Manton Bay

Some for me, some for you

Every season we witness the fact that ospreys are very good at sharing fish. Even though sometimes a certain individual (this year 2AN!) is often dominant and gets hold of the fish first, when they have finished they leave it for another to eat. We have often seen one fish being shared around and eaten in stages by all of the birds. When he brought a roach to the nest at 18:37 last night, however, initially 33 didn’t seem to want to let go of it! 2AM had been on the nest when he arrived, and 2AN appeared not long after he landed. Neither juvenile made a move towards the fish though, so perhaps this is the reason 33 just took off with it!

33 bringing in the roach

33 bringing in the roach

33 taking it away again

33 taking it away again

 

He left the bemused juveniles on the nest, and kept the fish to himself. He did bring it back to the nest though ten minutes later, and 2AN hungrily grabbed it from him.

Whilst 2AN was eating, 2AM surreptitiously sidled over and pinched a bit of fish from in front of her!

She gave him a bit of a glare and he backed off, then he was able to take the fish from her when she had finished with it.

Whilst 2AM was eating, Maya arrived at the nest, as though she was checking that he was OK and didn’t need to be fed. When she saw him competently tucking into the fish, she flew off again.

Maya returned when 2AM left the fish, and she flew away with it to eat it on a perch nearby. Perhaps she hadn’t been checking in on 2AM previously, and was just waiting her turn for the fish!

Maya flying off with the fish

Maya flying off with the fish

 

This morning’s fish, another roach, was shared just as generously as yesterday’s. 2AN was waiting patiently on the nest for it to arrive.

2AN waiting for the fish

2AN waiting for the fish

 

When it did, she immediately grabbed 33’s foot again, as is her usual error! Then she managed to get hold of the fish and began eating her breakfast.

Here it is!

Here it is!

 

This time, when 2AN had had her fill of fish, it was Maya’s turn. The adult female landed on the nest, grabbed the fish in her formidable talons and took off with it.

It's Maya's turn for the roach

It’s Maya’s turn for the roach

 

She returned 15 minutes later and handed it over to 2AM, who was now on the nest waiting for it.

Less than an hour later, 2AM had had enough and the rest of the roach was then taken away and finished by 33!

33 taking the roach away to finish

33 taking the roach away to finish

 

These four ospreys are all incredibly well fed, and 33 proved this once again by delivering another fish to the nest at 12:00. This time it was a tench, which he must have caught from somewhere shallow, perhaps lagoon one. As you can see from the video below, it was 2AN again who was there to receive the fish, but it wasn’t easy as it was still alive and jumping around! She managed to quieten it admirably by stamping on it with her foot.

33 with the tench

33 with the tench

 

Later on, when 2AN had left the tench, Maya fed some of it to 2AM! We know full well that he can competently feed himself, but sometimes laziness must kick in!

At 15:02 33 caught yet another fish! He delivered this to an empty nest, but it wasn’t long before 2AN hopped down from the camera perch to claim it! It was a trout this time, bringing today’s fish species list to a total of three – roach first thing, tench halfway through the day, trout in the afternoon. Will 33 catch yet another fish later? Perhaps a perch or a pike…

Throughout the day we had a few nest visits from the ospreys that didn’t involve fish! 2AM came and lay down for a bit, as though he needed a rest, and then 2AN came to join him. He looked rather shocked as she was coming in to land though, as she almost landed on top of him!

2AM's shocked face

2AM’s shocked face

 

At 10:52, 2AN got excited when 33 flew into the nest with a clump of soil. She must have thought it was a fish! She had flown from the nest a few minutes before, leaving 2AM alone again, then when 33 came in with a clump she was hot on his heels, only to be disappointed by his inedible offering.

33 with a clump, followed by 2AN

33 with a clump, followed by 2AN

 

At 14:23, 2AN flew into the nest looking very wet after clearly having had a bath! It’s a shame we can’t see these things from the centre!

