Education News Letter



2017 was not only a record year for the Rutland Ospreys (8 pairs raised 15 chicks to the free-flying stage) – it was also a record year for the Osprey Education Team! Between March and September we had 57 bookings for school and youth group visits, either in schools or here at the Lyndon Reserve, and we met well over 3,500 young people during the season! A lot of that success was down to our outstanding team of young Osprey Ambassadors, who attended the monthly meetings in the Wader Scrape hide in Manton Bay, and took all the news about Maya and her family back to their schools for us. This meant that teachers and students throughout Rutland were kept up to date – many schools organised their visits after hearing the exciting news from their Ambassadors!

Records are there to be broken…..so for 2018 we are hoping that the Ospreys of Rutland Water will enjoy even more success, and maybe the number of breeding pairs will reach double figures! That would be amazing!
We expect that many of our Ambassadors will stay on for another year, but some have moved on to new schools and may not wish to continue. So we will be looking for some new faces, as well as welcoming back old friends as well.

World Osprey Week – 12 to 18TH March 2018

The Ospreys will begin their long migration from West Africa back to Rutland in March, and World Osprey Week or WOW celebrates the return of the Rutland Ospreys. The website has the latest news about the migration of the Rutland Ospreys and some bird have satellite trackers, which means that we can monitor their progress north! It is a truly international event with migration “flyways” in Europe, West Asia, and the Americas.

WOW Skype at English Martyrs, Oakham

Free school educational resources

It is possible for teachers to deliver lessons using Osprey based resources! Ideal for World Osprey Week!!!
Schools, home school groups and other educational groups can simply register and then download and use our FREE primary and secondary teaching resources. These include worksheets (with teacher’s notes), lesson plans, fun activities and project ideas that cover a wide range of national curriculum subjects. www.ospreys.org.uk/free-school-resources/

Education team in action at a Rutland school

“Inspired by Ospreys” – our creative competition for 2018

This year we have an exciting “Inspired by Ospreys” competition for young people. There are three categories and these are; A drawing or painting (A4), a short story (no more than 600 words),or a poem (no more than one side A4) There are two age groups; 11 years and under and 12 years and over. Full details and dates are on Rutland Osprey website www.ospreys.org.uk .On the Education tab click on “2018 Competition Inspired by Ospreys”

Osprey Ambassadors

Osprey Ambassadors are school pupils who are the link between the Osprey Project and their school. Take a look at the Ambassadors page on the Rutland Ospreys website for more information. Follow this link … www.ospreys.org.uk/osprey-ambassadors

World Osprey Week – Ambassadors Warm-up

All Osprey Ambassadors (with a supervising teacher or adult) are invited to a World Osprey Week “Warm-up” on Sunday 4th March 2-4pm, at the Volunteer Training Centre, Rutland Water. More information will be sent directly to ambassadors.

Waderscrape hide, Lyndon Reserve

Ambassadors Osprey Club

This held on the first Sunday EACH MONTH from April – September 2018
This takes place at the Lyndon Nature Reserve, Rutland Water, in the Wader Scrape hide from 2-4pm
Contact Ken for any information about Ambassadors and Osprey Club ken@rutlandwater.org.uk

We can visit your local school

The Education Team can visit local schools to give assemblies, or short presentations or educational activities. All the team are experienced teachers. More information about school visits is on our website at… www.ospreys.org.uk/visiting-your-school/
E-mail Ken for advice or to make a booking. ken@rutlandwater.org.uk

Visiting Lyndon to see the Ospreys

Educational groups can visit Lyndon to see the Rutland Ospreys. The best months to visit are May to July. If you would like to visit the Lyndon Reserve with any educational group, take a look at what the Rutland Osprey Education Team can offer at www.ospreys.org.uk/school-visit-information-video
It would be worth planning ahead to book your visit for 2018! Please offer us a choice of dates for you visit giving as much notice as possible.
E-mail Ken for visit advice or visit bookings at ken@rutlandwater.org.uk

HOT OFF THE PRESS – OSPREY PUBLICATIONS

Three osprey books for young people written by Ken Davies, feature the adventures and migrations of Ozzie the Osprey. All have been reprinted and are now available for sale at our Visitor Centres and in local bookshops in Oakham, Oundle and Peterborough. See www.ospreys.org.uk/childrens-books for full details. A special signed, updated, numbered, hardback limited edition of Ozzie Leads The Way is due in March 2018. Ken is currently writing a new story about wintering Ospreys in Senegal and the people who study them.

