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S3

Cold day in July

Well it started off quite chilly this morning, and the wind was whipping through the windows in the hides. Yesterday was fairly cold too, and rather wet, and we wondered where summer had gone! However, it has warmed up somewhat now, and of course the beauty of the new Waderscrape hide means we can still see even if the windows are shut!

The Manton Bay Ospreys continue to entertain and delight visitors to the Lyndon Nature Reserve. All five Ospreys are often seen in the bay all at once, and there are antics you can witness from the hide that you can no longer see on the cameras. John Wright and Dave Cole have provided us with superb footage filmed from the hides in the bay recently, which really gives an insight into the lives of these special birds!

Luckily for us in the Lyndon Centre, the Ospreys still occasionally visit the nest when they feel like it – usually when fish arrives! Here are some videos and images we captured of the birds over the last few days.

S2 eating trout

S2 eating trout

S2 and S3

S2 and S3

S3 flying off

S3 flying off

S3

S3

Maya and 33

Maya and 33

 

The following video was taken on Friday night. The juveniles were all sitting happily on the nest, tucking into a fish, when suddenly they all spooked and took flight. We learned from our volunteers that a helicopter flying much too low came right over the Osprey nest, which, naturally, scared all of the birds! There is a reason Ospreys are protected, and there is a reason aircraft is not allowed to fly low over the nature reserve! We hope this does not happen again.

We have been getting some brilliant photographs sent to us by visitors to the reserve. These two were taken by Malcolm Hupman, of S2 sitting in the dead tree near Waderscrape hide. Many thanks to Malcolm for these!

Osprey S2 at Lyndon Nature Reserve

S2, photo by Malcolm Hupman

Osprey S2 getting mobbed

S2 getting mobbed, photo by Malcolm Hupman

 

 

 

S1 eating fish

Enjoying life on the wing

Having been on the wing for several days, the Manton Bay youngsters are being increasingly skillful and adept in the air.  Although this means that we see much less of them on the three cameras, John Wright and Dave Cole have been continuing to film their every move.

Dave spent much of yesterday in Manton Bay and he’s sent another fantastic film of highlights. As you’ll see, you really get a sense that the juveniles are enjoying their new found freedom; playing in the wind, chasing other birds and even grabbing at leaves in the trees.

As I’m sure you’ll agree from this video, now is a brilliant time to come and enjoy watching the Manton Bay Osprey family. The Lyndon reserve is open daily from 6am until 8pm and, aside from the Ospreys you’ll see a host of other wildlife. Dave’s latest film includes nesting Great-crested Grebes, Black-tailed Godwits and Little Egrets. So don’t waste any time – come and see us at Lyndon! Thanks again to Dave Cole for the video.

S1 eating fish

Although the youngsters are spending long periods off the nest, they always return when hungry!

Flying without wings

Flying without wings

What an exciting day it has been! The fantastic news was released this morning that the 100th Osprey chick to fledge from a nest in Rutland has done so this year! More about this monumental milestone can be found by clicking here. The news has spread far and wide, and today, the Lyndon Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve – home of the Rutland Osprey Project and location of the only publicly viewable Osprey nest – was inundated with paparazzi! TV crews, radio stations and journalists flocked in to interview staff and find out all about the incredible Rutland Osprey Project.

The 2015 season has been the best we have ever had, and to reach the milestone of 100 chicks to fledge from the area is wonderful! It is great that the success of the project and the 2015 season has been recognised. It was also terrific to see the well-deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication put in by people such as Tim Mackrill and Paul Stammers, who have been involved with the project since its inception.

Look out for their faces on every news channel tonight!

Tim and Paul

Paul and Tim

 

In September last year, we celebrated the success of the season in style with our inaugural Osprey Ball. This year, we are holding a similar event – our Osprey Fundraising Dinner and Dance! This event promises to be an evening to remember, and a fitting celebration of the amazing success of the 2015 season, and the 100th chick to fledge from Rutland! The Dinner and Dance will be held at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, from 7pm onwards on Friday 18th September 2015. There will be delicious food, a fabulous raffle, live music and the chance to dance! Roy Dennis will be joining us for the evening and giving a talk. We hope you will join us at this event, and celebrate the success of the project with us! More details can be found by clicking here.

The event room at Barnsdale

The event room at Barnsdale

 

Today, the Ospreys have once again provided endless entertainment in the bay! They have spent a lot of time on the nest today, and this morning S1 was in the process of tearing into a fish when we switched the cameras on.

S1 eating fish

S1 eating fish

 

Whilst we have been in two minds about the sex of S1, and originally plumped for female, we are now almost 100% certain he is actually a male. Sometimes it can be hard to confidently determine the gender of an Osprey, and there are usually some who are indeterminate at the age of ringing. Since he fledged, we have been able to look at the development of S1 more closely, and compare his size to the adults when sitting on perches near them. Due to these observations, we now believe him to be male. You can also see that he is noticeable smaller than his sister, S3, who was clearly a female at ringing – you can see how huge she is!

S3 was sitting watching as S1 ate the fish, and the next thing we knew, she was standing up next to her brother and ripping a clump of rushes to pieces. It looked clear to us that she was copying the behaviour of S1 as he ate the fish, and using a piece of nest material to practise on!

Mimic (1)

S3 grabs a piece of nest material…

Mimic (2)

…and mimics S1 eating the fish!

 

It was very interesting to witness S3 doing this! For S3 to mimic the action of S1 as he ate the fish, demonstrated that Ospreys do indeed learn by watching their parents and siblings. We know that they often watch their parents fish, and S1 and S2 have been seen dunking themselves in the water as if they are copying them, and practising fishing for themselves. They may not know the reason they are diving into the water, but they are clearly mimicking the behaviour of their parents, and one day there will be a fish in the spot that they dive into, and their instincts will kick in!

