Cancellation of Osprey Concert

It is with regret that I have had to make the decision to cancel the charity concert planned for Friday 1st July. The concert was to have been a join venture between The Rutland Osprey Project and local community choir Global Harmony.

Global Harmony had offered their services to help raise funds for the project’s work at Rutland Water and in Africa, and for this I am extremely grateful, and apologise to members of the choir who had been working hard on the music.

I understand the disappointment this cancellation has caused Global Harmony and those few people that had purchased tickets, but I felt that numbers did not justify staging the concert.

Once again I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Paul Stammers, Project Officer.

The two of us

The two of us

The hatching of the first chick is always a highlight of any Osprey season and so by the time I went to leave the Lyndon Visitor Centre on Saturday evening, it had already been a great day. Then it got even better. I received an unexpected call from volunteers Mick Lewin and John Spencer in Waderscrape hide saying that they thought the second chick was beginning to hatch. Sure enough when I looked at the screen I could see a wing emerging from the egg!

Maya was very restless, shuffling around on the nest – which was hardly surprising given what was happening underneath her! Slowly but surely the chick emerged…

Nearly out

…and an hour later it was fully visible.

Osprey chicks usually have their first feed a few hours after hatching and both chicks were fed by Maya yesterday evening.

Soon after first light this morning 33 caught a trout at Horn Mill Trout Farm and the two youngsters enjoyed an early morning breakfast. Then at around 2pm 33 delivered a jack pike to the nest. Maya is an experienced mother and she was careful to ensure that the two youngsters received a fair share of the fish. With such a protein-rich diet the chicks will grow quickly, and they already look stronger and larger than they did 24 hours ago.

Maya took the opportunity to feed herself this evening - it is important she keeps her strength up too

Maya took the opportunity to feed herself this evening – it is important she keeps her strength up too

Two chicks

The first view of the newly-hatched chick

Hatching in Manton Bay

Over the past few days we’ve been eagerly anticipating hatching at the Manton Bay nest, and this morning it happened.

At 8:22 Maya stood up to reveal that a chick had started to emerge from one of the eggs. The views were frustratingly brief, but we managed to get a short piece of video of the magical moment when we saw the tiny youngster for the first time.

The first view of the newly-hatched chick

The first view of the newly-hatched chick

As the morning progressed Maya continued to brood the youngster, sheltering it from a cold northerly wind. By late morning the chick was fully out of its shell.

Soon afterwards 33 came to the nest to have look, giving Maya the chance to stretch her wings.

Although very weak at first, by mid-afternoon the young chick was strong enough to hold it’s head up. Here’s a nice close-up. As you’ll see, it already looks like an Osprey!

Chick close-up

Osprey chicks hatch in the order the eggs were laid and so the two remaining chicks should appear in the next few days. Keep watching the webcam, or even better, come and visit us at Lyndon.

The youngest chick was knocked onto it's back by the big one!

David and Goliath

It’s been a beautiful warm early June day at Lyndon and we’ve had plenty of action on the Manton Bay nest to keep us entertained.

After their usual morning fish (a roach) from which all of the chicks had a good feed, not only did the weather heat up, but so did the action on the nest. We’re not seeing much fighting between the three youngsters, but occasionally the older chick throws it’s weight around. That’s certainly what happened in the video below. As you’ll see, despite being knocked onto its back, the youngest chick still put up a good fight!

The youngest chick was knocked onto it's back by the big one!

The youngest chick was knocked onto it’s back by the big one!

In past few days, trout, roach and perch have all been on the menu, but today we had a new fish of the day. Well, three fish of the day to be exact. At 14:45, 33 arrived at the nest with a tench; the first one we have seen him catch this year. Tench are usually bottom-feeding fish, but in the warm, sunny weather he probably found a shoal of them basking on the surface.

The whole family had a really good feed, but it didn’t stop 33. At 15:45 he returned with a second tench, which was still alive when he landed on the nest with it…

None of the chicks were hungry so the fish was left uneaten in the middle of the nest.

Then, would you believe, at 16:20, 33 made it a hat-trick of tench. By now the second fish was almost completely covered in nest material; which was sticking to the slimy skin of the fish. With his family clearly not interested, 33 flew off to the t perch and tucked into a well-earned meal.

The second tench was still lying in the middle of the nest when 33 arrived with the third. The chicks weren't interested!

The second tench was still lying in the middle of the nest when 33 arrived with the third. The chicks weren’t interested!

As if all the action on the nest wasn’t interesting enough, we have news of another returning 2013 Manton Bay chick. Following the arrival of his sister, 3J, a few weeks’ ago, 1J intruded at the nest this afternoon. We’ll have some photos of 1J tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s a photo of him on the nest two years ago.

Welcome home 1J!

1J (left) on the nest with his two siters - 3J and 2J - two years ago

1J (left) on the nest with his two siters – 3J and 2J – two years ago

The fact there is so much fish on the nest means that the smallest chick always get a feed

Fighting fit

If you have been watching the webcam today, you’ll know that 33 has continued to prove his fishing prowess. Quite a bit of last night’s roach was left over on the nest this morning and 33 then delivered another huge roach that lasted most of the day. This ensured that all three chicks have had a good feed.

The two largest chicks are always first to be fed

The two largest chicks are always first to be fed

The two larger youngsters are always first to be fed, but the size of fish provided by 33 ensures that, once they have had their fill, there is still plenty left over for the smallest chick – who we know some of you have been worried about.

The fact there is so much fish on the nest means that the smallest chick always get a feed

The fact there is so much fish on the nest means that the smallest chick always gets a feed

As they get older Osprey chicks often become aggressive towards each other, and we saw the first signs of that today from the eldest and largest of the youngsters.

This kind of aggression is quite common among Osprey chicks and shouldn’t be a problem as long as 33 continues to provide enough fish. At nests where there isn’t enough food to go around, these kind of bullying tactics ensure that the largest chicks get most of the food and that smaller, submissive chicks suffer. Fortunately 33 is such a good provider that even the smallest chick should gain weight and be able to stand up for itself!

The oldest chick is already showing signs of being a bully!

The oldest chick is already showing signs of being a bully!