Manton Bay

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

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!

Season’s end

It’s amazing how quickly the season goes, September always creeps up rather rapidly! All of the ospreys have now departed – there was a late-leaving juvenile who was hanging around Lagoon 4 for a while, but he has now left us too. The Lyndon Centre’s last day was Sunday 10th September, and that evening we celebrated with a thank you event to our osprey volunteers, with drinks, food and entertainment! Volunteers are vital to the success of the project, and we really can’t thank them enough. 

This season has been incredible – with eight breeding pairs we have had the best breeding success to date. 15 chicks successfully fledged this season, which makes our total number of fledged ospreys a whopping 132! Visitor numbers were high again this year, over 26,000 people came to see the ospreys at the Lyndon Reserve! We would like to thank everyone who visited us at Lyndon, followed us online and watched our webcam, your support is vital and we hope to see you again next year! The webcam is now offline, and will be reinstated next spring, when the Lyndon Centre opens again in March.

Here is a great video showing highlights of the 2017 season, created by our wonderful Information Officer Holly Hucknall. If you visited us at Birdfair or earlier this month, you may have already seen this, but if so it’s worth watching again!

 

 

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.

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!