Manton Bay

Growing up

What a wonderful day it has been at Lyndon today, the sun did an excellent job of burning the morning mist away. On the reserve the wildlife has been busy, sightings have included: otter, great northern diver, swift, sparrow hawk, water rail and an absolute explosion of orchids across the reserve.

by Anya Wicikowski



The young ospreys are looking more like ospreys every day; they are starting to become very precocious round the nest, helping to arrange the nesting material and food begging.


It won’t be long until we will be visiting the nest to attach the rings, so they will match 33(11). All Rutland fledglings are fitted with one metal BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) and one blue/white Darvic ring, giving the young ospreys their very own ID. Our darvic rings come from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, allowing them to join the national project following osprey movement, breeding and migration.

We have also been having plenty of intruding osprey in the bay, all of which Maya and 33(11) have been chasing off. With all these ospreys in Manton Bay it’s a great time to come on one of our osprey cruises, with the chance of seeing new ospreys and ospreys fishing.

Food Fight

This morning was an early start for everyone; we had our first Dawn Osprey Cruise of the season! Visitors were treated to amazing views of ospreys attempting to fish in Rutland Water, all from the comfort of the Rutland Belle. After the cruise had finished a much needed breakfast was provided for attendees, cooked by our own Paul Stammers and a team of dedicated volunteers.

Around about the same time our visitors were enjoying breakfast 33(11) brought in breakfast for his family.

One of the fish brought in later on caused a little trouble between the chicks with both of them fighting for the best chunk!

Lucky Maya was on hand to feed the chicks and ensure each one got an equal share.

The chicks are getting stronger every day and have been busy testing out their wing strength, one of the chicks even had ago at repositioning some sticks, maybe practising for the future.

If you fancy booking onto one of our osprey cruses you can book here!

Feeding and Flapping

The chicks are now just over four weeks old, today they were busy exercising their wings and having ago at  feeding themselves.  We have also been having a few intrusions into the bay, but considering we now have 26 individual osprey around Rutland that’s not surprising, lucky they just seem to be investigating and don’t cause any trouble.


The chick hasn’t quite got the hang of pulling bits of fish off yet. 

Tries the second fish to see if it’s easier.


The second chicks tries to feed as well, Maya doesn’t seem bothered.

Maya is still making sure the chicks are properly fed.

It’s a good job 33 is a great at fishing with all these mouths to feed, this morning he managed to bring in two fish in less than an hour!

Home a Loon

Today blog is written by Information Officer Paul Stammers  





Great Northern Diver(Loon)

Gavia immer

The wailing call of the Great Northern Diver has no doubt sent shivers down the spines of many a birdwatcher. The divers were first recorded in the bay as long back as 10th March and are still being seen regularly. Some of the best views have been from Teal Hide and Swan Hide at the Lyndon Nature Reserve.



Almost all the Great Northern Divers seen off the British coast and on our inland waters are visitors, seen only in their dull winter plumage. A few spend summer north and west of Scotland, and it was long thought that some might breed there. This was first confirmed in 1970, when a pair with 2 chicks were seen swimming in a loch in Wester Ross.

Like all divers the Great Northern Diver is most at home in or under the water, where it feeds. Its wings are small, so although a strong flyer, it cannot take off without great effort.



Great Northern Diver feeding on American Red Signal Crayfish caught in Manton Bay. The crayfish were introduced into the River Gwash many years ago by a local land owner and have now found their way into the reservoir.









We would like to thank Carol Caton who has  kindly let us use her photographs which were taken from Teal Hide.

News from Manton Bay

Today has been a wonderful day on the reserve; this morning we had over twenty starlings on the feeders outside the visitor centre. Each starling seemed to have a juvenile in tow, the starlings were jumping down onto the feeders and hopping back up to feed the juveniles. Later on in the morning we had another report of the great northern diver, still swimming around just outside the centre. All afternoon we have had a swarm of swifts and sand martins swirling above the centre and over Manton Bay, it was such a welcoming sight!  

Over the weekend we had our second osprey cruise of the season and again we had success! This time we made our way down the South Arm towards Manton Bay and sure enough there was osprey fishing. I was just explaining how the bird must be 33(11), as he would never let another bird fish this close to the nest, when all of a sudden an osprey came charging up the bay from the direction of the nest. It took a few seconds to realise what was happening, I then explained that this second bird is without doubt 33(11). The two birds swooped around the bay, before disappearing over towards Normanton Church.

In Manton Bay things are getting even more exciting, the chicks are beginning to flex their wings getting them into shape, it’s hard to believe that in around four months’ time these little chicks could be flying 3000 miles to Africa.


The chicks have even started attempting to feed themselves.


We have also had a couple of intruders in Manton Bay; amazingly we have another new male  back, this time it’s T4 (16), a two year old and nest mate to T3! This sighting was reported to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation; T4 was spotted and photographed at around 19:00  by Mr and Mrs Smallman.  Thank you for sharing your sighting, it’s fantastic news.