Manton Bay

Ospreys in the mist

Today started off rather foggy! You can see from this image on the wide angle camera that the visibility was not very good first thing this morning. You can barely see Maya on the nest in this photo!


Happily, by lunchtime the fog had mostly cleared and the sun had come out! Here is 33 sitting sunning himself.

Nice day

The pair have been busy building their nest once again, as they will continue to do throughout the season. The main thing they need to ensure at the moment is that the centre of the nest is safe for the eggs to be laid, so both ospreys have been scraping out the centre to create a neat egg cup. Yesterday the main material of choice was hay. Today, 33 delivered several small sticks and a lump of turf! 33 seemed content with his placement of the turf, but later on Maya decided to move it to a different location.

33 with tiny stick

33 with a tiny stick


In addition to the turf and small sticks, 33 also brought in a larger stick, and deposited it right on top of Maya! 33 appeared to get his foot stuck in it too, but eventually both birds disentangled themselves from it.

There was a bit of excitement at about 14:10 when an intruder came by! Maya and 33 immediately came to the nest and mantled to protect what’s theirs. 33 was very upset and got down really low in the nest. The intruder didn’t come close enough for an ID, and eventually left the bay, leaving the resident pair in peace.

Here are a couple of nice action shots of 33 and Maya flying in to and from the nest today!

33 taking off 33 flies off

Maya flying in

33 caught a huge trout just before 5pm, and spent some time eating the head before bringing it to Maya on the nest at 17:25.

Here comes 33




Hay there partner

Life in Manton Bay has been idyllic for our osprey pair since their return last Wednesday. They have been busy every day adding bits and pieces to their nest, both birds have been scraping and they have been raiding the hay feeder in the nearby field for lovely soft nest lining!

33 with hay

33 went on several fishing forays today before he was successful. Thanks to a call from our volunteers in Waderscrape hide, we were looking out of the window at the right time to see 33 swoop down towards the water in front of the Lyndon Centre. He appeared to have caught hold of something, as he remained in the water for well over a minute, flapping his wings and trying to rise. However, when he eventually lifted from the water he had nothing in his talons, therefore he must have caught hold of a fish that was too big, and had to give up and let it go.

Later, he managed to grab himself a large trout which he brought to Maya after eating his share.

33 with fish

On Friday afternoon the wind was quite strong and made fishing for 33 rather difficult, as the reservoir was whipped into waves. He attempted to fish several times in the reservoir before giving up and going to Horn Mill Trout Farm! Geoff Harries was there to capture the following shots of him.

Osprey 33 in action 2 Osprey 33Close up osprey 33

The pair have been mating several times each day, which will ensure that the forthcoming eggs Maya produces will be fertile.

Often 33’s mating attempts are successful, as the one above, but occasionally he seems to forget what to do, and just ends up sitting on Maya’s back!

There is plenty of time for Maya to produce eggs, the pair have only been back for five days. Last season the first egg was laid nine days after 33 joined Maya in Manton Bay, so this year we could see an egg before April! Generally, it takes around two weeks for ospreys to lay after being reunited with their partner. Therefore we should certainly see the first egg laid sometime in the first week of April!



Stuck on you

We have news of 30(05) – as Kayleigh predicted she has bypassed the Bay of Biscay and instead is heading north along the coast. This makes sense, as weather conditions in Europe have not been on the side of our migrating ospreys, so by steering clear of an almost 300-mile stretch of open water, 30(05) has been able to avoid being caught out by unfavorable winds whilst out at sea.

30(05) is avoiding crossing the Bay of Biscay

30(05) is avoiding crossing the Bay of Biscay

30(05) traveled 131 miles on March 24th, and we last received data for her at 2pm on March 25th (yesterday), a very quiet day for 30(05), as she had only travelled just over 3 miles. We think she is most likely having a rest after battling the inclement weather, which is not unusual for ospreys on migration. When we zoomed in on the map to get a closer look at 30(05)’s resting location, we could see she had spent most of the day on the 25th flying around the grounds of a private French chateau, most probably stopping to fish in the ornamental lake!

