one from this morning.

With a long journey ahead of them all this food should stand them in good stead.

3J with a fish this afternoon

3J with a fish this afternoon

I'm still hungry

I’m still hungry

As we near the end of August it is inevitable that the Ospreys breeding at Rutland Water will begin to depart for warmer climes. And it looks as though two of the Manton Bay juveniles, 1J and 2J, have done just that and both left Rutland on their migration. Over the next few days we’ll update you with news of their departures along with photos from John from the last week in Manton Bay.

But 3J, it seems, is not quite ready to leave just yet! First thing this morning 5R(04) brought in two fish, the first a large trout which he shared with the Manton Bay female and the second a small pike which was taken to 3J.

For the visitors and volunteers who have visited Manton Bay today, this video will be a familiar sight. Following her early meal 3J has been persistently food begging from the nest. She hasn’t ventured very far, after all you never know when a fish might arrive and she most definitely wouldn’t have wanted to miss it!

Roy Dennis on Friday's Osprey Cruise

An Osprey Celebration at Birdfair

Rutland may be England’s smallest county but this weekend it was the centre of the birding world. 22,000 people from over 70 different countries met up for the 25th Birdfair. Over the course of a quarter of a century this incredible event has raised in excess of £3 million for conservation projects worldwide and, if this last weekend is anything to go by, it is going from strength to strength.

It is not just Birdfair that has grown over the past 25 years. By the late 1980’s the Osprey population in the UK was on the increase but it still numbered less than 60 breeding pairs, with the population largely confined to North-east Scotland. Fast forward to 2013 and things have completely changed. There are now almost 300 pairs in the UK with Ospreys breeding at at least five different locations south of the border, including, of course, in Rutland. With 2013 being our most successful year to date, we have plenty to celebrate. And that’s exactly what we did on Sunday afternoon.

There is no one in the UK who has done more for Osprey conservation than Roy Dennis and so it was a privilege to have him at the fair this year. On Friday evening Roy and I led a very enjoyable evening cruise on the Rutland Belle and on Sunday afternoon we got together again for A Celebration of Ospreys in the events marquee. We wanted the event to be a real celebration of all that has been achieved with Ospreys over the past 25 years – not only in the UK, but also elsewhere in Europe and, more recently thanks to our education work, in Africa too.

Roy Dennis on Friday's Osprey Cruise

Roy Dennis on Friday’s Osprey Cruise

Melton-based world music choir, Global Harmony opened the show with a superb rendition of 10,000 miles; a song which they cleverly adapted to fit with Osprey migration by changing the words to 3000 miles! Roy and I then discussed the population expansion of Ospreys in the UK, and specifically, how we have got to know certain individual birds very well. Thanks to the colour-ringing scheme that Roy has co-ordinated since the 1960s and, more recently, our satellite-tracking studies, there are certain Ospreys – Green J, Logie and 03(97) to name three – that have become very well-known to people all around the world. Some of them have even helped to build links with conservationists and communities elsewhere on the migration flyway. For instance during her stop-over at the Urdabai estuary in the Basque Country in 2008 Logie initiated contact between Roy and Basque conservationist, Aitor Galarza. They have since become good friends and this year Roy translocated 12 young Scottish Ospreys to Urdabai in an effort to restore a breeding population to the northern part of Spain.

Talking about the spread of Ospreys through England

Talking about the spread of Ospreys through England

Another Osprey that needs no introduction, is Lady. This Osprey – who is now well into her twenties – has hatched 50 chicks at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes reserve in Northern Scotland. She’s been the subject of a book and, more recently, inspired Scottish broadcaster and singer Fiona Kennedy, to write a song about her. We were delighted to be joined by Fiona and Ruairidh McDonald who performed the song – and several other – with their guitarist, Jenn Butterworth. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video…

Having talked about Osprey migration Roy and I then discussed the importance of linking with communities in West Africa. Let’s face it, Ospreys spend as much time in Africa as they do in the UK and so it is essential that conservation effort is focused there too. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do with our Osprey Flyways Project; by providing wildlife education in Gambian schools we hope to inspire the next generation of African conservationists and, in doing so, help to protect our migratory birds, Ospreys included.

