Just as 5N(04) was getting settled in at Manton Bay and we were worrying that 5R’s mate of the past two years might not return, everything has changed.
At 7:45 volunteer Julie Gregg – who was monitoring the Manton Bay nest from Waderscrape hide – watched a female arrive from the south and head purposefully towards the nest. 5N reacted defensively, mantling on the nest and giving the distinctive intruder call. The newly-arrived female had a determined look about her and dive-bombed 5N, forcing her to take to the air. For the next fifteen minutes the two females circled the bay together, and were soon joined by 5R. Eventually 5R and 5N disappeared off to the north and the new female alighted on the nest.
Her behaviour suggested that she was 5R’s mate. A few minutes later John Wright arrived in Shallow Water hide and a quick look at the female’s distinctive head pattern confirmed, that yes, it was her. She was back, five days later than last year. What a relief.
Half an hour later, 5R returned to the bay, dropping down towards the nest at amazing speed. At first it appeared that he was acting aggressively – diving at high speed towards the female – but then in a maneuver of considerable skill, he slowed down, landed on the female’s back and mated with her. Now there’s a welcome home for you!
After mating several more times, 5R drifted off east, fishing. He eventually returned and presented his mate with a fine Rutland trout. Harmony had been restored in the bay.
It was interesting that 5N put up very little resistance when the rival female arrived; she obviously sensed that she was no match for 5R’s mate. Let’s hope that she now returns to settle with 09(98) at Site N (a nest on private land where 5N bred successful in 2009 and 2010 with 08(97)). For a who’s who of the Ospreys in Rutland, click here.
Apologies for the continued lack of webcam images. Thankfully we think we have now resolved the issue and should have the camera back online tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.