Manton Bay

Keep on moving

We are happy to report that we have had more data come through from 30(05)’s satellite tag, and she seems to be having a straightforward journey so far. Since setting off on the morning of August 27th, 30 has travelled 965 miles and has now made it to just south of Madrid.

30(05) has travelled 954 miles in 4 days - incredible!

30(05) has travelled 954 miles in 4 days – incredible!

30 bypassed the Bay of Biscay and chose to travel over land through France, which means she missed our friends at the Urdaibai Bird Centre by around 35 miles! She spent last night roosting by the River Guadarrama near Toledo, hopefully a spot where she was able to catch a fish to fuel her journey.
30 is averaging around 241 miles a day at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if she keeps this rate up. The weather conditions in Spain look perfect today for migration, so hopefully in a couple of days time she may be crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.
Meanwhile in Manton Bay, the soggy weather stopped 33 from setting off yesterday – we expect he may be on his way today and will keep you updated. In other news, you may remember that S2(15) (offspring of Maya and 33) was spotted in the Netherlands earlier this year on May 26th. Well S2 has been spotted again, this time on August 27th in Belgium!
An earlier photo of S2

An earlier photo of S2

This suggests that S2 spent the summer in the Netherlands and has now started his migration south again. It will be interesting to see where S2 turns up next spring – hopefully we’ll see him at Rutland! Thank you to Wim Janssen, who spotted S2 in Belgium and reported his sighting to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation.

So you’re leaving in the morning

Well it’s certainly been a great bank holiday weekend! Our final osprey cruise on Saturday was a success, the weather has been wonderful and so many people have visited the Lyndon Centre to catch what may be their last glimpse of the Manton Bay ospreys this year.

This weekend’s sightings may well be the last we have of Maya. She was present in the bay with 33 all day on Saturday, however, we believe that she set off on her migration on Sunday morning, as she left the bay at 11:30 and has not returned since. Last season Maya didn’t leave until 6th September, so we thought she may stay a while longer! 33 is still here though, catching fish and seeing off intruders!

33 mantling over a fish

33 mantling over a fish


Here is Maya’s last appearance on the Manton Bay nest, yesterday morning.

Maya's last appearance on the nest

Maya’s last appearance on the nest in 2017


We can only wonder where Maya is right now, but there is a Rutland osprey who’s location we do know! 30(05) is our satellite-tagged osprey, and she also set off on her migration yesterday!

She left fairly early yesterday morning, and by 12:00 she was already in Hampshire. She crossed the channel at Christchurch (east of Bournemouth and west of the Isle of Wight) just after 1pm, and made landfall in Cherbourg in France at 4pm. Her final data point is at 5pm, just east of Créances. The total distance she travelled yesterday was 245 miles / 395 km.

As she’s only just set off we don’t have much data just yet, but we receive it every few days and will keep you updated as and when we have more information. Exciting times!

30's journey yesterday

30’s journey 27th August


I wonder whether 30(05) will have arrived at her wintering grounds by the time we have our end of season celebration? It would be amazing if she arrived on her beach in Senegal on the day of our special celebratory party, which is 12 days away. 30’s fastest migration was 11 days, so it’s possible!

Our end of year celebration is on Friday 8th September, and we’ve planned a fun-filled evening of dancing to music by the Navigation Band, socialising at the beautiful village hall in Manton village, drinking local ales provided by Patricia Clarke, and gorging on a superb all-you-can-eat hog roast provided by the Roasting Pig Co.

We also have a raffle with some excellent prizes, including the following (pictured) plus a session in the hide at the River Gwash Trout Farm next year (!), and many more gems!


We look forward to celebrating with our loyal supporters!

Click here to book tickets, there are not many left!




Final cruise

Last night was our final cruise of the season, and what a lovely night it was! Knowing that a few of the juvenile birds (as well as some of the non-breeding adults) were already well on their way on migration, we were a little nervous – with fewer mouths to feed, would we still see our adult birds fishing? However we didn’t need to worry – as we were all standing around waiting to board the boat an osprey was fishing over the reservoir basin! The osprey caught a fish almost immediately – a very successful outing – the only downside was that we hadn’t yet got on the boat by the time it flew away over Normanton with the fish in it’s talons!

A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church

A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church

Once we were on the boat we headed straight down the south arm towards Manton Bay. We got some nice views of Maya flying around near Egleton, before she settled back down on the nest near 33.
We have been lucky to see flying ospreys on every single cruise this year, and on the whole the weather has been pretty excellent too! Thank you to everyone who booked a ticket, and if you missed out this year keep an eye out for cruise dates for 2018.
For now, Maya and 33 can still be seen from Manton Bay and there are plenty of intruding birds to spot too! Here are our couple on the nest together very early this morning.
Sunday morning
And here is a clip of both birds on the nest yesterday – Maya is food begging but 33 does not deliver. According to our volunteers in Waderscrape Maya spent a lot of time food begging yesterday, even though she can easily catch food for herself now that the chicks have gone!

Begin again

Maya and 33 have had a great year once again, raising two healthy chicks and bringing their total number of chicks raised to eight! 2AN and 2AM were incredibly well fed youngsters, making them strong and ready for their autumn migration to southern climes.

