Manton Bay

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

So much for a quiet life! Yesterday, all was right with the world, but it has not been such smooth sailing today. Male Osprey 33 has been back and has persistently hounded the Manton Bay nest. Maya has been on and off the nest all day, chasing him away, and 28 has not been seen since about 10am.

To add insult to injury, while Maya was chasing 33, another male Osprey, 06(09), swooped down to the nest and stole the remainder of her fish! 

Here are a couple of screen-shots from today:

Maya looking up at intruder

Maya looking up at intruder

Maya incubating

Maya incubating

One nest + two Ospreys + three eggs = a winning formula

In contrast to the past couple of days, today has been fairly calm. As you may have seen on the webcam, as of yesterday morning there are now three eggs in the nest! This is the average number of eggs an Osprey will lay, and the number that Maya has always produced. Sometimes Ospreys can lay four eggs, and it seems as though 28 would like a fourth, as he has been trying to mate again today!

The eggs have been well looked after by both the male and female Osprey. As you will see in the video below, 28 is becoming diligent in his incubation duties. He doesn’t always look comfortable, but this could have something to do with his damaged right wing, as he may not be able to bend it in the right way.

One intruder was seen today, 01 back again, but not for long. The sun has been shining, the birds have looked content. 28 brought in a fish at about 11:30, Maya took it away to eat and 28 took over the incubation. All how it is meant to be!

28 brings in a fish

28 brings in a fish

Maya takes the fish and prepares to take off

Maya takes the fish and prepares to take off

Both sitting happily on the nest

Both sitting happily on the nest

28 tries to mate

28 wanting a fourth egg

Battle of the brothers

Male Osprey 33(11) made quite a nuisance of himself yesterday at the Manton Bay nest. 28 spent the entire day trying to chase him away, and ended up being the one getting chased! Another male Osprey, 01(09), decided to join the party, and he started chasing 33! 28 disappeared for a while, and 33 made some swoops at the nest, forcing Maya to leave the eggs unattended to see him off. Eventually it all quietened down, 33 and 01 disappeared, Maya settled back down to incubate, and 28 returned. Peace was restored.  

28, 33 and 01 all happen to be brothers. They all hatched out in consecutive years from the same nest – Site B. 01 was from 2009, 28 from 2010 and 33 from 2011. Brotherly rivalry?

Below are some amazing photographs of the chase by John Wright.

The female watching the chase from the nest

The female watching the chase from the nest

The chase takes the birds as high as 4,000ft!

The chase takes the birds as high as 4,000ft!

 

Some great shots of 33 chasing 28. You can clearly tell which one is 28 by his slightly damaged right wing.

IMG_9789---Photo 3 - 33-chasing-28

IMG_9880---Photo 4 - 33-chasing-28

IMG_9885---Photo 5 - 33-chasing-28.-Both-almost-upside-down

IMG_9886---Photo 6 - 33-chasing-28

IMG_9895---Photo 7 - 33-chasing-28

IMG_9896---Photo 8 - 33-chasing-28

IMG_9729--Photo 9 - 33-chasing-28

 

Some nice close-ups of 33:

IMG_0005---Photo 10 - Male-33

IMG_0003---Photo 11 - Male-33

IMG_0004---Photo 12 - Male-33

 

33 bothering Maya:

Female below, chasing male 33 from the nest

Female below, chasing male 33 from the nest

Female below chasing male 33

Female below, chasing male 33

Male 33 approaching as female lands on nest

Male 33 approaching as female lands on nest

Male 33 above the female

Male 33 above the female

Peace is restored in the bay - the female sitting on the eggs

The female sits on the eggs as peace is restored in the bay

Fishy business in the bay

New arrival 33(11) has been causing trouble today for the Manton Bay pair. He was around yesterday, and by late afternoon it was thought he had gotten the message and disappeared. However, today he is back, and 28 is having difficulty in getting rid of him!

John took some brilliant photographs yesterday, including some great close-ups of 28 and 33, and a lovely sequence of images showing 28 bringing in a small bream and Maya taking it away to eat. Enjoy…

Brilliant close-up of 28 flying

Brilliant close-up of 28 flying

Male Osprey 33(11) intruding in the bay

Male Osprey 33(11) intruding in the bay

28 brings in a roach

28 brings in a roach, note the red fins

28 coming into the nest with a small bream

28 approaches the nest with a small bream

28 arrives with small bream

28 arrives with bream

Maya taking the fish away

Maya grabs the fish…

Maya flies away with the bream

…and flies away with it

28 incubating

28 takes over incubation

28 standing on Maya's back

28 standing on Maya’s back

33(11) perched nearby the nest

33(11) perched nearby the nest

33 appears to be a very fiesty young male. Hopefully, he will eventually take the hint that this nest is not available!

Here are some photographs taken by John a couple of days ago, of 28 with a pike. This helps to demonstrate the variety of fish that are available to the Ospreys in Rutland Water. In the last week we have seen bream, roach and pike. 

28 with a lovely pike, you can clearly see its markings

28 with a lovely pike, you can clearly see its markings

28 bringing the pike to the nest

28 bringing the pike to the nest

28 bringing the pike

28 bringing the pike

Incubation? Easy…

It’s been another typical spring day today, the sun brightening up the bay, while the wind whipped up the water on the reservoir, making fishing difficult. There are still just two eggs here at the Manton Bay nest, number three could arrive tomorrow! Despite the wind, 28 brought in a fish at lunchtime, and then began incubating the eggs – he’s getting much better at it!