Jackie, Pete and Ken, Osprey Education Team

Coppicing and burning trees near Swan hide (Roy Edwards)

Winter Work Parties

This year the osprey team is taking a break from the annual trip to The Gambia (although if you caught our last blog you will see we’ve still been getting great osprey updates from West Africa!). Instead, we’ve been keeping busy at the Lyndon reserve, with weekly work parties led by Information Officer Paul Stammers.
A team of around 20 osprey monitoring volunteers keep volunteering throughout the winter, carrying out practical work on the reserve to ensure it remains in top condition for wildlife and for visitors.

Coppicing and burning trees near Swan hide (Roy Edwards)


The team have carried out a range of tasks this winter, including coppicing woodland, weaving willow fences, brush cutting and raking meadows, and cutting back hedges.

Breaking through tarmac to put in fence posts (Sarah Box)


Fence posts in (Sarah Box)


Willow weaving complete (Sarah Box)


Coppicing willow on the shoreline near Teal hide in December (Sarah Box)


After all the hard work everyone returns to the visitor centre for Paul’s homemade soup and cake made by volunteer Jan. Look at the excellent work party themed Christmas cake she made…

Thank you to all the volunteers who help keep Lyndon at its best over winter, ready for the return of the ospreys and the visitors they bring in the spring. It won’t be long now!

Sightings in the Sun

Sightings in the Sun

With all the recent snow, it now feels quite some time since we saw an osprey at Rutland Water, and whilst it won’t be long before they are here again, it is always great to hear news of Rutland birds out in West Africa. Volunteer Chris Wood is currently on holiday in Senegal, and has been spending some time at the Sine-Saloum Delta in the north of the country. This morning Chris got in touch today to report a sighting of 32(11)!

32(11) in Senegal


You may recall that this is not the first time 32(11) has been spotted in West Africa. He was seen in January of this year by members of the team, and was spotted for the first time back in 2016. 32 was born in Manton Bay back in 2011, to Maya and 5R(04) (making his grandfather the well-loved osprey 03(97)!). This time he was spotted on the same bit of salt marsh he was seen on in January. This is to be expected – we know from 30(05)’s data that ospreys return to the same place each winter, often to the exact same perch!

The weather in Senegal looks a lot more osprey-friendly than the current scene on Lagoon 4!

30's location over the past few days

By the Beach

Good news – 30(05) has arrived at her wintering grounds in Senegal! She finished the 3000 mile journey at 4pm on September 8th, and will remain on her patch of Senegalese beach now until spring next year.

3000 miles completed!

3000 miles completed!


30 slowed down a little as she reached the border between Mauritania and Senegal, probably stopping to fish at the river that separates the two countries.
30's location over the past few days

30’s location over the past few days


We are so pleased she arrived safely – she set off on the same day as Maya, so here’s hoping Maya has arrived safely at her winter home too, wherever that may be. Here is a close-up of the area 30 stays – a quiet spot with an unending supply of fish right on her doorstep!
A nice place to spend the winter

A nice place to spend the winter


As well as the good news about 30 we have something else to share with you – wonderful volunteer Dave Cole has made another brilliant video, this time of a juvenile osprey on Lagoon 4. The video features some great moments of osprey behaviour that we don’t see on our webcam, including the mid-air shake ospreys do after a good bath!

Today is the last day that the Lyndon centre is open to the public before it shuts for the winter, so we’d like to say thank you very much to everyone who visited and supported the project this season – we hope to see you again when the ospreys return in 2018! You will still be able to access the Lyndon reserve over the winter, and we will continue to keep you updated with osprey team news here on the blog.

30(05) is nearly there

Almost there

30(05) has travelled a further 341 miles since we last caught up with her on the evening of September 4th. On September 5th she crossed into Mauritania and spent some time near the coast at Banc D’arguin National Park in the late afternoon/evening.

30(05) is nearly there

30(05) is nearly there


30(05) stopped near the coast at Banc D'Arguin National Park

30(05) stopped near the coast at Banc D’Arguin National Park


We know this is a regular fishing spot for her – you may remember she stopped here on her spring migration earlier this year. The flight route from the UK to Gambia goes straight over Banc D’arguin National Park and back in March we shared this photo John Wright captured from the plane last year.
Banc D'arguin seen from the sky (JW)

Banc D’arguin seen from the sky (JW)


With another 200 or so miles to go, we expect with our next update 30 will have arrived at her destination!