2AN coming in

Yesterday evening we saw something not previously witnessed, well I for one have never seen this. Maya landed on the nest and picked up a fish skeleton, then flew off with it, presumably to discard it somewhere. This is quite odd, as the birds usually just consume the bones as they eat the fish. I’ve never seen an almost complete skeleton left over before!

Maya with the fish skeleton

Maya with the fish skeleton

 

Finally, here is a shot of the two juveniles, chilling out together on the nest.

Settling down together

Settling down together

 

 

All eyes on 33

What a glorious start to the week it has been at Lyndon! The weather has been beautiful and our osprey family have been taking it easy in the bay. Late yesterday afternoon, 33 arrived with a fish. Instead of bringing it directly to the nest he landed briefly on the perch above the camera and for a moment all eyes were on him!

Watching the fish arrive

Watching the fish arrive


A minute or so later he brought it to the nest, and for once 2AM was the one to get to it first (despite 2AN having a go).

25 minutes later, 2AN seemed to have grown tired of watching 2AM eating and snatched the fish from his talons.

When she’d finally had enough, Maya came to the nest and fed 2AM a little more. In contrast to 2AN, who has been independent for a while now, 2AM is still happy to be fed by Maya when the opportunity presents itself.

This morning the first fish of the day came in at 05.27. Maya took the fish initially to a perch nearby, and had a quick meal before returning it to the nest 10 minutes later.

Roach 05.27
2AN and 2AM then both got their share, respecitvely!

There was an intruding osprey in the area at around half 7 this morning, and 33 returned to defend the nest. There have been another couple of very brief intrusions as the day has gone one, bringing 33 to the nest for no longer than a few seconds.

Other than that it has been a very quiet day on the nest, with the only other bit of action being when 33 brought a stick in at around twenty past ten this morning.

We don’t know what is going on just out of view of course – our ospreys could be having a very busy day!

A little more action

There have been a fair few fish deliveries to the Manton Bay nest lately, which seems to be the only time the ospreys are on the nest! 33 delivered a lovely large trout last night at 20:44, and even though both of the juveniles were present on the nest waiting, it was 2AN who was first in line for the fish, as you would expect! She was a bit overexcited when she reached for it though, and grabbed onto poor 33’s foot instead – again!

33 with fish 0844

2AM got his chance to eat some of it a bit later, when 2AN had finished. There was still a lot left, as it was a big ‘un!

2AM gets fish 2115

Sunset

After 2AM had had his fill, the fish was ignored and the rest of it was left on the nest overnight. None of the ospreys came back to the nest all night, and the fish lay untouched until Maya came and took it away at 04:22 this morning.

Today’s first fish was a roach which was delivered to the nest at 09:44. Again, it was 2AN who got this first, but at least she managed not to bite 33’s foot this time!

Fish 0944 Nice roach 0944

33 came back to take the roach away at 10:21, and he held on to it and kept it to himself for the rest of the day!

33 taking off with roach

What a lovely sunrise this morning, with 2AN silhouetted on the nest!

Morning

 

 

 

Two heads are better than one

Yesterday saw possibly our best osprey cruise to date this season take place, with 11 different sightings of ospreys (and at least 4 individual birds)! Information Officer Paul Stammers, who was leading the cruise, reported that for the brief periods there weren’t ospreys in the vicinity, there were barn owls to watch instead! All in all a brilliant wildlife cruise for all aboard the Rutland Belle. Our next cruise with availability is Wednesday 26th July – for more information on cruises or to book your place, click here.

33 seen from the boat

33 overhead on a recent cruise!