28 incubating!

28 incubating!

 

More mating has taken place on the nest today; they will continue to mate until the entire clutch has been laid. At one point today, Maya was incubating and 28 came down and landed on her back. Did he want to mate again? No, he made no move to do so, and Maya stayed put, not bothered in the slightest that 28 was using her as a perch! We realised that he was watching an intruder, who seemed to circle the nest.

 

The intruder turned out to be another new arrival! 33(11), a three-year-old male. He was seen hanging around in the area for quite a while, perching nearby the nest. This is the first time he has been seen this year! He returned to Rutland last year for the first time, and he could well breed this year.

 

 

The second egg

As you will have seen, if you have been watching the webcam, there are now two eggs in the Manton Bay nest.

At first 28(10) was a bit reluctant to incubate; he was picking at the nest material and just looking down at the eggs. This was certainly a new experience for him, but by lunchtime he was taking to incubation more confidently, as the video below shows.

We are hoping that Maya will lay the third egg tomorrow or Monday.

28(10) with the two eggs

28(10) with the two eggs

All Quiet on the Western Front

Or should that be the western end of Rutland Water?

As we sat baking slowly outside in the beautiful weather at lunchtime, we were speculating about the appearance of this rather unexpected egg in the Manton Bay nest: it all seems a bit too good to be true! The fact that Maya, the Manton Bay Female still hasn’t laid again makes us wonder whether this was a trial run. 28 is showing his inexperience by eyeing the egg (and his future offspring) with confusion and suspiscion, and appears content to watch it rather than incubate it. He’s doing his bit though in terms of bringing in fish, and Maya was treated this morning to a healthy feast. She, as is expected, is playing the doting mother and paying the egg far more attention than her partner, but still it’s been left uncovered for some minutes, possibly hours, at a time, but so early at the beginning of the breeding season, there’s still plenty of time for more!

In the meantime, whilst we sit twiddling our thumbs, do enjoy the latest offerings from John…

28 showing his damaged wing

28 showing his damaged wing – his wing has been like this since he first returned to Rutland Water two years ago

Soaring across the blue sky

Soaring across the blue sky

28 in flight

28 in flight

To quote Will Smith: Gettin' jiggy with it

The two birds are continuing to mate regularly – eggs two and three should appear in the next few days

28 attempts to incubate, under the watchful eye of Maya

28 attempts to incubate, under the watchful eye of Maya

Maya coming into the nest

Maya coming into the nest

28 leaving in a hurry

28 leaving in a hurry

Shake ya tail feathers!

Another of 28′s failed attempts to incubate!

Save all your fishes for me

It has been a beautiful day today. The Manton Bay pair have looked very cosy together, and 28 has incubated the egg! It didn’t take him long to get the hang of it, he is doing a stellar job of providing fish for Maya too. Here’s a sequence of short clips of 28 bringing in a fish this afternoon.

Here are a few photos from today.

28 standing proudly by the egg, Maya looking on

28 standing proudly by the egg, Maya looking on

Yes, the egg is still there, I  promise

Yes, the egg is still there, I promise

28 dozing in the sun

28 dozing in the sun

Maya panting

Maya panting

A united stance to see off an intruder

Standing united to see off an intruder

An emotional roller-coaster

Well, what a day we’ve had! A roller-coaster of emotions! Surprise, confusion, enlightenment, happiness, and a little bit of anxiety. 28 is inexperienced in the ways of breeding, and has never seen an egg before in his life, and he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it!

 

28′s instincts have been leading him in the right direction so far, and Maya is an experienced female, so it is hoped that he will soon learn what is expected of him in this situation.

Maya with the egg

Maya with the egg

28 with the egg

28 with the egg

Maya checking up on 28

Maya checking up on 28

Egg hidden behind grass

Egg hidden behind grass

Maya incubating

Maya incubating

 

We would normally expect to see another egg in a day or two, so keep your eyes on the screen! We will of course inform you as soon as we have information to report.

 

 

An Early Easter Egg

As many of you will have already seen, we were in for a surprise this morning. Soon after first light, the Manton Bay female – Maya as we are now calling her – stood up to reveal a newly-laid egg in the nest.

Our view of the first egg this morning.

Our view of the first egg this morning.

This came a quite a surprise; we weren’t expecting an egg until next week. So what’s going on? Having read up on the biology of egg-laying, fertilisation normally occurs 24 hours prior to the egg being laid. 28(10) and Maya have been copulating regularly since Sunday – more than enough time for the egg to have been fertilised. What is more surprising is that eggs have developed in the female’s ovary. Normally it is the arrival of the male and the first copulations that trigger this. In this case, however, it would seem that simply being back at the nest where she has reaered young each summer since 2010 was enough for Maya to get into breeding mode; and thus trigger the development of eggs. Last year she laid the first egg 20 days after arriving and this year it has taken 23 days. Here’s our first view of the egg this morning.

Our only worry now is that 28(10) has no experience of incubating. He’s going to have to learn the ropes very quickly, but the fact that he is breeding with an experienced female will certainly help. We’ll have another update later in the day.