Manton Bay

That’s my foot!

I was greeted by an empty nest this morning, which is good news as it means that T6 must be feeling better. She was flying around quite merrily today, going from perch to perch. She also spent a lot of time away from the nest yesterday afternoon. This bodes very well for a speedy recovery! The other two juveniles, T7 and T8, are beginning to spend more time away from Manton Bay altogether, and venture further afield. This is due to their growing sense of independence and confidence. It could mean that we stand a chance of seeing a Manton Bay juvenile on one of our osprey cruises!

The nest remained empty for most of the day, but there was a flurry of activity on it at four o’clock when 33 delivered a big roach. T7 and T8 were waiting there, calling loudly, and when 33 landed they both dived straight at his feet, trying to get to the fish first. T7 grabbed the fish, and T8 grabbed 33’s foot! Poor 33 – he soon flew off when T8 let him go!

33 being pulled

This happened last season on 6th August, when S2 made the same mistake and pulled 33 halfway across the nest by his foot!

 

 

 

Wild child

It’s been another beautiful day! All five Manton Bay ospreys have been active – even T6 left the nest and flew off for a while. She has been trying to walk around a bit more today, and although she is still clearly limping, her increased movement must mean it feels a bit better. Both Maya and 33 have caught fish today, Maya a roach and 33 a tench from right in front of Shallow Water hide! It is normal for females to begin to fish again when the chicks have fledged, this is the first time this season we have witnessed Maya fishing since March.

T6 T6 flies off

All the juveniles have fed today, T8 happily tucked into a large fish while T6 looked on, then when he had finished she ate the rest. We wondered if she would continue to struggle feeding herself with a bad leg, as usually ospreys will stand on one leg and hold onto the fish with the other. For the past few days, T6 has depended on Maya feeding her. Today though, she managed to hold the fish down with the leg that she was standing on (her left), leaving her injured right leg untroubled.

Maya busied herself with a bit of housework this afternoon, as some sticks had found their way into the middle of the nest and it looked rather untidy. This just won’t do! The ospreys continue to be proud of their nest right up until they leave at the end of the season. It often becomes untidy just before and after fledging, when the juveniles are jumping all over the place and accidentally knocking sticks off.

Maya

 

 

Time is a healer

T6 has been sitting on the edge of the nest for most of the day again today. However, she has not seemed in distress or unhappy, she has been alert, watching the goings-on and calling loudly for food. She has been fed several times again today by Maya, who still takes control of the fish 33 brings in. His favourite flavour at the moment appears to be tench. He went through a period of catching lots of tench last season, and due to the fact they are bottom-feeders, he must have access to a shallow water stash!

We were surprised to see T7 standing patiently to the side as Maya fed T6 in the above video. We expected her to muscle in and attempt to steal the fish or get Maya to feed her, but she made no move to do so and seemed content to wait her turn. This was great for T6 as it meant Maya fed almost the whole fish to her!

T6 tends to stay in one place a lot due to the apparent difficulty she has in putting weight onto her right leg. The injury could be from any number of things, from crash-landing, getting caught in something, or just a strain or sprain. We have been able to zoom the camera in and ascertain that her ring is not causing her any problems. We cannot tell if the issue is her leg, hip or foot, but she is doing the right thing in not using it much. As long as she is getting food, which she is, she will be receiving all the necessary nourishment and fluids, and, in addition to resting the limb, in time her injury will hopefully heal.

Fish

T6 before fledging

T6 before fledging

 

 

Getting better

Thankfully, T6 seemed to be a lot better this morning. She was alert and responsive to her surroundings, and appeared much brighter. She has also been moving around bit more, although she still spent most of the day on the nest. It definitely looks like she is having trouble weight bearing on her right leg. She was holding it up over the weekend and not standing fully on it, and today when she moved we could see she appeared to be limping. However, she has no trouble flying. More good news is that she has eaten today – Maya fed her twice this morning and again this afternoon, and T6 also attempted, with a degree of success, to eat a fish by herself.

We are hopeful that T6 will make a full recovery. Now that she is eating well, her energy levels will increase and she will have the reserves she needs to heal.

T6 in the sun

 

 

 

 

A slow improvement

Yesterday morning we reported that T6 had been looking severely unwell on the nest. The young female had spent over 12 hours with her eyes closed and head drooped. She continued in that vein for much of the day, apparently unable to move.

T6 was perched at the back of the nest for more than 12 hours

T6 was perched at the back of the nest for more than 12 hours

During situations like this it is always very tempting to try and intervene but we felt that in this case it was too risky to do so. There was every chance that if we approached the nest that T6 would take-off; which given the nest’s location over water, was a situation we wanted to avoid.

During the course of the day it became clear that rather than suffering from an illness, T6 may actually have injured her right foot. She appeared unable to put any weight on it and it was severely limiting her movement. This meant that whenever 33 landed on the nest with fish, her siblings beat her to the fish.

Despite going the whole day without fish, T6 was showing signs of improvement by yesterday evening. She seemed much more alert and made several short flights after 8pm.

Today T6 has continued to show small signs of improvement, making short flights between the nest and nearby T perches. The problem is that, like yesterday, she remains unsteady on her feet meaning she has missed out on fish when they have been brought to the nest.

What was needed was for Maya to feed T6, and that’s exactly what happened at 4:30, when she arrived on the nest with the remains of a fish. Unfortunately this didn’t amount to very much, but it did at least ensure that T6 had some nourishment.

We’re hopeful that if T6 is fed by Maya later this evening and tomorrow, that she will continue to improve. We’ll be sure to keep monitoring the situation closely.