S3’s imitation of S1’s feeding behaviour evidently paid off, as a little while later she was seen eating the fish!

S3 eating the fish

S3 eating the fish

 

You may haven noticed on the webcam page that we have changed the view to include the camera which is focused on the T-perch. The wide angle view camera – the favourite view of some of us – has unfortunately suffered another obscuration. The lens has fogged up somehow, and whether it be a spider web, condensation or Osprey excrement, it impedes the view. This, plus the fact that all five Ospreys are using the T-perch quite a lot, prompted us to change the second view on the webcam. We hope you all enjoy the change!

Here is some proof that they are all using the T-perch fairly often!

33 and Maya

33 and Maya

S3 on T perch

S3 on T perch

Mum with S1

Mum with S1

Mum, Dad and S1

Mum, Dad and S1

 

T0 and T1 were the 100th and 101st chicks to be ringed at nests in the Rutland Water area

A Century of Rutland Ospreys

If you spent time at the Manton Bay nest in July or August then you may well hear a loud, plaintive ‘chip’. This far-carrying call is given by breeding birds upon sight of an intruding Osprey. It is a warning to the imposter not to come any closer; and is exactly what John Wright heard when he was at one of the off-site nests in Rutland earlier in July. As we reported on the website on 11th July he looked up to see a male bird approaching the nest and fired off a few shots with his camera. Closer inspection of the photos revealed that the bird was 4K; a young male who fledged from the Site C nest in Rutland in 2013. This was the first time that we had seen 4K back in his home county since his migration two years previously. It is always exciting when an Osprey returns for the first time, but 4K’s arrival was particularly noteworthy: as the great-grandson of 03(97) – Mr Rutland – he is the first fourth generation Rutland Osprey to make it home.

4K's blue ring is clearly visible in John Wright's photos

4K is the first fourth-generation Rutland Osprey to make it home

The fact that there are now four generations of Rutland Ospreys in an around the reservoir, demonstrates how successful the Rutland Osprey Project has become. The long-term aim of the project when it was set-up by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and Anglian Water in close collaboration with Roy Dennis in the mid-1990s, was to restore a self-sustaining population of Ospreys to central England; and this latest returnee indicates that we are well on the way to achieving that. It was fitting that 4K’s return has coincided with another major landmark for the project.  Yesterday the 100th chick to fledge from a nest in the Rutland area made its maiden flight. The youngster is one of 15 chicks in seven successful nests this year (the one nest to have failed, was Site B). So not only does this take us past the magic 100 mark (the total actually now stands at 102) but it also makes 2015 the mist successful summer for the project to date. When you factor in that Rutland birds have also raised a total of 39 birds in Wales since the first pair bred in 2004, you really begin to understand the impact that this pioneering project has had on the distribution of Ospreys in the southern part of the UK.

T0 and T1 were the 100th and 101st chicks to be ringed at nests in the Rutland Water area

T0 and T1 were the 100th and 101st chicks to be ringed at nests in the Rutland Water area

With the Osprey population at Rutland Water now well-established, we have been working with landowners, Wildlife Trusts and other conservation organisations to encourage people to build artificial Osprey nests in neighbouring counties – and further a field. Our experience at Rutland Water, and those of Roy Dennis and others in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe, proves that this is a highly-effective way of encouraging Ospreys to spread to new areas. With more and more young birds returning to England, there is every chance of these outlying nests nests being used. With artificial nests in eight different counties, the future for Ospreys in England, looks bright. Who knows, when 4K eventually settles down to breed, maybe he will chose one of these outlying sites? That would be yet another sign of success.

Learning to fly

Learning to fly

We’ve been blessed with another beautiful day, and more excitement in Manton Bay! Having five Ospreys on the wing makes for very interesting watching from Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides! There is so much action in the bay now that all of the juveniles are flying, it’s amazing to witness!

Here we have a couple of lovely photographs of S3’s first flight yesterday. These photos were taken by John Smallman, on a visit to the reserve. Thank you John for sharing them!

Maya keeping an eye on S3 during her first flight, photo by John Smallman

Maya keeping an eye on S3 during her first flight, photo by John Smallman

S3 on First Day of Flying 19.07.15 v2

S3 on her first proper flight, photo by John Smallman

 

Although they are spending a lot of time on the wing and perching elsewhere, the Ospreys still return to the nest at intervals during the day, especially when a fish comes in! This means that there is still something to see on the live cameras on screen in the Lyndon Centre, and streaming live on the webcam.

S1 takes charge of a fish

S1 takes charge of a fish

 

Having said that, however, it is true that, at this time of year, there is no better place to watch the Ospreys from than in the hides on the Lyndon Reserve. The juveniles are all gaining in confidence and becoming more and more adventurous. They are spending a lot of time out of view of the cameras, and perching in lots of different places. S1 and S2 have been developing wonderfully since they fledged last week, and even S3 has been getting a lot more confident today! It’s brilliant to see them all, so mature and beautiful, evidently enjoying themselves and getting into all sorts of mischief!

Here are two amazing videos of the Ospreys in Manton Bay, filmed over the weekend. This footage shows just how well the young Ospreys are doing, where they’re going and what they are getting up to. There is no need for me to say any more – the footage speaks for itself!

This video was filmed by Field Officer John Wright.

This video was filmed by Volunteer Dave Cole.

Many thanks to John and Dave for their excellent footage of the Ospreys. May there be many more videos to come…