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By Kayleigh Brookes on May 24, 2017
Wow, what a glorious day it has been! Instead of having to cover the chicks to keep them dry during the rain, Maya has had to shade them with her shadow today to keep them cool. Over the past few days 33 has once again been raiding a stash of roach in the reservoir. Monday morning’s was arguably the largest – as you can see from the video below, it was a bit of a whopper!
33 delivered the fish at 07:52, and Maya immediately fed some of it to the chicks. As it was so big they didn’t eat very much, and 33 came back for it at 08:16.
Later that same day he brought another rather large roach!
Yesterday morning, 33 brought in a lovely roach at 10:52. It didn’t all go to plan though! As it wasn’t quite dead, when he landed on the nest and let go of it, it managed to flap itself off the nest before Maya could grab it, and Maya and 33 just gazed bemusedly after it!
Seven minutes later, 33 appeared to spot something in the water and he took off the nest, then 13 seconds later he arrived back with a wriggling roach! We think it must be the same one that fell off the nest. 33 must have somehow injured it, making it unable to make a getaway.
Later in the evening 33 brought yet another roach in.
Today has not seen a lack of fish, either. At 12:46 33 delivered a live roach to the nest, which jumped about a bit before being grabbed by Maya.
Then at 14:28 he delivered a rather large pike. The chicks didn’t really seem that interested in it though. Perhaps they have had so much fish recently they just weren’t hungry! However, during the afternoon both of them had several short feeds from it.
There is certainly no food shortage for these two chicks, who are clearly thriving. Just look at how much the older one has changed since the weekend, and how much the smaller one has grown!
By Kayleigh Brookes on May 21, 2017
Today has been filled with sunshine, and not a shower to be seen. I don’t mind the rain, though, it’s necessary and so refreshing! It also helps to create wonderful colourful displays in the sky, this image was taken from the the wide angle camera last night!
It’s been a busy day at Lyndon, with lots of visitors and also our special Osprey Club for our Osprey Ambassadors! Everyone was thrilled to see the two chicks thriving. As I mentioned yesterday, these chicks are going to grow very fast and change quickly. As you can see in the picture below, at only one week and a couple of days old, the bigger of the chicks is already changing, with the down beginning to disappear from the back of its head.
As we would expect, there have been several fish deliveries today! The first fish of the day was a perch at 04:42 this morning. The huge trout that 33 caught yesterday morning lasted all day, being eaten a little at a time, and no other fish were delivered after that, so this first fish of the day was very welcome. Apart from the fact that 33 very nearly dropped it onto the chicks!
Later on 33 delivered another perch at 11:15.
Then at 13:10 he came in with a huge pike! The pike was still alive, and almost snapped at Maya, who looked bemused! Eventually she took the pike from 33 and fed it to the chicks.
They are very good at sharing fish – 33 came to collect what remained of the pike at 15:55, then brought it back again at 16:09 for Maya.
We don’t usually see very much aggression from osprey chicks, but every so often they get a bit boisterous and start pecking at each other. This has happened a few times in past seasons. At only one week old these two are already showing signs of aggression, although sometimes they bite the nest material not each other! In the video below you can see that it’s the smaller chick that starts it, then the bigger chick turns around to get its own back!
Here is another stick delivery from 33, which annoyingly gets placed at the front of the nest again! Oh well, soon the chicks will be much bigger and we won’t have problems seeing them. This video shows some good team work between Maya and 33, as they move the stick together!
What a cute picture of the smaller chick yawning under Maya!
By Kayleigh Brookes on May 20, 2017
This morning was absolutely beautiful, and gave us all a lift after yesterday’s drizzle! The sunshine stayed constant for most of the morning, but it grew duller towards midday. We didn’t get any drizzle today, instead we had torrential downpours! The rain started at about half past eleven, then all through the afternoon we were treated to periods of sunshine followed by severe rainfall. Every time it rained Maya immediately covered the chicks to keep them dry.
The two chicks are looking incredibly good. They are getting fed so much fish their growth rate will be rapid, and in a couple of weeks they’ll look so different to the way they do now. Time always flies when we have growing chicks on the nest, as they change day to day. Soon their down will disappear and their colour will darken until they look almost black. Then feather pins will begin to push their way through, dotting the chicks with pinpricks of beige. At the moment, the chicks are still cute bundles of brown down, their eye-masks already evident and a prominent white stripe down their backs helping to keep them camouflaged.
