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By Kayleigh Brookes on July 27, 2014
33(11) had a very busy day today. He went fishing three times in three hours! Here is a video of his first one – the tiniest fish I have ever seen brought to an Osprey nest! Maya seemed happy enough though.
An hour later, here is 33(11) delivering his second fish of the day, a bit bigger this time!
The third fish arrived at the nest at about 14:20.
Earlier this morning, an intruding Osprey visited Manton Bay. Maya and 33(11) were on the nest mantling, then the camera wobbled as the intruder landed on the perch. He flew off as soon as Maya left the nest to give chase. We didn’t manage to get a ring number unfortunately, but it looked like a male. He could be one of the non-breeding males we know we have around, or he could be another youngster!
Also, check out this photograph of a Kingfisher, taken from Waderscrape Hide by volunteer Martin Lusty. These lovely birds are being seen frequently from the hide recently.
Don’t forget, we have many exciting events coming up! Click the links to find out more.
Osprey Family Fun Day – Tuesday 29th July, 10am-3pm.
Evening Osprey Cruise – Wednesday 30th July, 4:30pm.
Osprey Ball – Friday 19th September, 7:00pm.
By Kayleigh Brookes on July 27, 2014
Male Osprey 03(97) is one whose reputation precedes him. Translocated in 1997, he was one of the first translocated birds to return in 1999. In 2001, he made history by putting Ospreys back on England’s breeding bird list! That year, he and an unringed female produced the first Osprey chick to hatch in Central England for 150 years!
Now approaching the conclusion of his fourteenth season of breeding at Rutland Water, 03(97) has raised a total of thirty-two chicks. Several of his offspring have returned to Rutland, and he currently has grand-children that are breeding! His legacy is immense. In the world of Ospreys, he is nothing short of a superstar.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a scare that his supremacy was beginning to fade. Worryingly, 03(97) underwent a period of apparent lethargy, where he hardly moved and did not go fishing. We thought perhaps it was an illness, or possibly old age, as he is seventeen years old now. However, it was noticed that his right wing was drooping slightly, indicating a potential injury. We kept a close eye on him and saw that he could fly when necessary, but not particularly strongly.
It is interesting that the adult female suddenly began to go fishing again. It is normal for females to do this after the chicks have fledged, but the youngest chick had not yet fledged, and the oldest only the day before. Generally females won’t fish again until the juveniles have been on the wing for at least a couple of weeks, and are flying strongly. I wonder what prompted her to deviate from her typical behaviour? Perhaps she decided she had waited long enough for 03(97) to go fishing and he clearly wasn’t, or maybe she sensed somehow that something was wrong.
However she knew, it was good news that she began fishing early, as it meant that the juveniles would not go hungry. What concerned us was that 03(97) was not getting a share of any of the fish that were brought in. When there was no sign of improvement in his condition after a couple of days, the decision was made to provide fish for him on a man-made platform atop his favourite perch.
For ten days we put out fish for 03(97), and waited anxiously for signs of recovery. Then, finally, amazingly, he began to improve. His flight began to look stronger, he spent more time away from the nest, hanging around the Horn Mill Trout Farm, and then one day he came back to the nest with a fish! This was a huge relief to us all.
We have continued to closely monitor 03(97)’s progress, and have ceased supplementary feeding. We have seen an enormous improvement in his condition, and he has been catching fish every day for the past week. It seems all he needed was some time in which to heal, and so by putting out fish for him we gave him the energy he needed to recover. We hope that he now has the necessary strength to complete his autumn migration. Six months relaxing in Africa should do him good, and fingers crossed for his safe return next season!
Here are some photographs of 03(97), showing his drooping wing. There are also some brilliant pictures of the two juveniles, and of 6K(14)’s first flight! All photographs taken by our Field Officer John Wright.
By Kayleigh Brookes on July 23, 2014
Having the live camera back online is great! Unfortunately today, that feather has been blowing right across the screen, obscuring the view. However, yesterday we managed to capture a video of something we have never had before… look at the top left corner, in the water – it’s 33(11) having a bath!
Less than a minute previously, he had been sitting on the nest, moving a stick around (see next video), then he took off, and all of a sudden there he was in the reservoir! At first, I did think he might have been fishing, or attempting to fish, but it soon became apparent he was simply having a good time. It was very considerate of him to do it within camera shot!
We have seen the Ospreys do this before in the Bay, sometimes they will just drag their feet through the water to wash them, and sometimes they will completely immerse themselves in the water and have a good dunking. It was very hot yesterday, so it is likely 33(11) just wanted to cool down.
By Tim on July 22, 2014
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the Osprey photographic hide is now open at nearby Horn Mill Trout Farm. Yesterday evening Geoff Harries took some great photos of 03(97) diving into the water before being chased by a Grey Heron.
Many thanks to Geoff for sending the great photos.
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