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The pond in front of the Lyndon Centre

Bring on the sunshine

The morning dawned bright and sunny, and a bit chilly with a slight frost covering the ground. A beautiful spring day followed, bringing with it the promise of good things to come. Soon, the meadows will be adorned with wild flowers, the pond in front of the Lyndon Centre will be surrounded by colour, and the smell of wild garlic will sweeten the air on the first bit of footpath on the Lyndon Reserve.

The pond in front of the Lyndon Centre

The pond in front of the Lyndon Centre

Wild garlic coming through on the footpath

Wild garlic coming through on the footpath

 

The sun shone down on the osprey nest all day, and Maya and 33 have been on it frequently, adding sticks and grass here and there and enjoying the view.

Nest material

Nest material

 

Volunteer Dave Cole provided us with some wonderful footage of the ospreys and other wildlife in Manton Bay last season. Already this year he has been spending time filming the Manton Bay pair from Shallow Water Hide, and has edited together a beautiful video of Maya and 33 from 30th March. Here it is!

 

 

Into the sun

Into the sun

It’s been another beautiful day! The Manton Bay ospreys have again been busy bringing lots of sticks and dried grass into the nest, getting it ready for the season. Mating has been witnessed several times since 33 returned and joined Maya in the bay, and eggs are expected very soon. Usually it is around two weeks after the ospreys’ return to the laying of the first egg. However, last season there was just nine days between the pair returning and eggs appearing, which surprised us at the time! This means that it may be as early as the first week in April when we see an egg.

33 with a new stick

33 with a new stick

Maya with nest material

Maya with nest material

Nest material

More nest material

Moving a stick together

Rearranging sticks

Mating

Mating

 

It won’t be long until we begin our season of events at the Lyndon Nature Reserve! Our first event is a bird ringing demonstration which has already sold out. The next event is on Sunday 1st May and is one for the early birds – a dawn chorus walk! The walk will end with a delicious cooked breakfast. There are only three spaces remaining – click here to book!

Lyndon reserve at dawn

Lyndon reserve at dawn

 

Osprey Cruises on the Rutland Belle begin at the end of May. We are looking forward to these with anticipation, as last year’s cruises were all fantastic, with incredible sightings of ospreys flying by and catching fish. The first cruise is on Saturday 28th May. Click here to book now!

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The Rutland Belle

 

 

33 landing with the bendy stick...

Sticky situation

This morning, yesterday’s rain seemed a distant memory, as the day dawned bright and clear. It’s been lovely and sunny, albeit a little bit breezy, and both Maya and 33 have been present in Manton Bay for most of the day. A fish was brought in fairly early in the morning, caught by 33, who ate half and passed the rest to Maya. Last season he did a fabulous job of feeding her and the chicks, and it would seem he’s going to be just as efficient this year! It has looked rather windy up there on the nest at times today, but the ospreys are used to this, and they have both appeared content on their nest and in each other’s company.

The pair looking content

The pair looking content

 

Both Maya and 33 have been bringing in nest material today, mostly sticks. 33 likes large sticks, as you may remember from last year! He had a couple of amusing incidents with his sticks today, the funniest of which was when he attempted to land with a rather long, bent one… see the video below!

33 landing with the bendy stick...

33 landing with the bent stick…

...and sitting on it

…and sitting on it

 

Maya tried to move this stick while 33 was still sitting on it, to no avail of course, then later he fell off it!

33 falling off the stick

33 falling off the stick

 

Here he is attempting to move another slightly awkward stick across the nest.

33 with a stick

Stick getting stuck

 

There have been a couple of osprey intrusions over the bay today, but none threatened the nest itself. Overall, it has been a beautiful day, during which our many visitors (and also the staff!) have been entertained by the Manton Bay pair’s antics on and around the nest site.

Some of our visitors today were recently signed up “Osprey Ambassadors” from local schools, here to learn more about the ospreys. This scheme is one of many run by our Education Team, find out more about it by clicking here!