Here in the bay our osprey chicks are getting bolder, and beginning to fly slightly further afield – visitors to Lyndon are getting brilliant views of the chicks flying around the bay from Waderscrape hide. They have been really well fed over recent days, with 33 bringing plenty of fish to the nest and the chicks polishing them off pretty quickly. 33 is no longer the only provider though, as on Friday night Maya brought her first fish of the season back to the nest too! It was a small pike, most likely caught from Manton Bay. 2AM gratefully took the pike from Maya and even managed to keep hold of it when 2AN tried to take it off him – he was likely hungry after earlier watching 2AN polish off most of a trout, leaving him with just the tail for dinner!

Just before 9.30pm, 33 brought a large roach to the nest which both chicks got a good share of, filling them up for what was left of the day.

Yesterday morning 33 brought a roach to the nest.

Not long after, we discovered perhaps the only thing that could stop 2AN digging into a fresh meal – an intruder overhead! 33 returned to mantle on the nest and 2AN was temporarily put off her breakfast.

Once the intruder had left, 2AN continued to eat for a bit before flying off, leaving some fish on the nest. When Maya came to eat her share a bit later, it seemed as though 2AN had pushed the remaining fish under some sticks before she left, maybe hiding it from the rest of the family! Maya quickly dug it out though.

2AN’s funny feeding antics continued today when we saw her with both talons on a trout trying to balance as she ate.

Finally here is a shot of 2AN and 2AM on the nest yesterday doing their best impression of a 2-headed osprey – not a bad attempt!
2 heads

Watching the world

It has been a fairly quiet day for our ospreys, they have spent a lot of time sitting around Manton Bay on various perches, conserving energy. Nest visits have been infrequent, but visitors have had amazing views of these gorgeous birds from the nature reserve. Wildlife watching from Waderscrape has been brilliant, and in addition to the ospreys, water vole, water rail, kingfishers and barn owls have been seen!

Kingfisher from Waderscrape (photo by Martin Lusty)

Kingfisher from Waderscrape (photo by Martin Lusty)

Water vole (photo by Matthew Blurton)

Water vole from Waderscrape (photo by Matthew Blurton)

 

In between bouts of inactivity, the juvenile ospreys have undertaken some exploratory flights, and the adults have taken flights to wash their feet and stretch their wings. There have also been fish deliveries and intruders!

Today’s first fish was a lovely large trout, which 33 delivered to the nest nice and early at 06:22. Contrary to past experience and expectations, it wasn’t 2AN who was on the nest to receive it, it was 2AM! So this time it was him who got the fish first.

33 with fish Fish 0622

Of course, 2AN was soon on the scene, looking incredibly interested in her brother’s prize. However, 2AM was being defensive and mantled over his fish, unwilling to give it up. He glanced over his shoulder nervously at 2AN, but she didn’t attempt to steal it from him, as she has in the past, she just waited her turn.

There was another intrusion today by two ospreys, very likely our unattached males again, hanging around together and seeing what’s what. 33 immediately mantled on the nest to defend his territory, and Maya soon flew in to join him in seeing off the interlopers.

Truders

Up in the visitor centre we miss out on several bits of the action that are all too easy to witness from the hides on the reserve, such as the juveniles learning to fly and land, intruders circling above, 33 fishing in the bay and the adults dragging their feet through the water to clean them. Sometimes though, we get lucky and catch a glimpse of these things occurring in the background of the nest camera views. Below is an example from this morning – as 2AN gets her share of the fish, we see Maya in the background, gracefully dragging her feet through the water, and scaring off a great crested grebe in the process!

Maya skimming water

One of the best ways of seeing ospreys at this time of year is, of course, down in Manton Bay on the Lyndon Reserve. However, there is another great way of seeing them – osprey cruises! We have six cruises left with availability, these are as follows (click the date for more information and to book):

Wednesday 26th July

Saturday 29th July

Wednesday 2nd August

Wednesday 9th August

Saturday 12th August

Saturday 26th August

So far, the views of ospreys from the cruises have been absolutely amazing! Unsurprisingly, tickets are selling incredibly fast. Click on a date above to buy yours now!

28(10) (JW)

28(10) from a cruise (JW)