After all the excitement of returning Ospreys in late March and early April, the past few weeks have been much quieter as the breeding birds have settled down to five-and-a half weeks of incubation. However, now that we’re into May we are expecting another batch of new arrivals. Two year-old Ospreys usually first return to the UK in May or June of their second year and it is exciting to report that the first of the 2013 Rutland contingent has made it home. Well, nearly.
In recent days a female Osprey has been seen catching fish on a regular basis at Ferry Meadows Country Park on the outskirts of Peterborough. Ferry Meadows is just a few miles to the east of Rutland and when a photo taken by Mike Weedon (photos on Mike’s blog here) showed that the bird had a blue ring on its right leg, we were sure that it would be a returning two year-old. With this in mind John Wright and I arrived at 7am this morning, hoping to identify it. By 10:30am we had had just one distant view, but then an Osprey suddenly appeared over our heads (while we were drinking a coffee outside the cafe!). The bird circled a couple of times and then, less than 100 metres from the assembled onlookers, dived down and caught a roach! The bird was a female and when John looked back though his photos he could read the blue ring on it’s right leg – it was 3J, one of three chicks that fledged from the Manton Bay nest in 2013. Fantastic!
It will be interesting to see what 3J does next. Will she stay at Ferry Meadows, or will she make an appearance at Rutland Water where there are three lone males looking for mates? We expect that latter, but I’m sure she will continue to delight visitors to Ferry Meadows in the coming days.
Meanwhile its been another quiet day at Manton Bay. 33(11) returned with a large roach at 4:30 this afternoon which seems to be the fish of choice at the moment.