Manton Bay

Remember me

It’s strange to be at Lyndon without the ospreys, we miss their presence acutely. However, we remember them fondly, and have a video playing in the centre for our last weekend, showing highlights from Manton Bay! For those of you who haven’t seen the video before, and those who wish to watch it again, here it is – the highlights of the Manton Bay season 2016!

After tomorrow, the Lyndon Centre will close for the winter until mid-March 2017. However, all does not stop when the ospreys leave – there is plenty happening on the nature reserve over the autumn and winter! Keep your eyes on the website, as there will be lots of news and activities to share with you, not to mention the remainder of 30’s migration!

Thank you to everyone who has visited us this season, we hope you enjoyed your visit and that you will return next year! Thank you also to each and every volunteer who has given up their time to help us talk to visitors, man the reception desk in the centre and monitor the ospreys in the hide – you are all amazing!

Sunset over the Sine Saloum (JW)

The sun sets on another successful osprey season (JW)


Final farewell

It has finally happened – Manton Bay is devoid of ospreys. After spending yesterday alone in the bay, 33 set off on his migration to his wintering grounds this morning at around 10:00. We are sad to see them go, as always, and it was great that the two adults stayed for as long as they did! We have had a fantastic season this year, with 33 and Maya being the stars of our show as always in Manton Bay. The three chicks they raised this year bring Maya’s total to 17 over the six years she has bred! The other successful nests around the area raised 12 young, which means this year’s total is a whopping 15 chicks from seven nests. This is the same number as last season, and so equals the best year we’ve ever had! This season we very nearly had an eighth nest – Lagoon Four – and there were also several unattached males in the area, so we are eager to see what happens next year!

33 and Maya on the camera perch

Farewell 33 and Maya


Unfortunately we can’t follow Maya and 33 on their journeys, but we can follow 30(05)! 30 has now been migrating for ten days, and has covered a total of 2295 miles / 3694 km since leaving Rutland. In the past two days since we received data, she has travelled 430 miles / 692 km through the Sahara. You can see her latest position in the image below.


30’s position at 7pm on 7th September


After passing through Morocco in three days, 30 travelled over the Guelmim-es-Semara region, which boasts a brilliant landscape of sculptured ridges, as you can see in the images below. She flew over the same area last season. 




Zoomed in


30 roosted in the middle of the desert last night, and today will have continued on her southwards trajectory. She is now well on her way to Senegal – there are only 540 miles / 869 km left to go!

I wonder where she will be when we next receive data…? She might even be there, on her perch on the beach…

30 photographed on the beach by John Wright last winter



Then there was one

There is now only one remaining osprey in Manton Bay! 33 has been alone since Maya left yesterday morning. She flew off south at around 08:40, and she has not returned. 33 spent the rest of yesterday holding onto half of a fish and not moving much, perhaps waiting to see if his mate would reappear. He is still with us as I write, and has been in and out of the bay all day, much to the delight of hopeful osprey-watchers!

We don’t expect 33 to stay here on his own for very long. In their first year together when they did not breed (2014) Maya departed on 7th September, and 33 left the very next day. Alas, we knew that eventually they would go and leave us osprey-less.

He hasn’t left yet though! The Lyndon Centre is still open until Sunday 11th September, so if you hurry you may still be in with a chance of seeing an osprey in 2016!


33 (photo by John Wright)

4N7A7206---Male-33 4N7A5093---33-with-Tench-again



Right said Fred

It’s 2nd September, and both adult ospreys remain in Manton Bay! They are still very attached to the nest, and have been on and off it frequently all morning. 33 in particular has been very enthusiastic about preparing the nest for next year. You can see that it has already changed in appearance from a few weeks ago when the juveniles were still here. There are several new sticks, some soft nest material, and he’s even been scraping the nest cup out! That’s either incredibly efficient forward planning, or a backwards instinct that has made him think it’s spring…

Bum's up

Bum’s up




Ospreys are very strongly governed by their instincts, and nest building is an integral part of their lives in the summer. They continue to build up the nest throughout the season, and still feel the need to do so now at the very end of it, when there isn’t any need. In 2014, their first year together, in which they did not breed, Maya and 33 spent the entire summer building up the nest, for a breeding season that wasn’t going to happen. Instinctive nest building is sometimes seen when a nest fails, when birds often begin to build new nests, called frustration eyries, after they adandon the nest that failed.

It’s great that Maya and 33 are still here to entertain visitors. We all know by now that we can’t predict with any certainty the behaviour of any animal, especially this pair of ospreys! In 2014, they stayed in Manton Bay until 7th and 8th September. That year, Maya left before 33, and he followed on the day after. We all joked that he was so attached to the nest, having won it from 28, that he couldn’t bear to leave and would stay all winter! Alas, he left, as they will both do sometime soon.

We ain't leavin'

We ain’t leavin’



Hard to say goodbye

Maya and 33 are still here in Manton Bay! Last year, 33 left on the same day as the last juvenile, and Maya left the day after. This year the last juvenile left five days ago! This is why we’re slightly surprised that they have stayed this long. Not that we mind, though, it’s great to still have them!

We answered the question of what triggers the juveniles’ instinct to migrate, as the three from Manton Bay this season left at the usual 14 weeks old, which happened to fall a lot earlier in the year than is typical. Based on this, it would seem to be their age and not the time of year that prompts them to leave. However, it looks like it’s different for the adults, in that the time of year plays a more important role to them, as their migrating instinct doesn’t seem to be triggered by the lack of juveniles! This could mean that Maya and 33 remain in the area for the next week, as their departure dates last year were the 2nd and 3rd September. Maya’s previous departure dates have always been in September, the latest being the 12th. It’s just that generally the juveniles have left only a day or two before.

The pair seem to be enjoying their time alone together, as you can see below in Dave Cole’s excellent video, filmed on Sunday 28th August. This beautiful video shows the two adult ospreys bringing in fish and sticks, and just hanging around together now that their chicks have gone. They should be thinking about migrating very soon, so this may be the last footage we have of them this season. Thank you Dave for this!

Thanks also to Dave Cole for these photographs of Maya and 33 on the T-perch. Maya caught this fish and she’s not keen on sharing!

Dave Cole 2

Dave Cole