Here is some fish footage as evidence of just how much food these two are getting! This first one was last night at 18:30.
This morning, 33’s first fish delivery occurred at 05:20. It was a small roach which was incredibly fresh, as it was still alive! When 33 let it go it began flapping around in the nest, and Maya had a couple of attempts at grabbing it before finally managing to hold it down!
Later in the morning, at 07:40, 33 delivered a much bigger fish. This one was a trout and it lasted almost all day! The chicks have had several feeds from this huge trout, 33 won’t need to catch another one until much later.
As we saw yesterday, the larger of the chicks was getting adventurous and had managed to move almost to the edge of the nest. This is fairly unusual for a one-week-old chick. Today, the same chick was once again getting bold and here it is trying to shuffle towards Maya – it can’t quite make it out of the dip in the nest this time though!
By Kayleigh Brookes on May 19, 2017
We have some more sombre news to report I’m afraid. The fourth chick, whose arrival we were eagerly awaiting, has sadly died. Looking back through the recordings we have discovered that it hatched yesterday evening. A crack was visible in the egg at 19:49, and you can just see the chick moving inside it in the below video, in the gap between those awkward sticks!
At 20:04 the chick hatched fully, just visible here in front of Maya.
Maya stayed on the chicks all night, keeping them warm and dry. This morning, volunteer Peter informed us that she had been moving some egg shell at 07:26 this morning, making us think that perhaps the chick had just hatched.
Unfortunately, due to the sticks at the front of the nest, our view is impinged and we found it difficult to work out what was going on. But when a fish came in and there were clearly only two chicks, we knew something had to be wrong. We then had a view of the egg, and at first thought that it hadn’t hatched yet, but then it rotated and we could see it was just an empty shell.
On further scrutiny we noticed that there appeared to be a downy lump lying motionless in the nest near the other two chicks. Thanks to the recording system we were able to then rewind throughout the day and into yesterday, discovering when the chick hatched. We then found evidence that the chick was already motionless in the nest as early as 06:30 this morning. In the picture below you can just see a head to the right of the chick on the right…
As she did with the other chick, at 14:31 Maya removed the body of this one from the nest.
We expect that this chick did not live for very long after hatching, perhaps even only a matter of minutes. We can’t know why it did not survive, but it’s most likely that it simply wasn’t strong enough. Laying four eggs is fairly unusual, having them all hatch even less so. Chicks dying soon after hatching is not an uncommon thing, it is nature and it’s true that you have to be strong to survive. Raising a brood of two is still fantastic, and we are thankful that the two chicks are both healthy, are feeding extremely well and look very strong.
The larger of the two is already becoming very adventurous!
By Holly Hucknall on May 18, 2017
The weather has been glorious at Rutland today, and we feel all the more grateful for it after yesterdays downpour!
Our ospreys have been making the most of the fairer conditions, and were up early today, with 33 bringing in the first fish at 4.45am – so early that our camera was still filming in infared!
Once again, 33 had bought in a big roach, and both our chicks got a great first meal of the day.
At around 06.40 this morning, Maya flew to the T-perch and left 33 alone on the nest with the chicks and the remaining egg. He kept walking around the nest, getting closer to the chicks and backing away again – almost like he wanted to incubate the remaining egg, but didn’t know how to approach the task with 2 chicks in the way! Maya eventually came to relieve him, but we got some lovely views of him on the nest with the chicks in the sunshine.
33 has continued to bring sticks to the nest, and Maya has been moving them around – sometimes drawing a sharp intake of breath from us at the centre when they get a bit too close to the chicks! We have been worrying unnecessarily though as they miss them every time. Both 33 and Maya have been busy home-making today, adding to and adjusting the nest.
Unfortunately all this building means we still don’t have a great view of the chicks and the remaining egg! We thought today could be the day when the final chick hatched, although it is looking like it could be tomorrow now – we are waiting for Maya reaching down to feed a mouth that maybe we can’t see, as the other 2 chicks are strong enough to lift their heads well into view now.
We have also had a couple of intruders overhead today, not close enough to come into view of the camera but close enough to upset 33 and Maya. In this video 33 spreads himself out on the nest and the chicks are protected under his wing.
Our chicks have had regular feeds throughout the day and are both looking healthy and strong. The weather is looking to go downhill again tomorrow, but as we know from yesterday this shouldn’t stop Maya and 33 providing for them!