Something fishy

Something fishy

Wow, what a glorious day it has been! Instead of having to cover the chicks to keep them dry during the rain, Maya has had to shade them with her shadow today to keep them cool. Over the past few days 33 has once again been raiding a stash of roach in the reservoir. Monday morning’s was arguably the largest – as you can see from the video below, it was a bit of a whopper!

Whopping fish

33 delivered the fish at 07:52, and Maya immediately fed some of it to the chicks. As it was so big they didn’t eat very much, and 33 came back for it at 08:16.

Huge

Later that same day he brought another rather large roach!

33 with big fish

Huge again

Yesterday morning, 33 brought in a lovely roach at 10:52. It didn’t all go to plan though! As it wasn’t quite dead, when he landed on the nest and let go of it, it managed to flap itself off the nest before Maya could grab it, and Maya and 33 just gazed bemusedly after it!

Seven minutes later, 33 appeared to spot something in the water and he took off the nest, then 13 seconds later he arrived back with a wriggling roach! We think it must be the same one that fell off the nest. 33 must have somehow injured it, making it unable to make a getaway.

33 with roach

Later in the evening 33 brought yet another roach in.

After seven feed

Today has not seen a lack of fish, either. At 12:46 33 delivered a live roach to the nest, which jumped about a bit before being grabbed by Maya.

33 with live one

Then at 14:28 he delivered a rather large pike. The chicks didn’t really seem that interested in it though. Perhaps they have had so much fish recently they just weren’t hungry! However, during the afternoon both of them had several short feeds from it.

There is certainly no food shortage for these two chicks, who are clearly thriving. Just look at how much the older one has changed since the weekend, and how much the smaller one has grown!

Pals So big!

 

 

 

Looking at Maya and 33

Osprey Club!

Ambassadors Visit to Lyndon              (by Pete Murray, Education Officer)

Sunday proved to be a lovely day with bright sunshine and blue skies over Rutland. At Lyndon the Osprey Ambassadors held their May Osprey Club during the afternoon, and seven local schools were represented by seventeen “Osprey Ambassadors”.

There was plenty of excitement in the hide for our youngsters and other visitors, with ospreys making some unsuccessful dives into the water in front of the hide to catch fish, plenty of flights around the nest, and a warning “fly-by” from 33 directed at other birds he considered were just too close to the nest site.

The hide telescopes, and the binoculars which we have for school groups, gave us a better view of the action, with the nest camera on screen in the hide for a better view inside the nest to see Maya feeding the chicks.

As always the other bird life in the reed beds and along the shore put on a good show. We had good views of sand martins, house martins, swallows feeding on insects above the water, and in the reed beds reed buntings and sedge warblers giving their raucous grating call. A languid flapping fight of a heron over the reed bed, a “swim-by” from two water voles, and after some strange squealing calls we had a brief appearance of a water rail . All right in front of the hide-what an afternoon!

The Osprey Ambassadors were given the May Osprey Presentation on a memory stick to take back to their schools, giving a pictorial report of the latest news from Lyndon, and a final reminder to children to send their “Ospreys and Us” movie competition entries to us this week!

Our thanks to parents and friends for bringing their Osprey Ambassadors from the following local schools: Leighfield Academy, Brooke Priory, Oakham C or E School, Casterton Primary School, Edith Weston Primary School, Edith Weston Primary School, Uppingham C of E School, and Brooke Hill Academy, and to the volunteers for in Waderscrape hide for their help!

Looking at Maya and 33

Looking at Maya and 33

Filling in the osprey activity record book

Filling in the osprey activity record book

Osprey fishing!

Osprey fishing!

Watching the osprey feet washing

Watching the osprey feet washing

Liz and Ken have a rest at the end of the osprey club

Liz and Ken have a rest at the end of the osprey club

 

 

Bring me sunshine

Bring me sunshine

Today has been filled with sunshine, and not a shower to be seen. I don’t mind the rain, though, it’s necessary and so refreshing! It also helps to create wonderful colourful displays in the sky, this image was taken from the the wide angle camera last night!

Rainbow behind nest

It’s been a busy day at Lyndon, with lots of visitors and also our special Osprey Club for our Osprey Ambassadors! Everyone was thrilled to see the two chicks thriving. As I mentioned yesterday, these chicks are going to grow very fast and change quickly. As you can see in the picture below, at only one week and a couple of days old, the bigger of the chicks is already changing, with the down beginning to disappear from the back of its head.

Back of chick's head

As we would expect, there have been several fish deliveries today! The first fish of the day was a perch at 04:42 this morning. The huge trout that 33 caught yesterday morning lasted all day, being eaten a little at a time, and no other fish were delivered after that, so this first fish of the day was very welcome. Apart from the fact that 33 very nearly dropped it onto the chicks!

Later on 33 delivered another perch at 11:15.

33 with fish

Then at 13:10 he came in with a huge pike! The pike was still alive, and almost snapped at Maya, who looked bemused! Eventually she took the pike from 33 and fed it to the chicks.

