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By Kayleigh Brookes on July 28, 2015
The Ospreys have been very active again today, and all five have been present in the bay for most of the day. 33 did all of his fishing early in the morning again, and we had a repeat of Sunday, where there were too many fish to go around! It’s great that the juveniles are being so well cared for, and this abundance of food stands them in good stead for their migration in a few weeks’ time.
Here is another superb video filmed by Dave Cole. This video contains a brilliant assortment of Osprey footage, and also shows some of the other wildlife that can be seen from Shallow Water hide on the Lyndon Nature Reserve. Many thanks to Dave for this and all of his other videos.
In other news, a few weeks ago George Peach, Director of IEPUK, ran his first half-marathon to raise money for the project’s education work in Gambia. We’re incredibly grateful to George – a long-standing supporter of the project – for raising over £300. This money will enable us to run field trips for students at five Gambian schools this winter, led by Junkung Jadama. You can read more about George’s run on the IEPUK website. To read more about the project’s work in Gambia, click here.
By Kayleigh Brookes on July 27, 2015
The young Ospreys in Manton Bay have been having the time of their lives since they fledged just over a week ago. They look so natural on the wing now, there is no uncertainty anymore – they are twisting, turning, soaring and gliding with such grace, you would think they had been doing this for much longer than they have.
They are quickly gaining in confidence and becoming more adventurous, but they will not leave the bay just yet, as they know they still get fed on the nest, so won’t want to stray far from it. However, they are spending a lot of time on the wing and flying around in the bay, often very close to the hides, giving visitors to the Lyndon Reserve a very thrilling close-up experience!
The hides certainly are the best place to see the Ospreys at this time of year, as the birds don’t come to the nest very often anymore, only when fish are brought in or if they fancy a lie down! We still have the live camera in the Lyndon Centre for when they do so, of course, and have a myriad of highlights to play, should anyone wish to see them.
Nevertheless, the bay is where the action is, and John has been spending a lot of time down there recently. This is great news, as it means we have some of his fabulous photos to share! All of the photos shown below were taken by John Wright.
The youngsters have all had a go at dunking themselves in the water, never bringing up more than algae and weed, but they are having a go nonetheless! They are almost certainly mimicking the behaviour of the adults when watching them fish, which is how they will learn to do it for themselves.
They are also finding new and potentially hazardous places to perch!
We much prefer it when we see them sitting on fallen trees, which is a much safer alternative to electricity pylons!
They also spend a lot of time sitting on the T-perch, and they are getting better at landing on it! Here is S3 coming in to land with Maya and S1.
This period of their lives is a learning curve for these young Ospreys, and they have been finding out about the other birds with which they share the bay. Several times the juvenile Ospreys have upset a rather territorial female Mallard, who has chased them off in no uncertain terms! It’s Osprey vs. Mallard!
It’s wonderful to watch these carefree young birds as they find their wings and learn about the world around them.
By Kayleigh Brookes on July 26, 2015
It was a rainy, miserable sort of day today, but there was no shortage of fish for the Ospreys! 33 brought in three trout this morning in the space of two hours! He kept one for himself, and the other two were deposited on the nest, and got eaten by just about everybody at some point during the day.
33 clearly decided to get ahead of the game, and do all of his fishing early this morning before the rain set in. He has had an easy Sunday, as those large trout have kept his family well fed all day! It’s been all about the fish today, which is great news because it means the birds have been on the nest quite a bit!
Here are all three juveniles on the nest this morning. S3 was eating a fish, while S2 looked on, then S1 joined them. It looked to begin with like there was just one fish, then we noticed there was another one under S3’s left foot!
Later on, S1 and Maya happily tucked into a fish each!
Here is a nice shot of S3 flying off the nest after having had her fill of fish. For the moment, anyway – she came back for some more later!
When S3 came back later for more fish, she sat for a while watching S1 eat. She didn’t seem to notice there was an unattended fish lying in the nest! Eventually, she did realise there was another fish there for the taking, and claimed it for herself.
Although we know that all three juveniles are quite capable of eating fish themselves, occasionally their inherent laziness takes over… This evening at around 17:30, Maya was sitting on the T-perch with the remains of a trout, and she was feeding S3, who sat patiently next to her!
Then a bit later on, S2 was on the nest getting fed by Mum!
In other news… yesterday, we had a call from our friends in Wales, to tell us that they had a visit from another Rutland female – 3J(13)! You may remember the day we first learned of 3J’s return. She was the first of the 2013 brood to return to the UK, and she was first seen in early May at Ferry Meadows Country Park in Peterborough. A few weeks later she visited Manton Bay, then also intruded at several of our other nest sites, including Site B. Now, it appears she has wandered even more widely, and has turned up at Glaslyn near Porthmadog in North Wales!
By Kayleigh Brookes on July 25, 2015
What a brilliant Osprey Cruise we have just had! It was a beautiful evening to be out on the water. The weather was absolutely perfect – the sun was shining, the wind was merely a whisper, and, contrary to the title of my earlier blog, it wasn’t cold! Here is a lovely photograph of Normanton Church, taken on tonight’s cruise by Paul Stammers.
We saw several Ospreys tonight, mostly in the South Arm, where we headed first. The South Arm has been the best place to see Ospreys recently, and tonight that held true again. We spotted one ahead of us as we sailed west along the reservoir. The Osprey was soaring above the poplar trees right at the edge of the sailing limit. We watched as he circled, hovered, circled again, then unfortunately he moved on, away from us. All was not lost, as we soon spotted another Osprey, who gave us a very close fly-by of the boat!
Later on, just as we were nearing home, as the light was fading and the evening was nearing an end, we had a superb view of yet another Osprey! The light was just right, giving us a perfect view of the colouring of the bird’s beautifully patterned white and brown speckled underwings.
We may not have seen an Osprey fish, but we had some fabulous views of Ospreys flying, and it was with smiling faces that we disembarked the Rutland Belle. Here’s to another superb cruise! As we are nearing the end the end of the season, the Osprey Cruises will also draw to a close at the end of August. There are five cruises left that still have availability, click here to see them all!
On another note, I am very happy to tell you that the wide angle camera view is back! I checked it today, just on the off-chance the muck had miraculously cleared itself off, and it turns out miracles do happen! Look at that view!
By Kayleigh Brookes on July 25, 2015
Well it started off quite chilly this morning, and the wind was whipping through the windows in the hides. Yesterday was fairly cold too, and rather wet, and we wondered where summer had gone! However, it has warmed up somewhat now, and of course the beauty of the new Waderscrape hide means we can still see even if the windows are shut!
The Manton Bay Ospreys continue to entertain and delight visitors to the Lyndon Nature Reserve. All five Ospreys are often seen in the bay all at once, and there are antics you can witness from the hide that you can no longer see on the cameras. John Wright and Dave Cole have provided us with superb footage filmed from the hides in the bay recently, which really gives an insight into the lives of these special birds!
Luckily for us in the Lyndon Centre, the Ospreys still occasionally visit the nest when they feel like it – usually when fish arrives! Here are some videos and images we captured of the birds over the last few days.
The following video was taken on Friday night. The juveniles were all sitting happily on the nest, tucking into a fish, when suddenly they all spooked and took flight. We learned from our volunteers that a helicopter flying much too low came right over the Osprey nest, which, naturally, scared all of the birds! There is a reason Ospreys are protected, and there is a reason aircraft is not allowed to fly low over the nature reserve! We hope this does not happen again.
We have been getting some brilliant photographs sent to us by visitors to the reserve. These two were taken by Malcolm Hupman, of S2 sitting in the dead tree near Waderscrape hide. Many thanks to Malcolm for these!