Last season, the final juvenile left on 24th August, and we thought that the adults would leave soon after. However, Maya didn’t leave until 6th September, and 33 left on 8th September. One of the reasons is possibly due to the continued need for nest protection. Even though it’s the end of the season, the Manton Bay pair won’t want to risk having to fight for their nest next year, should an osprey decide they like it and try to claim it as their own next spring. There are still some ospreys in the area currently, though many have departed, and there have been a few intrusions at the nest site in recent days.

Since their young departed, the adult ospreys appear to have reverted back to spring behaviour. Yesterday, Maya flew into the nest, then not long afterwards 33 landed on her back and tried to mate with her! She shrugged him off, so the attempt was unsuccessful.

Then today we saw a lot of nest building behaviour, and 33 even started scraping out the nest!

Plus Maya has gone back to sitting on the nest and shouting for food, even though she has caught several fish for herself and the juveniles since they fledged.

Ospreys’ actions are heavily influenced by their instincts, and the stimuli around them. An empty nest and the absence of chicks seems to have pushed their instincts into overdrive (particularly 33’s), and they are behaving as though the season is just beginning! We know that their instincts to migrate will soon set in, the only question is when, and therefore how much longer will they remain in Manton Bay…

Another osprey who’s migration instincts have not yet kicked in is 30(05), our satellite-tagged bird! She left on 30th August last season, so we are keeping a close eye on her data and will let you know as soon as she sets off!

Maya and 33




Rutland Ospreys at Birdfair

Thanks to Education Officer Pete for this great Birdfair blog and photographs!

We have just had a tremendous week-end at the annual “Bird Fair” based at the Egleton Reserve, where the Rutland Osprey stand was very busy for all three days of the 2017 event. Lovely weather, many visitors, and so much to do – it was great to meet old friends and meet many newcomers to the event!

Osprey Project stand and visitors

Osprey Project stand and visitors


There was a lot of interest in the Rutland Osprey Project, with many questions about the history of the project and the latest news about our 2017 season. It was also very useful to meet up with people involved in other conservation projects around UK and from countries around the world. We had many enquiries from teachers and parents wishing to find out how to get their children involved in our osprey activities, access our educational resources or organise group visits to the Lyndon reserve. On the stand the osprey badge making and the osprey ring quiz proved very popular with the children, and also with some adults!

Explaining how to get to Lyndon to see the ospreys

Explaining how to get to Lyndon to see the ospreys

Telling the story of the osprey project

Telling the story of the osprey project


Many attending Bird Fair then came over to Lyndon to take a look at the Manton Bay Ospreys before they migrate to West Africa.  A total of over 1300 visited Lyndon in the three days of Bird Fair and others joined the dawn and dusk Osprey Cruises on the Rutland Belle to get a different view of the birds around Rutland Water.

Boarding the Rutland Belle

Boarding the Rutland Belle

Simon King on Saturday's dawn cruise

Simon King on Saturday’s dawn cruise


At the beginning of Sunday morning’s cruise, an amazing spectacle was witnessed on the shore, as a mallard was seen catching and eating a swallow! Who’d have thought it?! Thank you Oliver Woodman for the use of your excellent photograph.

Mallard eating a swallow (Oliver Woodman)

Mallard eating a swallow (Oliver Woodman)


We explained to visitors about our educational  links with schools in the Basque area of northern Spain  which we have made via  the Urdaibai Bird Centre .“A message for Ozzie” activity gave the youngsters visiting Bird Fair the opportunity to write a short message which Ozzie will take on his migration to children in the Basque region of Spain. These messages will be used in their English lessons.

Messages to "Ozzie"

Messages for “Ozzie”


Talking to visitors about the Ozzie migration messages

Talking to visitors about the Ozzie migration messages


We must give a special mention to Sam Newcombe, our 11 year old School Osprey Ambassador from Casterton Primary School. Not only did Sam help on the Rutland Osprey stand for two days but he also managed to arrange to give short interviews with Nick Baker and Mike Dilger on Sunday! It drew a great crowd onto the Rutland Osprey stand and was enjoyed by all. Nick and Mike complimented Sam on his interview technique and wished him success in the future.

Sam interviewing Nick Baker

Sam interviewing Nick Baker

Sam interviewing Mike Dilger

Sam interviewing Mike Dilger

Making the video

Making the video of the interviews


Sam’s interviews with Nick Baker and Mike Dilger and other interviews with members of the Osprey Team and School Osprey Ambassadors will be sent to Urdaibai with the “Messages to Ozzie” for them to use with their school children during their Bye-Bye Ospreys Week (BOW) next month. We will post the interviews on the Rutland Osprey website soon.

As usual during Bird Fair the Osprey Team had the support of our dedicated team of volunteers to assist on the stand, at the Lyndon Reserve, and for the Bird Fair Osprey Cruises. Our sincere thanks to all who helped at Egleton and Lyndon this week-end.

Celebrity cruise!

Celebrity cruise!


Now that Birdfair is over, we have one more big event before the end of the season. We always have a celebration of the year with a special event, this year it’s a barn dance! Sure to be good fun, the price is only £20 for an evening of dancing, laughing and eating a delicious hog roast!

There will also be a raffle with some great prizes, including a session for 2018 at the River Gwash Trout Farm!

These events are important ways of raising vital money for the project to continue its work – we’d love to see all of our loyal supporters there celebrating with us!

Lots of you have already booked tickets, but there are a few left, so click here or call 01572 737378 to get yours!


Osprey 28 fishing at Horn Mill (Geoff Harries)

Osprey 28 fishing at Horn Mill (Geoff Harries)