First to the fish

First to the fish

We’ve had lots of action on the nest over the past couple of days, with our chicks spending plenty of their time there. Yesterday the action started early as we witnessed 2AM eating a fish on the nest at around 4.20am, in complete darkness! This is quite unusual for our ospreys – perhaps he was hoping that by starting early he could eat in peace without any hassle from 2AN?

Later 33 spent some time adding to the nest, bringing in a grassy clump just after 7am and a large amount of hay at around 10.15am.


2AM soon took advantage of this cosy addition to the nest and quickly settled down in the new hay! 33 looked like he was thinking about mantling at an intruder around about this time so it’s possible 2AM was dropping down to camouflage himself, and the new hay provided the perfect spot to blend into.

He stayed there for quite a while…
Cosy
…before shifting around to face the other way (his body at least!)

2AN looking at the camera

2AN looking at the camera


Settling down on the nest like this meant 2AM was in prime position to grab the first whole fish of the day, when it eventually arrived at 1.31pm.

It is quite unusual for 2AM to beat 2AN to a fish, and his inexperience at tucking into a whole fish showed as he struggled to break off that first piece – in all it took him 5 minutes to get his first mouthful!

After that there was no stopping him though – in total he spent around 50 minutes eating the fish, even managing to hold onto it when 2AN landed on the nest at around 2pm.

The only brief distraction from eating came when Maya dive bombed a cormorant just behind the nest!

It was around 2.20pm when Maya landed on the nest, throwing 2AM off his stride – Maya then took some of the trout innards 2AM had left to the side of the fish after struggling to eat them whole. A minute or so later 2AN then started tucking into the trout (Warning – the ‘Innards’ video is not for the squeamish!)


We had a wet and blustery start to the day at Lyndon this morning, but that didn’t deter 33 from fishing. He brought in the first fish at 05.36 this morning, and we saw a return to the status quo as 2AN immediately took the fish, with 2AM this time being the one to get some trout innards!


Later, at around quarter past 6, Maya got her turn with the fish.

We’ve also seen some nesting material brought to the nest this morning, firstly by 2AM who arrived with a bit of poplar tree, probably accidentally as it seemed to be stuck to his foot!

He then left the leaves in the middle of the nest as he took a walk around the edge, but later when he finally left the nest the leaves seemed to be stuck to his foot again.

33 also brought a lovely lichen-covered stick to the nest at around 08.42.

To end today’s blog, here is a sequence of photos showing our chicks practicing their synchronized wing flapping yesterday afternoon!
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Guest to the nest

Guest to the nest

We had an exciting start yesterday morning – we’d not been at the centre long when an intruding osprey landed on the nest, right next to 2AN! It was 25(10) – a breeding female from an offsite nest. You may remember her from earlier in the season as she also landed on the nest on March 25th, a week after her return to Rutland. It is likely that she is enjoying some freedom now her own chicks are becoming more independent. At the time of her visit 33 was off fishing, and we think Maya was chasing off another intruder as she was nowhere to be seen. 2AN didn’t seem worried by the intrusion and remained on the nest the whole time – altogether 25(10)’s visit lasted around 2 minutes.


And here is her intrusion from earlier in the year, March 25th – where she was not welcomed quite as warmly!

25 on nest yesterday

25 on nest yesterday


With juveniles from many of the other nests around Rutland having now fledged, it will be interesting to see if we have any other birds land on the nest in the coming weeks.
Will we have other visitors joining the chicks on the nest soon?

Will we have other visitors joining the chicks on the nest soon?


It has been a busy start to the weekend here at Lyndon, with the school holidays kicking off and many families having a go at our special school holiday Osprey challenge, for the chance to win an osprey prize (ask at the centre if you’d like to have a go)! Our Manton Bay family have been keeping visitors well entertained, along with quite a few intruding ospreys overhead today.
Together
We saw something a little unusual after yesterdays fish delivery. 33 brought the trout to the nest and, as we’ve come to expect, 2AN took it straight from him.

2AM then had a turn, and for a while he was fed by Maya too – again, so far so normal.

Then, later in the day, we saw 2AN being fed by Maya! This hasn’t happened for a while now – maybe 2AN was feeling a bit lazy after all her recent flights exploring the area and time spent bathing in the Bay.

Today the weather at Lyndon has been a bit hit and miss – some sunny spells this morning but plenty of rain too this afternoon! Maya brightened up the nest with a bit of greenery earlier.

And even though the sky has been mostly grey today, the nest looks especially lovely after rain – all the lichen on the sticks becomes beautifully bright.
bright lichen

Watching the fish arrive

All eyes on 33

What a glorious start to the week it has been at Lyndon! The weather has been beautiful and our osprey family have been taking it easy in the bay. Late yesterday afternoon, 33 arrived with a fish. Instead of bringing it directly to the nest he landed briefly on the perch above the camera and for a moment all eyes were on him!