Having talked about Africa it seemed only appropriate to finish with an African song – which Global Harmony performed superbly. Celebration was the word!

Global Harmony warming up for the event

Global Harmony warming up for the event

A huge thanks to Global Harmony, Fiona, Ruairidh and Jenn for performing and to everyone who came along – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. If you would like to buy Fly Lady Fly – and in doing so help Osprey conservation (Fiona and Ruairidh are kindly donating a percentage of the proceeds to Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Rutland Osprey Project)  you can download it from iTunes.

Roy Dennis aboard the Rutland Belle

Cruising with celebrities

The 25th Birdfair is in full swing and I’m pleased to say that, just like our brilliant volunteers, the Ospreys have been busy making sure visitors have a great time. As I write this we’ve had four Wildlife Cruises since Thursday evening and the birds have been putting on a really good show. We’re yet to see a catch but the views have been incredible! Last night we were joined on the Rutland Belle by Roy Dennis as we watched two Ospreys over Rutland Water and, this morning, Simon King was treated to three Ospreys… at the same time! I never thought we’d have a situation where we didn’t know where to look. Long may it continue! As you can see below, we now have a new addition to the Osprey project team!

Michelle and Paul with Simon King

Michelle and Paul with Simon King

Roy Dennis aboard the Rutland Belle

Roy Dennis aboard the Rutland Belle

Birdfair is always a fantastic opportunity for old friends and colleagues to meet up and it was great to see Roy Dennis, Helen McIntyre and Tim Mackrill signing copies of The Rutland Water Ospreys.

Roy Dennis, Helen McIntyre and Tim Mackrill

Roy Dennis, Helen McIntyre and Tim Mackrill

There’s even a new addition to the Catering Marquee!

Osprey Ale, produced by The Grainstore Brewery, Oakham

Osprey Ale, produced by The Grainstore Brewery, Oakham

Anyone who visits the Rutland Osprey stand, next to the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust in OD2 (beside Marquee 6), will have the opportunity to look at an exciting new graphic project all about Ospreys.

InForm studio's Osprey Project infographics

InForm studio’s Osprey Project infographics

These fantastic infographics were created by InForm studio, aka Sam Mackrill and Nathan Philpott. Here’s a brief description about this superb project:

On showcase is the first part of a graphic project focussing on the migration of the Rutland Ospreys.

The project aims to present the data captured from the satellite tracking of their extraordinary journey in an exciting, informative and fresh graphic way.

We hope to promote the work being done here at Rutland Water as well as educate and inspire people to learn more about the wildlife around them.

The project will culminate in a small book, screen printed posters and an online presence, all with the intention of informing and educating people around the world about the incredible journey.

Prints of the current work are available for order, and we will be taking email addresses to update you on news of the project.

Any feedback will be gratefully received.

InForm Studio

If you would like to know more about this exciting project please contact Tim by email – TimMackrill@rutlandwater.org.uk.

And another one!

And another one!

It’s been all systems go in Manton Bay today.

After a quiet, and very soggy, morning the visitors flocked over to the Lyndon Visitor Centre from Birdfair this afternoon. And they were in for a real treat!

5R has been well and truly back to his master fisherman ways and has caught at least 6 fish throughout the day.

After the first two were delivered swiftly to the nest this morning, 5R went on to keep the ball rolling for the rest of the day.

John was in Shallow Water this afternoon to watch him catch three more fish within 45 minutes of each other! The first, a roach, was delivered to the nest for 2J, having been caught right in front of the hides in Manton Bay, the second was a pike plucked out of the water in Lagoon 1 again taken to the nest and this time promptly claimed by 3J. The third was also caught in the bay in full view off those visiting Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides and was a small pike. After all his hard work 5R deservedly kept hold of this one for himself!

Later on in the afternoon another small roach arrived in the nest, before a Marsh Harrier intruded in Manton Bay. After a hard days work 5R left the Manton Bay female and the juveniles to fend off the unwanted visitor!