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Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun

Today the chicks have spent another warm afternoon sat on the fallen tree, Maya and 33 have been very attentive making sure both are well fed. 

This morning 3AU sat food begging on the nest until 33(11) returned with a gigantic fish! He was so eager he grabbed it off 33(11) before Maya even had a look in. 

We have also had lots of intruder activity over the bay this afternoon, Maya and 33(11) are not letting them anywhere near their chicks. 

Although, the webcam is now empty for most of the day the chicks have been very busy, both have been floating around the bay learning and perfecting their flying skills.  

Finally Fledged

Finally Fledged

Yesterday I received a call from Paul Stammers our Information Officer, he had just spent the morning in the hide watching the two juveniles helicoptering on the nest, finally at 08:50 3AU the male, lifted high off the nest and circled before landing on the camera perch. 3AU spent the subsequent day hopping on and off the nest, learning how to swoop and soar, or more importantly how to land. He seemed to be almost taunting his sister with his amazing flying abilities. Unusually, he even spent the entire first night off the nest, leaving at 21:39 and arriving back in the morning at 04:25, it can only be presumed he spent the night on the camera perch with Maya and 33(11).

Before, he left for the night 3AU did give us a little present; he has covered our wide-angle camera by landing a very well-aimed defecation right on the camera lens.

It wasn’t until late this morning that the female chick 3AW finally made the leap, she had been helicoptering for most of the morning and just before 12:00 she managed to lift off the nest! She made her way over to the T-perch and not very gracefully managed to land on the perch next to 33(11).

Even though both chicks are now flying, they are still relying on 33(11) and Maya to catch fish and feed them. While the chicks have been enjoying their new found freedom, both Maya and 33(11) have kept a close eye on them both. Hopefully the chicks are picking up skills and experiences that will help them to fish, fly and maybe even fledge chicks of their own one day.

3AU

The Warm Up

It’s been a lovely warm day on the Lyndon reserve today, the hazy sunshine was coupled with a light breeze, bringing the meadows to life with butterflies and damselflies.  The weather last night was also perfect osprey cruise weather, the water was the calmest I have seen it for weeks. This was ideal for the osprey and we had lots of great sightings, including ospreys fishing.

 

Down in Manton Bay the chicks look very close to fledging both have been stretching and flapping those beautiful long wings, getting them warmed up for flight.  It’s so exciting to think that this time next week they could be flying round the bay, causing all sorts of trouble!

 

3AU trying out his wings

3AU

The Next Step

The Next Step

We’ve had a very busy week on the osprey project, on Wednesday we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Tim Mackrill’s new charity, the Osprey Leadership Foundation. “The foundation will work with young people from different cultures and contrasting backgrounds to inspire them about the natural world and help them to develop into conservation leaders who can make an impact at an international level”. If you would like to find out more and support the charity please see their website here.


The ospreys themselves have are also very busy in Manton Bay; the chicks have been taking every opportunity to practices their flying skills, even doing some night flapping. We expect that they will be fledging in the next couple of weeks.

We are getting lots of osprey intrusions into the bay, Maya and 33(11) are doing a great job of seeing them off. The chicks don’t seem to mind at all and are becoming very independent with both of them happily feeding themselves, once the intruder has been chased away.

They are also still learning about the world around them, with both chicks showing great interest in a lump of grass that Maya brought in.

20th June

20th June

Last Saturday we had our first late osprey cruise, we left Whitwell Harbour at 07:30 pm, two hours later than any of our other cruises so far this year. Lucky we were rewarded for venturing out at this later time, spotting multiple ospreys and were even lucky enough to see one osprey catch a fish. We were in the basin of the reservoir at the time, the osprey was spotted and the boat turned so we could head towards the spot it was fishing. We saw the characteristic shape and behaviour this bird was definitely fishing, the osprey had a few false dives before finally right in front of the dam it dived into the water, with great difficulty the bird hauled itself from the water with a large fish clutched in it’s talons.

The Manton Bay chicks have been getting accustomed to their new accessories over the last few days. It looks like the nest might be getting a bit cosy especially with the chicks starting to train up those wing muscles. They are jumping up and down on the nest flapping their wings as hard as they can manage, maybe not quite helicoptering yet, but it won’t be long!

Both chicks are also starting to become more independent and on many occasions feeding themselves, however, it doesn’t always go to plan, which is why it is good that Maya is still on hand whenever she is needed.