Weather conditions are due to get better soon so we hope to see 30(05) back at Rutland early in the upcoming week – we will keep you updated with news of her progress.

Meanwhile at Manton Bay, Maya and 33 have been very busy adding to their nest, and can regularly be spotted from Waderscrape hide bringing in nesting material. This has made for some quite comical viewing, especially when 33 is involved – he is quite the clumsy homemaker!

This afternoon Maya caught her tail feathers on the huge stick 33 bought in early this morning – luckily she easily slipped out of this sticky situation and regained her composure.

33 can often be seen bringing in sticks and spending quite a while positioning them, only for Maya to rearrange them more neatly when she has the nest to herself. She doesn’t always wait though, and at about 7.20am this morning we saw quite an entertaining ‘tug-of-war’ between the two of them.

Maya and 33 have also been busy mating – infact, from the evening of the 24th until the evening of the 25th, 33 made 16 attempts! Many of these looked to be successful so it shouldn’t be long before Maya is incubating eggs.

Finally, those of you keeping an eye on the webcam may have noticed an intruder yesterday morning, when for a moment there were 3 ospreys on the nest. This was 25(10) – a breeding bird from an off site nest. Whilst 25(10) already has a partner back at her own established nest site, she doesn’t seem to be able to resist a visit to Manton Bay – this is the third year in a row she has stopped by. Find clips of her previous visits here and here – will this be the last we see of 25(10) this season?

Mum’s the word

Calling all adventurous children! (And adults!)

To celebrate mothers’ day, we have an exciting new discovery trail in place at the Lyndon Reserve on the weekend of 25th/26th March, designed specifically with wildlife mums in mind! You will be provided with seven photographs of wildlife mums, and you need to find the photographs of their babies that are hidden somewhere on the nature reserve!

The trail costs £1 to do, and if you manage to find all the pictures you get to make your very own special badge, keyring or medal with our badge making machine! A perfect gift for mum!

Mothers' day trail

Mothers’ day trail


In osprey news, the pair in Manton Bay have been settling in again on their nest. There has been a lot of mating attempts happening, some of which haven’t quite been successful, some sticks and several bits of softer nest material. Here are some clips of the pair building their nest.

33 with clump Clump photo Maya clump

A fish was delivered at roughly half past six this morning, here it is coming in! 33 has now taken on the role of provider, and Maya immediately leaned in and grabbed the fish from him. He had clearly already eaten a good portion of it, and Maya flew off to eat the rest on the perch.


As it’s Red Nose Day, here is volunteer Ed osprey sporting his red nose!




Looking to the sky

Firstly, we have more news of 30’s whereabouts – she’s in Spain! Since we last looked at her data on 20th March – click here to see Holly’s update  30 has travelled a further 722 miles, and is now just south east of Madrid in Spain. She crossed the Strait of Gibraltar yesterday, and passed by the Sierra Nevada mountains on her path northwards. If she continues on this trajectory, it looks like she will bypass the Bay of Biscay to the east, and not fly over it as she did last year.

30 in Spain

In Manton Bay, it has been wonderful having a pair of ospreys on or near the nest all day! No fish have been brought in today, but it is rather windy and 33 might try again later on. Both birds have been bringing in sticks and bits of nesting material, and they have been mating on a regular basis.

There was some excitement on the nest at around 14:50 this afternoon, when an intruding osprey came over the bay. Both Maya and 33 were on the nest looking around, then began to mantle furiously. Maya took off in order to try and chase the intruder away, then the intruding osprey swooped into the nest and lunged at 33 with her talons out! We can see from the video and photographs below that the osprey was 5N, as she had a green ring on her right leg.

Here is a photographic sequence of 5N swooping into the nest!

5N 1 5N 2 5N 3 5N 4 5N 5

In other news, my favourite osprey 28(10) is back! He was seen fishing at the trout farm this morning!

Osprey 28 misses fish