Here are some photographs of the Osprey Ambassadors at Lyndon, taken by Pete Murray.

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Ambassadors form Catmose College (Oakham) and Casterton Primary School at Lyndon Visitor Centre

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Ken and Jackie in Waderscrape hide

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Osprey watching!

 

The Lyndon Centre is open every day from 9am-5pm, and the ospreys will be with us until the end of August. We expect eggs in early April, and chicks in late May! It’s always worth a visit – click here for details of the reserve.

Maya flying in

Maya flying in

 

 

Maya flying off with fish

Storm in a teacup

Well it’s certainly been a very wet and windy bank holiday Monday! The weather has put a lot of people off visiting today, understandably, but those who did visit had brilliant views of our Manton Bay osprey pair, Maya and 33(11)! Fortunately, the weather improved during the afternoon, and more visitors flooded through the doors to see our fabulous ospreys and chat to staff and volunteers about them!

It is wonderful to have both birds back together again. We didn’t expect them back so soon, as last year they returned on 6th April, so they are over a week early. This is brilliant, as it means we don’t have to worry about them, as we admittedly did last year, and the season can now get off to a running start.

Maya and 33 spent most of the morning sharing a large fish, which 33 caught just after 07:00. The pair took turns eating this huge meal, taking it to and from the nest and the T-perch.

Both birds, Maya holding the fish

Both birds, Maya holding the fish

Maya flying off with fish

Maya flying off with fish

Bringing it back again

Bringing it back again

Back to the nest with the fish

Back to the nest with the fish

 

A couple of times during the day, an intruding osprey was seen flying through the bay. Both times the bird was unidentifiable, but it made Maya and 33 rush back to the nest and mantle furiously, protecting their territory.

Maya flying in - intruder about!

Maya flying in – intruder about!

33 dropping in to join her

33 dropping in to join her

 

Apart from the two intrusions, which didn’t last very long or come to anything, it has been a fairly quiet day. 33 has had no reason to go fishing again, as the one he caught in the morning lasted all day! They have both brought some sticks to the nest today, and they will be busy in the coming days and weeks building it up with more sticks and material in preparation for eggs, which should appear in roughly two weeks’ time. It’s so exciting!

Stick delivery

Stick delivery

33 positions the stick

33 positions the stick

 

 

 

30's final day of migration

30’s final furlong

More brilliant news arrived this morning – 30(05) is home! As you may know, recently we’ve had a few problems with the satellite-tracking website from which we obtain data on 30. Luckily, for the sake of our sanity, the new data came through this morning to tell us she is now home!

30 arrived back on the evening of Saturday 26th March, 16 days after leaving Senegal earlier this month. The last data point that we had for her was March 24th, at a roost site near the River Bresle. 30 sensibly stayed there for an extra day, presumably to avoid flying through bad weather. She left that spot at 08:00 on 26th March, and crossed the English Channel that morning.

During that day 30 continued on, and arrived back in Rutland at 18:00, having travelled 230 miles (370km) on her last day of migration.

30's final day of migration

30’s final day of migration

 

Here is a breakdown of 30’s 2016 spring migration. She travelled a total of 3,089 miles (4,971km). As you can see, she slowed down a bit towards the end, and did not travel so far each day. This was due to bad weather over the continent, and 30 did the sensible thing by taking it slowly, and staying put for a day on 25th March.

Date Distance (miles) Distance (km)
10th March 167 270
11th March 131 211
12th March 143 230
13th March 217 349
14th March 260 419
15th March 285 459
16th March 251 405
17th March 350 563
18th March 334 537
19th March 172 278
20th March 257 413
21st March 95 153
22nd March 106 171
23rd March 41 66
24th March 50 81
25th March
26th March 230 370
Total 3089 4975
30's entire spring 2016 migration

30’s entire spring 2016 migration

 

Click here to see 30’s journey on our special map.

Alternatively, click here to follow 30 using Google Earth.