A morning in Manton Bay

The hides over-looking the Manton Bay nest not only provide superb views of the Ospreys, but a wealth of other wildlife. A few hours in either Waderscape or Shallow Water is most definitely time well-spent. And that’s exactly what John has done the past two mornings. Here’s what he has seen…

Garganey are a scarce summer visitor to Rutland Water with small numbers passing through each spring. Yesterday a stunning drake spent time a few metres in front of Shallow Water hide. This diminutive duck winters in West Africa, with a favoured site being Djoudj National Park in northern Senegal. And guess what, Djoudj is an important wintering site for Ospreys too. When Tim, John and Paul visited Djoudj in January 2011 they saw numerous Ospreys along with a flock of over 50,000 Garganey.

Drake Garganey, a summer visitor that spends its winters alongside Ospreys in West Africa

Unlike Garganey, Cormorants are a regular feature of Manton Bay; and if you have visited the hides over-looking the bay you may well have seen the Ospreys chasing them. This is almost certainly due to competition for fish – the two species catch similarly-sized fish and a few years ago we even saw a Cormorant attempt to steal one from 03(97) while he was fishing at the reservoir.

Ospreys spend most of the year growing new feathers and shedding old ones. The Manton Bay female currently has many gaps in her wings but come migration time most feathers will be fresh so she’ll be in good condition for the long flight south.

Three year-old male, 28(10), hasn’t settled at a nest site yet but he can often be seen on the Lagoon 4 nest on the Egleton reserve. For a map of the reserve click here. He is recognisable because of his damaged right wing. He returned in 2012 for the first time with this injury and we think it may have been caused by a fishing accident. As he has made it back to Rutland again this year it appears that it doesn’t affect his flying – or fishing. 28 intruded in Manton Bay this morning, buzzing the nest several times before eventually landing on the far T-perch. At the time, 5R was away fishing giving 28 ample time to pester the female who stayed on the nest guarding the chicks. It wasn’t long before he’d had his fill of mischief and left Manton Bay just before 5R came back with a fish.

If you want to enjoy this for yourself, then why not come and visit us at Lyndon over the bank holiday weekend? For directions to the centre, click here.

One response to “A morning in Manton Bay”

  1. Mike Simmonds

    Thank you Michelle for a great blog.