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By Holly Hucknall on August 31, 2017
We are happy to report that we have had more data come through from 30(05)’s satellite tag, and she seems to be having a straightforward journey so far. Since setting off on the morning of August 27th, 30 has travelled 965 miles and has now made it to just south of Madrid.
30 bypassed the Bay of Biscay and chose to travel over land through France, which means she missed our friends at the Urdaibai Bird Centre by around 35 miles! She spent last night roosting by the River Guadarrama near Toledo, hopefully a spot where she was able to catch a fish to fuel her journey.
30 is averaging around 241 miles a day at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if she keeps this rate up. The weather conditions in Spain look perfect today for migration, so hopefully in a couple of days time she may be crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.
Meanwhile in Manton Bay, the soggy weather stopped 33 from setting off yesterday – we expect he may be on his way today and will keep you updated. In other news, you may remember that S2(15) (offspring of Maya and 33) was spotted in the Netherlands earlier this year on May 26th. Well S2 has been spotted again, this time on August 27th in Belgium!
This suggests that S2 spent the summer in the Netherlands and has now started his migration south again. It will be interesting to see where S2 turns up next spring – hopefully we’ll see him at Rutland! Thank you to Wim Janssen, who spotted S2 in Belgium and reported his sighting to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation.
By Kayleigh Brookes on August 30, 2017
Thanks to Education Officer Pete Murray for the following blog and videos from the Osprey Stand at Birdfair! Many thanks to Mike Dilger and Nick Baker for joining Sam at the Osprey Tent, to Paul and Abi for being interviewed too, and to Sam for being such a star!
The Bird Fair Interviews
This year the Rutland Osprey stand hosted a series of short interviews which we captured on video for your interest and entertainment.
Sam Newcombe is 11 years old and very enthusiastic school Osprey Ambassador at Casterton Primary School. He arranged interviews with TV personalities Nick Baker and Mike Dilger at Bird Fair.
Enjoy their answers to Sam’s questions, including Nick’s description of a duck catching and eating a swallow on an Osprey Cruise, and Mike’s amazing impersonation of one of his favourite south American birds, in their interviews at Bird Fair.
We have also included recorded two short interviews Sam made at Bird Fair, with two other people who have valuable roles in the project. Paul Stammers is the Osprey Project Information Officer and Abi Mustard is a young volunteer on the project now studying Biology at University. Paul and Abi tell Sam about who inspired them with their interest in natural history.
Jackie Murray, Education Officer for the Osprey Project, talks to Maisie who has visited the Lyndon reserve and actively follows the progress of the osprey project from her home in Bath. Maisie explains about the “Ozzie migration messages”, written by children visiting the Lyndon Reserve and Bird Fair ,which will be to be sent to children visiting the Urdaibai Bird reserve in the Basque area of Northern Spain.
The Osprey Ambassador interviews
Many local schools in the Rutland Water area have chosen Osprey Ambassadors who are our link with their school. The Ambassadors have a monthly “Osprey Club” at the Waderscape hide, where they get the latest news about the ospreys, get a chance to watch the ospreys in and around the nest site as well as other wildlife on the reserve. They take the latest osprey news and regular short presentations to share with other pupils at their school.
Jackie interviews four ambassadors in the hide and the Ambassadors explain about what they have done in their schools.
Finally, here are some amazing photographs taken by Sam over the Birdfair weekend, thanks for these Sam!
By Kayleigh Brookes on August 28, 2017
Well it’s certainly been a great bank holiday weekend! Our final osprey cruise on Saturday was a success, the weather has been wonderful and so many people have visited the Lyndon Centre to catch what may be their last glimpse of the Manton Bay ospreys this year.
This weekend’s sightings may well be the last we have of Maya. She was present in the bay with 33 all day on Saturday, however, we believe that she set off on her migration on Sunday morning, as she left the bay at 11:30 and has not returned since. Last season Maya didn’t leave until 6th September, so we thought she may stay a while longer! 33 is still here though, catching fish and seeing off intruders!
Here is Maya’s last appearance on the Manton Bay nest, yesterday morning.
We can only wonder where Maya is right now, but there is a Rutland osprey who’s location we do know! 30(05) is our satellite-tagged osprey, and she also set off on her migration yesterday!
