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Waiting in the rain

Rainy days and Mondays

It was a very rainy Monday today! Not the sort of weather one hopes for on a bank holiday! But we shouldn’t complain, it could always be worse. The Ospreys don’t let the rain bother them too much, and 33(11) caught an enormous trout this morning! Rain can make fishing difficult, as it creates ripples on the water that hinder visibility. This means that it may take longer than usual for Ospreys to fish successfully in the rain. However, 33(11) wasn’t gone that long this morning before he arrived back with his catch! Again Maya waited on the nest for her share, and again it took him a while to bring it to her. However, when he did there was still a large portion left!

Waiting in the rain

The rain obscured the lens a bit as Maya waited for her fish

 

After looking at the weather forecast yesterday, I expected today to be fairly quiet visitor-wise. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the fairly substantial number of people who braved the rain to join us at Lyndon today. A lot of them came due to the continued presence of the Spotted Crake, which was again showing well from Waderscrape Hide. Those who did visit the reserve today were treated with excellent views of said Crake, and also brilliant displays from our Ospreys, who were in the Bay all day. Shallow Water hide also holds its share of treats for the eager birdwatcher, with views of Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher and Yellow Wagtail, and Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and other waders taking advantage of the low water level.

Later this afternoon, the nest was visited by a Yellow Wagtail! This attractive little bird will soon be making its way south towards its wintering grounds, in the same place as the Ospreys! There is also a Pied Wagtail in the picture. In the past, Pied Wagtails have occasionally nested underneath the Osprey nest. They didn’t this year, but have still popped onto the nest from time to time.

Yellow Wagtail and Pied Wagtail on the Osprey nest

Yellow Wagtail and Pied Wagtail on the Osprey nest

 

 

Chicks ready for fledging

Making history part 13

25 Aug

26 Aug

Maya accepts the fish

Back to reality

It has been a lovely day today, and a busy one, too! The late summer sun has been shining, providing wonderful vistas across the reservoir. Although we are still clinging to the last vestiges of summer, the sun was accompanied today by a cool breeze, reminding us that autumn is on its way. The departure of some of our Ospreys is also testament to the changing seasons! The Manton Bay Osprey pair are still with us, though, and they have reverted to normal behaviour again today. 33(11) flew into the Bay with a fish at about 08:30. He sat on the T-perch eating it for an hour and a half, then finally delivered the remains of it to Maya, who was waiting impatiently on the nest!

33(11) delivers the fish

33(11) delivers the fish

Maya accepts the fish

Maya accepts the fish

 

Maya can’t complain though, really, as she could easily go and catch her own fish, and she has been doing this more often recently. However, last week she demonstrated a cross between laziness and deviousness, and employed a new tactic for getting food, as you will recall from Tim’s report on Thursday, when she stole a fish from another nest! Earlier in the season we had another occurrence of fish burglary, when a male Osprey came to Manton Bay and stole a fish from the T-perch!

Halfway through the day, Maya was still eating the second half of this morning’s fish. 33(11) sat next to her on the T-perch, creating a peaceful, domestic scene. We have all witnessed the strong bond that these two Ospreys have formed, and it is apparent to all who view them from the hide. Both Maya and 33(11) look in excellent condition, as you can see clearly on the live camera each time they land on the nest. They have not had the usual trials of parenthood this year, and have thus had a nice relaxing summer of no responsibilities, where they can concentrate on their own needs. Consequently, they have both remained in fine condition, which bodes well for their successful migrations to and from West Africa this winter.

Maya waiting on the nest for fish

Maya waiting on the nest for fish

 

Later this afternoon, 33(11) appeared on the nest and was mantling furiously. An intruder was obviously making a nuisance of itself! Fortunately, the threat to the nest was short-lived, and 33 was able to relax again after a while.

33(11) mantling at an intruder

33(11) mantling at an intruder

After the threat has gone

After the threat has gone

 

In other news, the juvenile Spotted Crake has been showing well all day today from Waderscrape Hide, creating much excitement for visitors, volunteers and staff alike! The last time one of these birds was seen at Rutland Water was August 1996, and before that was September 1987. The most recent record for this area (as far as I am aware) was at Eyebrook reservoir in September/October 2002. So they are not a common bird around here! Pop to Lyndon to see this relative rarity from Waderscrape Hide.

 

 

11(98) was one of the translocated ospreys released at Rut

Making history part 12

24 Aug

Maya waiting for 33(11) to bring a fish to the nest this morning.

Harmony in the bay

After Maya’s misdemeanors on Wednesday, today was a much more typical day at the Manton Bay nest. 33(11) caught a trout at 8am and eventually took the remains to Maya on the nest.

Maya waiting for 33(11) to bring a fish to the nest this morning.

Maya waiting for 33(11) to bring a fish to the nest this morning.

For 33(11) this summer has been a practice run for next year. Although some male Ospreys breed when they are three years’ old, most raise a family for the first time when they are four years of age. And that is exactly what we hope will happen in Manton Bay next year. This summer has given 33 time to hone the skills he will need if he returns next spring. One of the first jobs in late March or early April for any male Osprey is to scrape out a nest cup; and this morning 33 gave his scraping skills a bit of a dry run…

As has been the pattern recently, 33 went fishing again this evening; he was one of two birds we saw from the Rutland Belle on our latest Osprey cruise. Despite experiencing what felt like four season’s weather during the hour-and-a-half boat trip, we saw 33 catch a fish distantly in torrential rain and then had much closer views of 28(10) as he searched for a meal close to the dam once the sun had come out again. There are now just two cruises left this summer – on Wednesday and next Saturday. To book your place, click here.

A mixture of sunshine and heavy rain made for some dramatic skies during this evening's Osprey cruise

A mixture of sunshine and heavy rain made for some dramatic skies during this evening’s Osprey cruise

It wasn’t just Ospreys that created interest at Lyndon today. Receding water levels in Manton Bay have created perfect foraging conditions for numerous waders. This morning a single Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, several Green and Common Sandpipers and a few Dunlin could all be seen from Shallow Water hide. Then, mid-way through the afternoon a juvenile Spotted Crake – a rare visitor to the reserve – appeared at Waderscrape hide and provided great views for excited visitors for much of the afternoon. So if you have any spare time this bank holiday weekend, be sure to pop down to see us at Lyndon!