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July Education News

End of Term Report

June and July are always very busy months for everyone, and this year has been no exception! The Osprey chicks in all the nests have grown tremendously and all are now all flying! The number of visitors to the Lyndon Nature Reserve continues to rise, and our school visits schedule has been hectic to say the least. Our most recent visits have been to Cottesmore Millfield Academy, Catmose Community College and Spratton Hall School, where we met a total of over 200 young people and gave them the full ‘Osprey Experience.’ We were pleased to welcome two groups from our closest school at Edith Weston – these children are possibly the only ones in the whole of the UK who can WALK directly from their school down to the Reserve and watch the Ospreys at close quarters. They were all enthusiastic and very knowledgeable on the subject of Ospreys – real ‘Osprey Experts’.  Now it is the end of the school year and when schools go back in September our ospreys will be making their migration south to Africa! Here is our end of term report!


Osprey Festival – Science meets the Arts

What an amazing day!  Displays, Art, Writing and Science workshops, osprey games and activities .In the afternoon there was a presentation to the prize winners by Tim Appleton. We finished with a performance of the new Brooke Priory osprey song.

For more information and links to see the East Midlands Today News programme, a video of the festival and picture gallery of the prize winning entries click here!



Winners and Ambassadors Osprey Cruise

Festival winners and Osprey Ambassadors, accompanied by parents and teachers, took part in an Osprey Cruise on the Rutland Belle last week. It was a beautiful sunny summer evening and everyone had several sightings of ospreys, as well as a unique view of the Lyndon nature reserve from the boat. Commentary was provided by Tim Mackrill and Tim Appleton for this special trip.

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Another winner!

Georgia Johnson (Age 6) of Cottesmore Millfield Academy, produced this superb report about the Rutland Ospreys .It  is posted on the “Your Journalist Academy” website so take a look!


Osprey Ambassadors

The new ‘Osprey Ambassador’ scheme means that we have good representation in most of our local schools now, and the students give regular updates to their classes and assemblies. Many of them have also visited us with their families here at the Reserve. New schools are still coming on board – Leighfield Academy in Uppingham have recently appointed their ambassadors – so it is not too late to join the scheme.

Thank you for all you do – you make our job a lot easier!


He’s back! It’s Ozzie’s Return (The Sequel)

It’s five years ago now since the appearance of the first Ozzie book – Ozzie’s Migration, by Ken Davies and illustrated by the Osprey Project’s artist, field officer and photographer John Wright. Since 2011 over 2,500 copies of the book have been sold, with all profits going back to help the Project, and the book is in use in schools and Osprey centres all over the UK, Europe and West Africa. Well, the good news is that the same team has got together again to produce the second Ozzie book, Ozzie’s Return, which tells the story in words and stunning colour pictures of Ozzie’s hazardous journey back from Gambia to Rutland Water, his place of birth. The book will be on sale at our Visitor Centres and in other local outlets, and will again cost just £5. Do take a look – we are sure you will like it!

Ozzie 001


Ozzie Leads the Way

And that’s not all!! Later in the summer, hopefully in time for Birdfair in August (19th – 21st), another new Osprey book will hit the bookstalls! This time it’s a longer story by Ken for older children and adults, and features some characters very familiar to everyone who follows the Rutland Ospreys……that’s all for now, but watch this space for more details coming soon!



Birdfair (August 19th – 21st)

As many know, ‘Birdfair’ in August is a huge event celebrating the natural world in all its forms (especially birds), and of course the Rutland Ospreys Education Team will be there on all three days. Do come and see us – you can find us on the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust stand in the central area. There will be a range of activities for you, new books to buy, and it would be great to meet friends old and new!

We’ll see you there.



Time is a healer

T6 has been sitting on the edge of the nest for most of the day again today. However, she has not seemed in distress or unhappy, she has been alert, watching the goings-on and calling loudly for food. She has been fed several times again today by Maya, who still takes control of the fish 33 brings in. His favourite flavour at the moment appears to be tench. He went through a period of catching lots of tench last season, and due to the fact they are bottom-feeders, he must have access to a shallow water stash!

