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By Kayleigh Brookes on March 31, 2014
I know we have put a fair bit of nest building on the website recently, but this is really quite funny. The Manton Bay female brought in a rather large stick today, well more like a log actually, and she seemed a bit stumped as to what to do with it! It didn’t seem like the kind of material an Osprey nest really needs, and she couldn’t decide where to put it at first. She finally seemed to settle on a certain spot, but after all that I think it has now fallen off! Well she’s keeping busy anyway! Here’s a short clip of the log positioning, and a sequence of photographs of her and the log.
By Kayleigh Brookes on March 30, 2014
It’s been a beautiful sunny day today, the type of day that made us think we might see the return of more Ospreys. However, this was not to be. The only excitement of the day came when two other female Ospreys intruded in the bay at about 10:30am. For the rest of the day, the Manton Bay female has continued to add material to her nest in anticipation of 5R’s return!
It’s not unusual to have a quiet period where no new Ospreys arrive. Last year five of our male Ospreys didn’t return until the first two weeks of April. The delay in the return of our males is not yet a cause for concern; nature doesn’t follow a set pattern, and there are many factors that may influence their progress home.
Like the female seen here on the nest, we are all eagerly awaiting the return of 5R, for his fifth season at Manton Bay.
By Tim on March 29, 2014
As Lucy reported yesterday, there was much excitment in Manton Bay on Friday morning when our World Osprey Week satellite-tagged Osprey, 30(05), landed on the Manton Bay nest while the resident female was away. Moments later she was joined by a second bird, 28(10) – the first time we had seen the four year-old male this year. John Wright was in Shallow Water hide to see the action unfold. Here are his brilliant phots from a dramatic morning.
Shallow Water and Waderscrape hides both offer great views of the Manton Bay nest, so why not pay us a visit this weekend? There is bound to be more drama to come. For directions to the Lyndon Visitor Centre, click here.
By Tim on March 28, 2014
He’s off! As we near the end of World Osprey Week, our Finnish Osprey, Ilmari, has set-off on his spring migration back to Hämeenlinna in southern Finland.
Professor Pertti Saurola takes up the story…
The latest GPS data showed that Imlari’s spring migration started on the 26th March. In 2013, Ilmari started his spring migration three days later, on the 29th March 2013.
26 March 2014
At 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT), Ilmari was still at his winter home in Cameroon. The fix at 10 o’clock showed that Ilmari had gone nine kilometres to the north-east of his roost. At the time of the fix Ilmari was not in flight, however, so apparently he was still eating his morning fish before setting out. During the next two hours, Ilmari progressed 62 kilometres, and flew by the city of Kumba exactly at noon. Ilmari settled down for the night at 18 o’clock inside the Mawne River Forest Reserve area, some 58 kilometres due west of the city of Bali. During his first day of migration, Ilmari travelled 208 kilometres.
27 March 2014
Ilmari’s morning was very like the previous one.
At 08:00 local time, the fix came from the stopover location, and the fix at 10:00 told us that Ilmari had progressed 16 kilometres, but was stationary at the time of the fix, either eating or waiting for suitable flying weather.
At noon, Ilmari had already crossed the border between Cameroon and Nigeria, and was flying at a speed of 32 kilometres per hour in the Nigerian airspace, 74 kilometres from the location of the previous fix. The following fixes showed that Ilmari had changed his course slightly, from north-northwest to north-northeast. The last fix in this data packet had been made at 16:00, local time. By then, Ilmari had flown over 178 kilometres from his stopover location, so it is likely that he flew a total of a little over 200 kilometres on this migration day. We are expecting the next data on Ilmari’s migration in three days’ time. Check back for an update then!
Meanwhile, over the other side of the Atlantic, Donovan is getting closer to home, as Iain MacLeod from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center reports…
The latest data shows that Donovan took a day off to refuel in Georgia, but moved a little further north into South Carolina. His late-day Argos points suggest that he was nearly into North Carolina by 5 pm. He might make it home on Monday! Watch this space!
By Lucy McRobert on March 28, 2014
Even if we wanted to write a script for our Ospreys, we couldn’t make it more exciting than real life.
We were calmly sitting in the office, discussing the technicalities of tea making and how much tea our Information Officer, Kayleigh, can drink in a day (at a guess about 8-9 cups), when the phone rang:
“It’s John, 30’s on the nest”. And he hung up.
I repeated the message, but before I’d finished the word ‘nest’, Tim was already half way across the centre. Our satellite tagged WOW Osprey, 30(05) (an 8 year old Osprey from Rutland Water) put in her first appearance at Manton Bay, and was surreptitiously perched on the nest in full view of the camera. It was as if she knew that she shouldn’t really be there; after all, the Manton Bay female has worked hard over the last few days to get her nest up to scratch for the season, but at that point she wasn’t in sight. She’d flown off earlier, probably to investigate the other nests in the area, and 30(05) took her chance.
She was nervous though, and it was clear that something was happening that we couldn’t quite see. She kept glancing up towards the camera, shifting about, and ducking her head. The phone range again:
“The male 28 is in the bay, too.”
From his position in the hide, John could see what we couldn’t: the arrival of 28(10), fresh back from Africa. He’s only the second male back to Rutland so far this year, and he wasn’t for wasting valuable minutes with small talk. He’s never bred before, either, so this could be a tense moment. The camera began to bounce up and down, suggesting to us that he’d swooped in towards 30 and was now perched just above the camera. She looked up expectantly, and we all knew what was about to happen – those cheeky Ospreys! There’s no such thing as etiquette in the Osprey world, and in this case a video will suffice for a thousand words…
But 28’s immaturity and inexperience seemed to get the better of him; he tried his best though, and you can’t blame him if he’s just flown 3000 miles! Better luck next time!
Both Ospreys remained on the nest for a few minutes, conveniently flashing their leg rings at the camera and we could easily see the antennae of the satellite transmitter on 30’s back, but they didn’t attempt to mate again.
A few minutes later, and the timely arrival of the Manton Bay female sent them both scattering; after all of that hard work, she certainly wasn’t for giving up the nest in a hurry, and she proudly landed on the nest. For a few moments, we suspected that 28 might quickly change his allegiance and attempt to mate with her (she didn’t look unwilling in any case), but from the webcam, that was the end of the excitement. She took off and circled a few times, but nothing more.
So it seems that the 28th March is once again a momentous day for the diary at the beginning of the season at Rutland. Last year, four Ospreys (including 5R) returned to the county on the 28th, and it’s already looking promising, today. We’re all alert for the return of 5R, and fingers crossed that the beautiful weather forecast for the rest of the weekend will bring him in. Keep checking that camera, folks, and the blog. As WOW comes to a close tomorrow there’ll be more updates on our work this week, not to mention keeping up with our 8 WOW Ospreys!