33 and pike

Pike!

They are very good at sharing fish – 33 came to collect what remained of the pike at 15:55, then brought it back again at 16:09 for Maya.

We don’t usually see very much aggression from osprey chicks, but every so often they get a bit boisterous and start pecking at each other. This has happened a few times in past seasons. At only one week old these two are already showing signs of aggression, although sometimes they bite the nest material not each other! In the video below you can see that it’s the smaller chick that starts it, then the bigger chick turns around to get its own back!

Here is another stick delivery from 33, which annoyingly gets placed at the front of the nest again! Oh well, soon the chicks will be much bigger and we won’t have problems seeing them. This video shows some good team work between Maya and 33, as they move the stick together!

What a cute picture of the smaller chick yawning under Maya!

Chick yawn

 

 

Shower the people

Shower the people

This morning was absolutely beautiful, and gave us all a lift after yesterday’s drizzle! The sunshine stayed constant for most of the morning, but it grew duller towards midday. We didn’t get any drizzle today, instead we had torrential downpours! The rain started at about half past eleven, then all through the afternoon we were treated to periods of sunshine followed by severe rainfall. Every time it rained Maya immediately covered the chicks to keep them dry.

Maya in the rain

The two chicks are looking incredibly good. They are getting fed so much fish their growth rate will be rapid, and in a couple of weeks they’ll look so different to the way they do now. Time always flies when we have growing chicks on the nest, as they change day to day. Soon their down will disappear and their colour will darken until they look almost black. Then feather pins will begin to push their way through, dotting the chicks with pinpricks of beige. At the moment, the chicks are still cute bundles of brown down, their eye-masks already evident and a prominent white stripe down their backs helping to keep them camouflaged.

White stripe and eye mask visible

White stripe and eye mask visible

 

Here is some fish footage as evidence of just how much food these two are getting! This first one was last night at 18:30.

Food last night

This morning, 33’s first fish delivery occurred at 05:20. It was a small roach which was incredibly fresh, as it was still alive! When 33 let it go it began flapping around in the nest, and Maya had a couple of attempts at grabbing it before finally managing to hold it down!

33 flying in with roach at sunrise

33 flying in with roach at sunrise

 

Later in the morning, at 07:40, 33 delivered a much bigger fish. This one was a trout and it lasted almost all day! The chicks have had several feeds from this huge trout, 33 won’t need to catch another one until much later.

Big trout

More of the trout

As we saw yesterday, the larger of the chicks was getting adventurous and had managed to move almost to the edge of the nest. This is fairly unusual for a one-week-old chick. Today, the same chick was once again getting bold and here it is trying to shuffle towards Maya – it can’t quite make it out of the dip in the nest this time though!

 

 

 

Ospreys and Us

Ospreys and Us

Ospreys and Us  by Pete Murray Rutland Osprey Project    (Education team)

The fact you are reading this makes you an important part of the Rutland Osprey community. Many use the website to keep up with the latest news through the Blog or the live Webcam, others visit the Lyndon Reserve to see the ospreys Maya and 33 on their nest in Manton Bay. Showing an interest and telling others about what is happening adds to the work done by the staff and huge number of volunteers here on the nature reserve at the Rutland Water Osprey Project! It is all these people who are a part this conservation initiative, now in its 21st year, who have made it such a success and will ensure its future.

Engaging the interest and enthusiasm of young people, particularly primary school children, is a very important part of the project. We see many families visiting the reserve, who bring their children and their friends to see the ospreys. There are many more, perhaps too far away to visit, who follow the latest news via the website.

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There are also teachers who make the Rutland Ospreys part of their lessons and get their classes or even the whole schools involved in osprey based activities as part of the school curriculum. We have over 300 schools registered on our website to use free the education materials and they also receive our monthly schools e-newsletter.

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We now have children in local schools who have become “Osprey Ambassadors”, taking the latest osprey news back to their school from Ambassadors Osprey Club each month.

So why is all this so important? It is the youngsters who are really the future of the Rutland Osprey project and it is great to see them grow up and take their interest in the Rutland Osprey project story with them to secondary school, college or university.

So, please inspire children you know with the Rutland Ospreys. It is these youngsters who will be the naturalists or conservationists of the future and in turn may in turn play an important part in projects like this one!

Want to do more- take a look below….

Making Movies – “Ospreys and Us” – Entries due in by 26th May

Time is short for individuals or groups of children to make and send us their short movie inspired by ospreys. There are separate primary and secondary school movie award categories.

Movies should be sent to us by Friday 26th May 2017.For more information about making and submitting your movie look in the Education section at by clicking here!

Winners will be invited to a world movie premiere, Ozzie’s “Ozcar” Awards on Wednesday 5th July held here at Rutland Water!

 Diving

Osprey Books – for children of all ages

Our readers and work books are all available at Lyndon Reserve. These form an important part of our school and reserve activities.

Take a look at our books page here!

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