Bless the wings

Yesterday was a great day! The storm the night before made the day dawn rather grey and misty, but the sun soon came out and it warmed up considerably!

33 caught two fish in the bay yesterday morning, right next to the nest! They were both smallish roach. It seemed that there was a shoal of them near the nest, as, no sooner had he brought in the second one, 33 attempted to dive again for another!

Here is the fishing machine flying in with one of his catches. You can see him coming in the distance behind the nest. When he lands with the fish, he drops it onto the nest and gets a bit tangled in the sticks!

33 landing with fish

33 landing with fish

33 lands with fish

33 lands with fish

Maya takes the fish

Maya takes the fish

Feeding chicks

Feeding chicks

 

We had another very successful Osprey Cruise on the Rutland Belle yesterday evening! It was a warm, calm evening – perfect weather for being out on a boat. We had some fantastic views of Ospreys, and there were two Ospreys at once for a while! We watched them glide and soar, and flap their long wings in that floppy, lazy way they do, as they searched intently for fish.

We knew that 33 had left the bay just before we left the harbour, and sure enough, when the boat sailed into the South Arm, he was flying towards us! We watched him as he circled here and there looking for fish, and he glided closer and closer to us… then he was upon us, flying straight over the boat, right above our heads! We all had to lean back and point our binoculars vertically skywards to see him soar over the top of us. A fantastic view!

Male Osprey 33(11) intruding in the bay

33(11), photo by John Wright

 

A bit later on, we were treated to another superb view of an Osprey flying over us. This time the bird was 28(10), my personal favourite. 28 is easily identifiable by his slightly damaged right wing, which makes his wing tip stick up in flight. He was the star of our cruises last season, and he has been again this year. It’s always lovely to see him! Even though he fishes at the River Gwash Trout Farm fairly often, he still uses the reservoir too, usually on cruise days!

Soaring across the blue sky

28(10), photo by John Wright

 

All of our Osprey Cruises so far this season have been very successful. They have all been completely sold out too! Places sell very fast, and it’s easy to see why – the views have been incredible! The next cruise we have is on Saturday 11th July. Click here to book your place! 

Male Osprey 5R - Rutland Water

Male Osprey, photo by John Wright

 

Today has also been a very good day. 33 brought a fish in early, which Maya was feeding to the chicks when the cameras were turned on at 08:00. 33 came back for it when the chicks had finished, and took it to the T-perch. When he brought it back again a while later, S1 got up and grabbed it! We knew it wouldn’t be long before the chicks began eating the fish for themselves!

S1 grabbing the fish

S1 grabbing the fish

 

Maya seemed a bit disgruntled about this, as she seems to still want to feed the chicks herself! Instead of letting S1 get on with eating the fish, she took it from her and fed her from it. S1 was the only chick interested – S3 and S2 were happily lying down either side of her as she ate. She didn’t object to Mum taking the fish, and sat amenably to be fed.

S1 feeding, S3 yawning

S1 feeding, S3 yawning

Close up of S3, S1 being fed

Close up of S3, S1 being fed

 

The chicks have been stretching those long wings again today, getting used to manoeuvring them around. They are still a bit ungainly and unpredictable with them, and keep accidentally hitting each other on the head!

Big wing stretch

Big wing stretch

S3 stretching her wing

S3 stretching her wing across S1’s head!

 

They have also been flapping a lot again today. All three chicks have had a go at exercising their wings, often very enthusiastically!

S1 and S3 flapping their wings, with S2 in the middle

S1 and S3 flapping their wings, with S2 in the middle

S2 flapping

S2 flapping

S2 flapping

S2 flapping

S1 flapping

S1 flapping

S1 flapping

S1 flapping

 

Here is a great shot showing all three chicks in a row, with all their rings on show!

All rings on show

All rings on show

 

And here is a lovely one of the three of them lying happily together, safely watched over by Mum.

All three chicks lying together

All three chicks lying together

 

In addition to the Ospreys, Water Voles have provided some entertainment today, and have been showing very well in front of Waderscrape hide! They are being seen more and more regularly now. This morning, two of them sat in the scrape in front of the hide, nibbling on reeds right in the open. There was a little fluffy one, and a much larger one, or vole-zilla as Osprey volunteer Anna described it! They were there practically all morning, and a lot of happy visitors, plus myself and Anna, got some amazing views!

IMG_5391

Water vole from Waderscrape hide, photo by Sue James

 

To round the day off, just as we were closing up the centre, 33 came in to the T-perch with a giant trout that was by no means dead! The wind had picked up this afternoon, and judging by the size of this fish, I wouldn’t be surprised if he took the easy option and popped to Ryhall to get it!

33 with huge trout

33 with huge trout

 

 

One response to “Bless the wings”

  1. Kate

    Brilliant as always
    Thank you so much
    Kate