She left fairly early yesterday morning, and by 12:00 she was already in Hampshire. She crossed the channel at Christchurch (east of Bournemouth and west of the Isle of Wight) just after 1pm, and made landfall in Cherbourg in France at 4pm. Her final data point is at 5pm, just east of Créances. The total distance she travelled yesterday was 245 miles / 395 km.
As she’s only just set off we don’t have much data just yet, but we receive it every few days and will keep you updated as and when we have more information. Exciting times!
I wonder whether 30(05) will have arrived at her wintering grounds by the time we have our end of season celebration? It would be amazing if she arrived on her beach in Senegal on the day of our special celebratory party, which is 12 days away. 30’s fastest migration was 11 days, so it’s possible!
Our end of year celebration is on Friday 8th September, and we’ve planned a fun-filled evening of dancing to music by the Navigation Band, socialising at the beautiful village hall in Manton village, drinking local ales provided by Patricia Clarke, and gorging on a superb all-you-can-eat hog roast provided by the Roasting Pig Co.
We also have a raffle with some excellent prizes, including the following (pictured) plus a session in the hide at the River Gwash Trout Farm next year (!), and many more gems!
We look forward to celebrating with our loyal supporters!
By Holly Hucknall on August 27, 2017
Last night was our final cruise of the season, and what a lovely night it was! Knowing that a few of the juvenile birds (as well as some of the non-breeding adults) were already well on their way on migration, we were a little nervous – with fewer mouths to feed, would we still see our adult birds fishing? However we didn’t need to worry – as we were all standing around waiting to board the boat an osprey was fishing over the reservoir basin! The osprey caught a fish almost immediately – a very successful outing – the only downside was that we hadn’t yet got on the boat by the time it flew away over Normanton with the fish in it’s talons!
Once we were on the boat we headed straight down the south arm towards Manton Bay. We got some nice views of Maya flying around near Egleton, before she settled back down on the nest near 33.
We have been lucky to see flying ospreys on every single cruise this year, and on the whole the weather has been pretty excellent too! Thank you to everyone who booked a ticket, and if you missed out this year keep an eye out for cruise dates for 2018.
For now, Maya and 33 can still be seen from Manton Bay and there are plenty of intruding birds to spot too! Here are our couple on the nest together very early this morning.
And here is a clip of both birds on the nest yesterday – Maya is food begging but 33 does not deliver. According to our volunteers in Waderscrape Maya spent a lot of time food begging yesterday, even though she can easily catch food for herself now that the chicks have gone!
By Kayleigh Brookes on August 23, 2017
Maya and 33 have had a great year once again, raising two healthy chicks and bringing their total number of chicks raised to eight! 2AN and 2AM were incredibly well fed youngsters, making them strong and ready for their autumn migration to southern climes.
Last season, the final juvenile left on 24th August, and we thought that the adults would leave soon after. However, Maya didn’t leave until 6th September, and 33 left on 8th September. One of the reasons is possibly due to the continued need for nest protection. Even though it’s the end of the season, the Manton Bay pair won’t want to risk having to fight for their nest next year, should an osprey decide they like it and try to claim it as their own next spring. There are still some ospreys in the area currently, though many have departed, and there have been a few intrusions at the nest site in recent days.
Since their young departed, the adult ospreys appear to have reverted back to spring behaviour. Yesterday, Maya flew into the nest, then not long afterwards 33 landed on her back and tried to mate with her! She shrugged him off, so the attempt was unsuccessful.
Then today we saw a lot of nest building behaviour, and 33 even started scraping out the nest!
Plus Maya has gone back to sitting on the nest and shouting for food, even though she has caught several fish for herself and the juveniles since they fledged.
Ospreys’ actions are heavily influenced by their instincts, and the stimuli around them. An empty nest and the absence of chicks seems to have pushed their instincts into overdrive (particularly 33’s), and they are behaving as though the season is just beginning! We know that their instincts to migrate will soon set in, the only question is when, and therefore how much longer will they remain in Manton Bay…
Another osprey who’s migration instincts have not yet kicked in is 30(05), our satellite-tagged bird! She left on 30th August last season, so we are keeping a close eye on her data and will let you know as soon as she sets off!