3J makes it home!

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!

3J appeared over the Gunwade Lake at Ferry Meadows at 10:30 this morning

3J appeared over the Gunwade Lake at Ferry Meadows at 10:30 this morning

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A Common Tern in hot pursuit of 3J

A Common Tern in hot pursuit of 3J

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3J's leg ring is clearly visible in this photo

3J’s leg ring is clearly visible in this photo

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After circling for a couple of minutes 3J made off with a small roach

After circling for a couple of minutes 3J made off with a small roach

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.

3J with her brother and sister on the Manton Bay nest in July 2013

3J with her brother and sister on the Manton Bay nest in July 2013

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.

8 responses to “3J makes it home!”

  1. Joanna Dailey

    How lovely that you were both there to see her, what a thrill. Wonderful photos as ever.

  2. Jackie

    Great news

  3. Gayle Whalley

    This is brilliant news – another fantastic return rate for Rutland, especially as this is the last season we saw 5R.

  4. Mike Simmonds

    Tim, what great news and of particular interest to one of your 2013 visitors who saw her the day after she had been ringed. Fantastic.

  5. Ann

    Thanks, Tim, for the great news! And so wonderful that one of 5R’s and Maya’s chicks has returned at the earliest possible time. It was lovely seeing the Manton Bay family when we went to Birdfair in 2013 and I seem to recall that one had already migrated. If true, which one was that, please–a chick or Maya (then Mrs. 5R)?

    1. Kayleigh Brookes

      Hi Ann, in 2013, 3J was the last chick to leave, shortly before 5R. The other two chicks left first, 2J then 1J, then the female after them (never Mrs 5R to us!)

  6. Shelagh Maitland

    So pleased for you guys this is so heartening when our Ospreys are having a rough time so far All the best for her homecoming

  7. Bill Hunt

    How wonderful to see a baby I watched growing up return to the UK!! Welcome home 3J