Watching the fish arrive

Watching the fish arrive


A minute or so later he brought it to the nest, and for once 2AM was the one to get to it first (despite 2AN having a go).

25 minutes later, 2AN seemed to have grown tired of watching 2AM eating and snatched the fish from his talons.

When she’d finally had enough, Maya came to the nest and fed 2AM a little more. In contrast to 2AN, who has been independent for a while now, 2AM is still happy to be fed by Maya when the opportunity presents itself.

This morning the first fish of the day came in at 05.27. Maya took the fish initially to a perch nearby, and had a quick meal before returning it to the nest 10 minutes later.

Roach 05.27
2AN and 2AM then both got their share, respecitvely!

There was an intruding osprey in the area at around half 7 this morning, and 33 returned to defend the nest. There have been another couple of very brief intrusions as the day has gone one, bringing 33 to the nest for no longer than a few seconds.

Other than that it has been a very quiet day on the nest, with the only other bit of action being when 33 brought a stick in at around twenty past ten this morning.

We don’t know what is going on just out of view of course – our ospreys could be having a very busy day!

33 seen from the boat

Two heads are better than one

Yesterday saw possibly our best osprey cruise to date this season take place, with 11 different sightings of ospreys (and at least 4 individual birds)! Information Officer Paul Stammers, who was leading the cruise, reported that for the brief periods there weren’t ospreys in the vicinity, there were barn owls to watch instead! All in all a brilliant wildlife cruise for all aboard the Rutland Belle. Our next cruise with availability is Wednesday 26th July – for more information on cruises or to book your place, click here.

33 seen from the boat

33 overhead on a recent cruise!

Here in the bay our osprey chicks are getting bolder, and beginning to fly slightly further afield – visitors to Lyndon are getting brilliant views of the chicks flying around the bay from Waderscrape hide. They have been really well fed over recent days, with 33 bringing plenty of fish to the nest and the chicks polishing them off pretty quickly. 33 is no longer the only provider though, as on Friday night Maya brought her first fish of the season back to the nest too! It was a small pike, most likely caught from Manton Bay. 2AM gratefully took the pike from Maya and even managed to keep hold of it when 2AN tried to take it off him – he was likely hungry after earlier watching 2AN polish off most of a trout, leaving him with just the tail for dinner!

Just before 9.30pm, 33 brought a large roach to the nest which both chicks got a good share of, filling them up for what was left of the day.

Yesterday morning 33 brought a roach to the nest.

Not long after, we discovered perhaps the only thing that could stop 2AN digging into a fresh meal – an intruder overhead! 33 returned to mantle on the nest and 2AN was temporarily put off her breakfast.

Once the intruder had left, 2AN continued to eat for a bit before flying off, leaving some fish on the nest. When Maya came to eat her share a bit later, it seemed as though 2AN had pushed the remaining fish under some sticks before she left, maybe hiding it from the rest of the family! Maya quickly dug it out though.

2AN’s funny feeding antics continued today when we saw her with both talons on a trout trying to balance as she ate.

Finally here is a shot of 2AN and 2AM on the nest yesterday doing their best impression of a 2-headed osprey – not a bad attempt!
2 heads

Learning to land

Learning to land

Now our chicks have fledged, they are spending more time exploring the bay and less time on the nest. This means visitors to the hide get amazing views, but we are sometimes left watching an empty nest on the webcam! We do get to see some action when a fish is brought to the nest though, and yesterday evening 33 delivered a headless roach at around 17.20 – of course 2AN was the first to it.

When 2AN had eaten enough, Maya then took the fish and fed 2AM.

Not for long though, as 2AN decided she hadn’t had enough and took the fish back from Maya!

This morning 33 delivered the first (and only, so far) fish of the day at 6.10.

Other than fish being delivered to the nest, it has been quite a quiet weekend if you’ve been watching the webcam! Thankfully, Field Officer John Wright has been spending time photographing the ospreys from the hide over the past few days and has provided us with some brilliant photos of our juveniles, as well as some amazing shots of Maya chasing off a cormorant and a marsh harrier! After so long watching the birds on the webcam, it’s great to be able to see what is going on from a different viewpoint.

2AM jumping

2AM jumping

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2AN with 33

2AN with 33

2AN taking off

2AN taking off

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2AN flying

2AN flying

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2AM helicoptering

2AM helicoptering

2AM attempting to land

2AM attempting to land

Juveniles

Juveniles

2AN landing

2AN landing

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Maya chasing off a cormorant!

Maya chasing off a cormorant!

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Maya and a Marsh Harrier

Maya and a Marsh Harrier

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2AN

2AN


The chicks have become incredibly competent at flying in such a short space of time – the only time you can tell they are inexperienced is when they try and land somewhere they shouldn’t. Today 2AM made a few attempts at landing on the top of the poplar trees behind the nest – they were far too flimsy to support his weight! Here he is this morning perched on the very edge of the nest.
2AM on edge