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The three Manton Bay chicks, 30th June 2013

A year ago today

One or both of the Manton Bay Osprey pair have been present in the Bay all day today, nearby the nest on their favourite perches. They shared a fish earlier this morning, and great views were had of them both from Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides. Several Water Voles were also spotted throughout the day, in the shallow channels in front of Waderscrape!

Later this afternoon, 33(11) suddenly began alarm calling and rose up from his perch. Looking up, it became clear that he was agitated by the presence of two other Ospreys, high above! Off he went to chase them away, and was absent from the nest area for quite a while afterwards. Maya seemed fairly unconcerned, and didn’t move from her perch. The identity of the intruding Ospreys is unknown, as they were too high to get a good look.

Unfortunately the live camera is still not working! However, neither Maya nor 33(11) have been on the nest itself since we opened this morning.

On this day last year, this is what was on the nest!

The three Manton Bay chicks, 30th June 2013

The three Manton Bay chicks, 30th June 2013

 

 

Tree Sparrows on the feeder

Feed the birds

Recently we have had some problems with the live camera on the Manton Bay nest. Unfortunately, it has stopped working, and we are currently trying to find out the reason why so we can rectify it. This means that there are no new pictures or video footage of the Ospreys on the nest that we can share with you! We apologise for this and hope to have it sorted out soon.

Maya and 33(11) are of course spending less time on the nest itself at the moment, so we are not missing all that much without the nest camera. They have been present in the Bay most of the day today. They shared a fish very early this morning, and 33(11) hasn’t been fishing again since. He often likes to go later in the day, so perhaps there will be another fish this evening.

The feeding station in the meadow in front of the Lyndon Visitor Centre is always a delight. It attracts a diverse range of species, including Tree Sparrows, Yellowhammers, Great-Spotted Woodpeckers and an abundance of tits and finches. Just recently, the branch holding the feeders has become brittle and has collapsed more than once! So today, we decided to find a suitable new branch. And find one we did! We pruned it to our specifications and installed it in place of the old one. This new branch is much sturdier, straighter and also taller than the old one, so the feeders can be seen above the long grass. The birds didn’t wait long to dash back to it when we had finished!

The old feeding station before the tree collapsed

The old feeding station before the branch collapsed for the first time! (Photo by PS)

The new feeding station we installed today (PS)

The new feeding station we installed today (PS)

Tree Sparrows on the feeder

Tree Sparrows on the feeder (PS)

 

 

The breakfast crew! (Photo by Paul Stammers)

Morning has broken

Today saw the sun rise on our first dawn cruise of 2014! It wasn’t actually all that sunny – a bit misty first thing, overcast and quite cool. But there was hardly any breeze, and that sort of weather is perfect for fishing Ospreys. The lack of wind meant the water was incredibly calm with hardly a ripple, the only movement on it coming from cormorants and gulls as they landed on its surface, and the gentle bow wave of the Rutland Belle as her hull sliced through the tranquil water. Also, with no sun there is no glare on the water to hinder an Osprey’s visibility, and the rain held off, which meant no other surface disturbance.

So it was with high hopes that we sailed out of Whitwell and onto the reservoir. As it was, we didn’t see an Osprey fishing, but we did see an Osprey! Strangely enough, it was sitting on top of the water tower, just like the one we saw on our first evening cruise on 31st May! The Osprey sat there happily for a while, as the Rutland Belle eased closer and everyone got a good view, then he took off gracefully and did a wonderful fly past of the boat. Unfortunately for us, he flew too far away from us and we eventually lost sight of him, but we cannot grumble at the views we did have! Perhaps this will be a new favourite perch for Ospreys, or this Osprey in particular? We’re not sure if it was the same individual as was perched there in May, but it’s possible. If you are booked onto one of our upcoming cruises, keep an eye on that tower!

We also had great views of Common Terns, Cormorants, Swifts, Sand Martins, Tufted Ducks (see photo) several Gull species, Great Crested Grebes and a Common Scoter, of which we have only ever had a handful of sightings at Rutland Water, and never before on an Osprey cruise!

This exciting cruise was followed by a mouth-watering breakfast prepared by a hard-working team of volunteers and staff. Wonderful breakfast baps by the dozens incorporating combinations of bacon, eggs and mushrooms, were whipped out in a well-organised production line, accompanied by tea or coffee and orange juice. What a wonderful way to start a Saturday morning!

Osprey on the water tower. (Photo by Sarah Proud)

Osprey on the water tower (Photo by Sarah Proud)

Tufted Duck (Photo by Ian Jones)

Tufted Duck (Photo by Ian Jones)

The dining room laid out for breakfast (Photo by Sarah Proud)

The dining room laid out for breakfast (Photo by Sarah Proud)

The breakfast crew! (Photo by Paul Stammers)

The breakfast crew! (Photo by Paul Stammers)

 

 

 

Life goes on

Life goes on

Maya and 33(11) are still proving loyal to their nest site. They were absent from it for a period of time this morning, but returned later in the day. It is encouraging to see that, whenever they both leave the area, they always go together, in the same direction. Fishing trips are different, as 33(11) goes solo, but occasionally the pair will fly away together somewhere, just for fun!

Today we managed to capture a video of 33(11) bringing a fish to the nest, and Maya taking it away. They are sticking to the same routine, and always swapping fish on the nest itself, which is great because we are still able to monitor that aspect of their behaviour, record the fish species they are catching, and get some footage!

 

It is still 33(11) doing all the fishing, the pair are not straying from that standard behaviour, where the male catches all the fish. Even though there is no reason for Maya to wait for 33(11) to fish, and could easily go herself, the birds’ instincts still dictate that it is he that will fish, and she that will wait. This is good, because it helps to reinforce the bond between the two birds.

It is also good because it means we are guaranteed to see them in the Bay when they have fish! If 33(11) wasn’t drawn to the nest with the need to bring the fish to Maya, he might just take it somewhere else. If Maya was to catch her own fish, who is to say she would come back to the nest site to eat it? Ospreys are very much governed by their instincts, they know what their roles are and are sticking to them. This practice run that 33(11) is having should mean he’ll be a super Osprey next year!

Fish (1)

33(11) delivers a fish

 

 

Ship to shore

Ship to shore

Now summer is here we are running Osprey Cruises every week! They have proven extremely popular – spaces are selling at a fast rate of knots! We have run four cruises so far, and the latest one, on Saturday 21st June, was one of the best! Two Ospreys were seen, one of which made several attempts at fishing! Unfortunately, his attempts were unsuccessful, but it was great to watch him try, and everyone got brilliant views. We also had great views of Buzzard, Red Kite, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorants and Common Terns. The weather was pretty good too, bright and a bit breezy, nice weather for sailing serenely on the largest man-made reservoir in Britain!

There are only ten spaces left on the next two afternoon Osprey cruises, on Wednesday 2nd July and Saturday 12th July. If you’re interested in joining us for an amazing experience aboard the Rutland Belle, you’d better book in fast! Click here for more details.

The first two dawn cruises have sold out, on 28th June and 19th July. However, there is one more that is not yet full! Book now to secure a place on 9th August!

Rutland Belle

The Rutland Belle (Photo by KB)

Cruise 21st June

A wonderful sunny evening (Photo by SP)

IMG_0476

A view towards Normanton Church (KB)

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I took this because I thought there was an Osprey in view…. if you can see it let me know! (KB)