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Easter Egg Hunt!

Easter Egg Hunt!

Manton Bay 

This year the osprey team are having a very exciting Easter, each day this week we have been avidly hunting for eggs! We were reward on Wednesday when Maya laid her first egg, which is one of the earliest ever recorded. Ospreys usually lay their eggs a couple of days apart, which means Maya and 33 could have a very special Easter egg this year! 

As usual the pair have been doing really well, with both Maya and 33 taking turns incubating. 33 had been very busy, as when ever Maya can get him off the egg, he is out fishing. 

It hasn’t just been ospreys causing the excitement on the reserve this week, we have also had reports of two great northern divers, redpoll and even a Slavonian grebe. 

 

30 satellite tracked osprey 

30 our tracked osprey is still in France, she is making great progress at this rate she should be back in the U.K. in the next couple of days. On the 28th of March she roosted near a small lake, so hopefully shes managing to catch plenty of fish to keep her going on the last leg of her migration. 

Early Easter Egg

Early Easter Egg

Today we had an Early Easter present in the shape of Maya laying her first egg! She was on and off the nest all night, but at 06:09 this morning she stood up to reveal the first egg of the season. To the best of our knowledge this is the earliest an egg has ever been laid in the U.K. 

 

 

The pair have been doing great today, 33 is being the perfect father helping with the house work and even took over incubating a few times. However, it is Maya who has been doing most of the incubation, no doubt saving her energy for the next egg which will hopefully arrive in the next few days. 

 

 

 

 

With an egg in the nest it feels as though the osprey season is in full swing, we hope this will be the first of many more eggs!

Maya and 33 are way ahead of many of the ospreys, as you can see 30 our tracked osprey has only just entered France! However, she is still doing well, she crossed the Strait of Gibraltar at around 18:00 on the 23rd March and as of 20:00 on the 27th of March is already into France! 

 

Night-time Visitor

Night-time Visitor

Last night something quite strange was caught on the osprey webcam. Something in night spooked Maya onto the nest! Unfortunately it just appears as a blur on the camera therefore cannot be identified, but what could it have been, another osprey, an Egyptian goose or maybe something more sinister…. 

After the visit in the night 33 was also forced off his perch to chase away two Egyptian geese. No doubt they were wanting to get a look in on the nesting platform, lucky 33 was having none of it and chased them off before they could even get close. This allowed for great views from the hide, which as of this morning will now be open on our extended hide visiting hours, therefore our waderscrape hide will be open and manned (or wo-manned) from 6am-8pm. This means that there will be scopes available and our extremely knowledgeable volunteers on hand to show you the ospreys. What better way to spend a sunny, springtime evening than  watching the ospreys. 

 

As for Maya, she and 33 have been very busy getting the nest ready, hopefully it won’t be long until the eggs are laid! It looks like she might be preserving her energy already as yesterday evening Maya was food begging. 33 had left the bay a number of times during the day presumably to fish, however he came back either empty handed (taloned?) or with tufts of grass. Maya was not very happy about this, thankfully at 17:45 33 delivered the good and dropped a fish onto the nest, Maya greedily grabbed it off him and flew off to enjoy it alone. 

Don’t forget to check up on our GPS tracked osprey 30 who is now making her way uo towards Casablanca!

Morning Sun

Morning Sun

The last couple of days in Manton Bay have been quite interesting, Maya and 33 have been very busy getting the nest ready, the pair began copulation almost as soon as the male returned, so we expect Maya will be laying eggs early next week.

The sunrise on Wednesday morning was really something, the birds were silhouetted against the red and orange sky, which reflected perfectly in the calm water. For most of the morning the pair were on the nest, probably enjoying the warmth and sunshine for a change.  33 brought in plenty of sticks adding to the already bulging nest platform and Maya was busy bringing in dried grass from the paddock just behind the nest. 

Today however, we were not greeted with a morning as beautiful as yesterday, nonetheless we have had the exciting news that there are now eight ospreys in Rutland, making up two pairs. 

It has also been busy down in Manton Bay, with sightings of water voles, water rails, barn owls  great white egrets and a new one for our bird of prey  list- merlin. At one point we even had three ospreys in the bay! We believe this was probably a bird from another site just visiting, to see what was happening in the bay. After landing on the T-perch the intruder was soon driven out the bay by both Maya and 33, who were mantling on the nest before chasing the intruder out. After which the pair in the bay returned to their usual rhythm of fish finding and grass gathering.  

 

Unusual  Visitor

Unusual Visitor

 It was an interesting weekend down at Manton Bay, with freezing temperatures and a very unusual visitor. Information Officer Paul Stammers was brought to the attention of this  visitor by a thump on the side door of the visitor centre, when he went to investigate he found a sparrowhawk! 

Luckily the bird was unharmed and after been bough inside for a rest and a warm up it was released as good as new, back to being the top predator of the bird feeder. Birds flying into glass is a common occurrence, to prevent this happening you can place something in the window, like a sticker or a blind. This will make the window pane more obvious to birds, allowing them to avoid collisions.  

 

Manton Bay 

It was extremely cold for the pair in the bay this weekend and please spare a thought for our amazing volunteers who were sat in our waderscrape hide watching the ospreys and helping any adventurous visitors who managed to make it that far! 

Despite the cold and wind both the Maya and 33(11) were busy, fishing and nest building all weekend. Hopefully the weather will warm up before they decide to lay any eggs. 

Nest scraping

In the Snow!

 

Here is the pair soaking up the sun before the next storm. 

 

Rutland ospreys 

30 our tracked osprey has the right idea, she’s staying warm in Western Africa. Our latest update shows she has made her way back into Mauritania, she should be reaching Morocco any day now!  

Unlike 30 some of the ospreys have been a lot quicker and are enjoying the freezing temperatures in Rutland. We now have a total of six birds back, some of which have already been spotted fishing at the local fish farm. 

It wasn’t just an exciting weekend for ospreys but also our osprey ambassadors check out the education teams blog here