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Close encounters

Close encounters

I can’t believe it’s almost August! I’ve said it a thousand times before, but time does fly, particularly when you spend it watching a bird such as the osprey grow up from birth to maturity! Witnessing the ospreys’ rapid development just serves to make time appear to go faster, and before we know it it’s Birdfair! The three juveniles are still all with us, and won’t be thinking about leaving for around another month. That’s if they want to leave at all – they are getting much too well fed here! Recently, 33 has been pillaging a nearby shallow water supply of fish – right in Manton Bay itself! He has been catching these unsuspecting fish right in front of the hides on the nature reserve! Here are some amazing photographs by John Wright of 33 catching a tench in front of Shallow Water hide.

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There has also been some other excellent action in Manton Bay – as usual! Here are John’s photographs of Maya washing her feet in the water of the bay.

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It’s an amazing thing to witness! Finally, here are some other excellent shots of osprey life in Manton Bay.

T7 and T8 fish watching

T7 and T8 fish watching

33 bringing a roach to T6

33 bringing a roach to T6

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T8 with headless tench (he did not catch this)

T8 with headless tench (he did not catch this)

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T7 taking fish from Maya

T7 taking fish from Maya

T7

T7

 

 

A week today...

A week today…

A week today and it’s the Osprey Project’s annual Family Fun Day! Held on the first Tuesday in August (this year 2nd Aug) at the Lyndon Nature Reserve, this day of fun incorporates ospreys, games, activities and a migration through the nature reserve…

Children will get to be an osprey for the day, with their very own “leg ring”! The Lyndon Centre will be England, then you will head through the reserve through France and Spain on your way to Africa! There will be five stops on the way, and at each stop there will be a game to play, something to make or something to see. After each activity you will receive a stamp on your “passport” to prove that you have done it. When you reach Waderscrape hide, the Education Team will be there to welcome you and help you to see the ospreys and complete your migration.

Fishing game

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For an extra £2, you can have a copy of “Be an Osprey Expert”, written by two of our Education Officers and full of questions, facts and quizzes for you to fill in on the way to Waderscrape. There is a certificate in the back of the book which will be signed for you on completion!

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Certificate

Osprey Family Fun Days are always lot of fun!

Successfully migrated Ospreys!

On top of all that, the talented Carole Brookes of “Nature Knits” is making a one-off appearance at our Fun Day, selling special hand-made ospreys, puppets, bags, hats, scarves and so much more, not just of ospreys but other wildlife too! These are limited edition, on this day only!

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There is no need to book, just turn up at the Lyndon Centre any time between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday 2nd August. Entry costs just £10 per family, with an extra £2 for a book to complete.

We hope to see you at Lyndon next week!

For more information click here!

 

Possession

Possession

Now that we are nearing the end of July, the juveniles are becoming more and more adventurous and staying away from the nest for longer periods, which means we’re beginning to get “empty nest syndrome” in the centre, as that’s all we see! We’ve said before though that this time of year is one of the best to see an abundance of action in Manton Bay from the hides on the nature reserve. This latest video by Dave Cole demonstrates just how good the viewing is from down there! Thanks to Dave for this excellent footage.

The juveniles still return to the nest when there is fish though! Today, 33 delivered a nice big trout in the morning, which T7 took control of and mantled defensively over it when the others appeared. They are becoming more possessive over food these days, and T7 flew off with this fish onto the fallen poplar, to reduce the risk of it getting pinched!

T8 was the one who claimed the next enormous fish that was brought in later in the afternoon! The others both wanted some though!

T8 with fish

T8 with fish

T6 flies in

T6 flies in

T7 flies in

T7 flies in

 

T6’s leg / foot injury appears to be healing well. Today she was seen standing comfortably on both legs, and even stood for a while resting her left leg and standing with her full weight on her injured right one! She’s walking with barely a limp, now, too! This is great news, as it means that in another four or so weeks when she’s ready to migrate, she’ll be completely healed and will have full use of both feet to catch fish. She isn’t having any problems taking off, flying, landing or eating, and her walking is improving – so she is almost back to normal!

T6

T6

 

 

 

That's my foot!

That’s my foot!

I was greeted by an empty nest this morning, which is good news as it means that T6 must be feeling better. She was flying around quite merrily today, going from perch to perch. She also spent a lot of time away from the nest yesterday afternoon. This bodes very well for a speedy recovery! The other two juveniles, T7 and T8, are beginning to spend more time away from Manton Bay altogether, and venture further afield. This is due to their growing sense of independence and confidence. It could mean that we stand a chance of seeing a Manton Bay juvenile on one of our osprey cruises!

The nest remained empty for most of the day, but there was a flurry of activity on it at four o’clock when 33 delivered a big roach. T7 and T8 were waiting there, calling loudly, and when 33 landed they both dived straight at his feet, trying to get to the fish first. T7 grabbed the fish, and T8 grabbed 33’s foot! Poor 33 – he soon flew off when T8 let him go!

33 being pulled

This happened last season on 6th August, when S2 made the same mistake and pulled 33 halfway across the nest by his foot!

 

 

 

Wild child

Wild child

It’s been another beautiful day! All five Manton Bay ospreys have been active – even T6 left the nest and flew off for a while. She has been trying to walk around a bit more today, and although she is still clearly limping, her increased movement must mean it feels a bit better. Both Maya and 33 have caught fish today, Maya a roach and 33 a tench from right in front of Shallow Water hide! It is normal for females to begin to fish again when the chicks have fledged, this is the first time this season we have witnessed Maya fishing since March.

T6 T6 flies off

All the juveniles have fed today, T8 happily tucked into a large fish while T6 looked on, then when he had finished she ate the rest. We wondered if she would continue to struggle feeding herself with a bad leg, as usually ospreys will stand on one leg and hold onto the fish with the other. For the past few days, T6 has depended on Maya feeding her. Today though, she managed to hold the fish down with the leg that she was standing on (her left), leaving her injured right leg untroubled.

Maya busied herself with a bit of housework this afternoon, as some sticks had found their way into the middle of the nest and it looked rather untidy. This just won’t do! The ospreys continue to be proud of their nest right up until they leave at the end of the season. It often becomes untidy just before and after fledging, when the juveniles are jumping all over the place and accidentally knocking sticks off.

Maya