We were surprised to see T7 standing patiently to the side as Maya fed T6 in the above video. We expected her to muscle in and attempt to steal the fish or get Maya to feed her, but she made no move to do so and seemed content to wait her turn. This was great for T6 as it meant Maya fed almost the whole fish to her!

T6 tends to stay in one place a lot due to the apparent difficulty she has in putting weight onto her right leg. The injury could be from any number of things, from crash-landing, getting caught in something, or just a strain or sprain. We have been able to zoom the camera in and ascertain that her ring is not causing her any problems. We cannot tell if the issue is her leg, hip or foot, but she is doing the right thing in not using it much. As long as she is getting food, which she is, she will be receiving all the necessary nourishment and fluids, and, in addition to resting the limb, in time her injury will hopefully heal.


T6 before fledging

T6 before fledging



Celebrating 20 years

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Rutland Osprey Project, and on Friday 15th July we celebrated that fact with a special osprey cruise! The date was chosen specifically because it was on that day 20 years ago that the first juvenile ospreys were brought down to England from Scotland and released at Rutland Water. Since the first translocated osprey returned and subsequently bred, we have had over 100 chicks fledge from nests in the area, and now have seven breeding pairs.

The event was a huge success, and was enjoyed by all. It began in Normanton Church with a glass of Prosecco and an introduction, then we boarded the Rutland Belle for an hour and a half cruise. To everyone’s delight, several ospreys made an appearance on the cruise, diving for fish and putting on a great display! There was hardly a time during the whole trip where an osprey wasn’t in sight. On return to the church the happy group disembarked the boat and were treated to a delicious buffet provided by the Rutland Belle.

All in all this special event was a fitting celebration of the 20 fabulous years since the osprey project began. A massive thank you to the Rutland Belle staff, Jonathan from Anglian Water and my colleagues at the Wildlife Trust for making this event the success it was. Thanks also to Pete Murray for the following photographs!

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Getting better

Thankfully, T6 seemed to be a lot better this morning. She was alert and responsive to her surroundings, and appeared much brighter. She has also been moving around bit more, although she still spent most of the day on the nest. It definitely looks like she is having trouble weight bearing on her right leg. She was holding it up over the weekend and not standing fully on it, and today when she moved we could see she appeared to be limping. However, she has no trouble flying. More good news is that she has eaten today – Maya fed her twice this morning and again this afternoon, and T6 also attempted, with a degree of success, to eat a fish by herself.

We are hopeful that T6 will make a full recovery. Now that she is eating well, her energy levels will increase and she will have the reserves she needs to heal.

T6 in the sun





A slow improvement

Yesterday morning we reported that T6 had been looking severely unwell on the nest. The young female had spent over 12 hours with her eyes closed and head drooped. She continued in that vein for much of the day, apparently unable to move.

T6 was perched at the back of the nest for more than 12 hours

T6 was perched at the back of the nest for more than 12 hours

During situations like this it is always very tempting to try and intervene but we felt that in this case it was too risky to do so. There was every chance that if we approached the nest that T6 would take-off; which given the nest’s location over water, was a situation we wanted to avoid.

During the course of the day it became clear that rather than suffering from an illness, T6 may actually have injured her right foot. She appeared unable to put any weight on it and it was severely limiting her movement. This meant that whenever 33 landed on the nest with fish, her siblings beat her to the fish.

Despite going the whole day without fish, T6 was showing signs of improvement by yesterday evening. She seemed much more alert and made several short flights after 8pm.

Today T6 has continued to show small signs of improvement, making short flights between the nest and nearby T perches. The problem is that, like yesterday, she remains unsteady on her feet meaning she has missed out on fish when they have been brought to the nest.

What was needed was for Maya to feed T6, and that’s exactly what happened at 4:30, when she arrived on the nest with the remains of a fish. Unfortunately this didn’t amount to very much, but it did at least ensure that T6 had some nourishment.

We’re hopeful that if T6 is fed by Maya later this evening and tomorrow, that she will continue to improve. We’ll be sure to keep monitoring the situation closely.