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Education News February


Rutland Ospreys Education Newsletter                           No 7 :  February 2017


It’s now just over two weeks since we returned from Senegal and Gambia, and what a brilliant trip it was!  We met with well over one hundred Ospreys all together, including a brief glimpse of our own 32(11), who was in his usual spot in the mangrove creeks off Missirah (Senegal), good views at Bulok (Gambia) of the young FR3 from the Loch of the Lowes in Scotland, as well as several other ringed Ospreys from France, Germany and Latvia! All this information will be of great value to the Osprey authorities in the various countries. In addition, we watched 225 different species of brilliant African birds, many amazing mammals and reptiles, such as Red Colobus Monkeys, two species of Dolphin, Fruit Bats, Warthogs and a massive Crocodile! Butterflies and Dragonflies were also splendid in the sunshine!

Male Osprey near Missirah.

The really exciting thought as we boarded our flight for home was that the Ospreys will not be far behind us, and in a few weeks they will be following their well-known routes back to their summer homes, including, of course, Rutland Water! We even had an Osprey-like experience when our flight was diverted to the Canary Islands for a refuelling stop and change of crew! Ospreys often get blown off course by strong winds – a few years ago one of our satellite-tracked males (09(98)) found himself heading for the Canary Islands, just like us, in a strong north-easterly, and for 24 hours we thought he would be lost! But fortunately the wind dropped and he was able to get back on track! We made this an episode in ‘Ozzie’s Return’. Fortunately our stop-over in the Canaries was not due to the wind, and we were soon on our way again back to the UK!

Now it is time to start thinking about the new Osprey season here in Rutland! The Ospreys will be back soon, and we will be ready for them!  Read on now to find out about all the brilliant new plans we have for 2017 – there is so much to tell you!



Osprey Ambassadors :

Several schools have now chosen their ”Osprey Ambassadors” to help us to keep their schools up to date with the latest Osprey news. If your school wishes to choose two or three Osprey Ambassadors who could be our link with your school, and be responsible for helping us to keep you up to date with the latest osprey news, take a look at the information on the Rutland Ospreys website by clicking here.

Contact Ken for help with your Ambassadors by e-mail at ken@rutlandwater.org.uk


Ambassadors WOW Warm-up

All Osprey Ambassadors (with a supervising teacher or adult) are invited to a World Osprey Week “Warm-up” on Saturday March 25th 2017 from 10.30am until 12.00 noon.

This will be a chance to meet other Ambassadors, get the latest Osprey information and do some osprey related activities. If you need more details or wish to book a place for your Ambassadors contact Jackie at jackie@rutlandwater.org.uk

Ozzie’s Diary

The Latest Ozzie’s Winter Diary (No4) .telling about his latest adventures in Gambia, is now on the Rutland Ospreys website. See it by clicking here.  This will be his last diary entry before migrating back to Rutland!

World Osprey Week (WOW)    March 27th– 31st 2017

Teachers can register on the website with access to our free on line primary and secondary school resources which include fun activities, cross curricular projects and lesson plans, with ready to use pupil resources. Over 300 schools are registered and are now are using these materials!

Take a look at the WOW pages on website for more details by clicking here.

Movie competition 2017 – “Ospreys and Us”

This year as part of WOW individuals or groups of children are invited to make a two minute movie inspired by ospreys. Schools may want to have their own school movie competition and send us the best ones.

We will have separate primary and secondary school movie awards. Movies must be sent to us by Friday 26th May 2017, and the winners will be invited to a movie premiere, Ozzie’s “Ozcar” Awards on Wednesday  5th July held at Rutland Water!


For more information about making and submitting your movie click here. There are also some teaching notes about how to make your movie in both the primary and secondary teachers resources area of the website.



Please take a look at the Rutland Osprey Website as we have posted a lot of new information in the following sections…


Education Section

School visits; If you would like to visit the Lyndon reserve with an educational group, take a look at what we can offer. These are best in the Summer term – come and see the Ospreys! We can also visit local schools to give assemblies and run a choice of classroom activities.

Educational Visits Information video; There is a NEW 3 minute video about visits to the Lyndon Centre – see the link above (school visits).

Ospreys and Us; Movie Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools for 2017


World Osprey Week Section

Get your school involved in WOW in March and follow the migration of the Ospreys!

The latest news, live  tracking of the Osprey Migration and of special interest to children of all ages

Ozzie’s Winter Diary; Find out what Ozzie has been up to during his latest stay in The Gambia in Africa.

School resources; FREE school classroom resources – just register your school for free access to these.



Ken Davies will be at the Oundle Bookshop, Market Place, Oundle, from 10.30-12noon on Saturday 11th March  to sign his latest osprey books “Ozzie’s Return” and “Ozzie Leads the Way”.

Our other osprey publications will also be available!

Ozzie 001Ozzie leads the way - £8



Monday Monday

As the following photographs show, the volunteer team continue to work hard on the Lyndon reserve every Monday! Over the past couple of weeks the weather has been excellent for working outdoors, slightly cold but sunny and bright! Many thanks to Sarah Box, Roy Edwards and Jan Warren for these photos of the work (and tea breaks) in action!

Sarah Box 6th Feb (13)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (12)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (10)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (9)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (8)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (7)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (6)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (5)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (4)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (2)

(S. Box)

Sarah Box 6th Feb (1)

(S. Box)

Jan 30th Jan (1)

(J. Warren)

Jan 30th Jan (2)

(J. Warren)

Roy Edwards 30th Jan

(R. Edwards)

Roy Edwards 30th Jan (2)

(R. Edwards)

Roy Edwards 30th Jan (1)

(R. Edwards)



Coming home soon

It’s absolutely fantastic that we have the ability to track one of our ospreys using satellites. The data from the transmitter on 30(05)’s back has given us a wealth of information over the years about her whereabouts, and the specifics of her migration. It won’t be long before we are able to watch 30, albeit via dots on a map, return once again from her beach in Senegal to Rutland Water.

Currently, and for the past few months, 30 has been spending her time perched on various pieces of driftwood in her section of the long stretch of beach between Dakar and St Louis in Senegal. She takes one or two trips out to sea to fish per day, and the occasional jaunt inland to perch in the dense woodland behind the beach. She has an idyllic life in the winter, with no-one to worry about but herself.

30 26th Jan

Soon though, she must return to her natal land to raise another brood of chicks. Her instinct will tell her when she should leave. Last year 30 began heading for home on 10th March. So she may only have another month of relaxation to enjoy! We look forward to seeing those little red dots move from the location above, and start creating an almost straight line back to England!

The aerial on 30's satellite transmitter is clearly visible in this photo

30 arriving home last year (Photo J.Wright)




Things spring brings

It’s only the end of January, however, we all know how time flies, and it won’t be long before the ospreys are flying back to the UK! Work continues on the Osprey Project to get everything ready for the start of the new season. The Lyndon Centre is due to be opened to the public on 11th March. Last season, the Manton Bay ospreys were two of the earliest arrivals, Maya on 21st March and 33 on 27th March. The year before, however, they both kept us waiting until 6th April!

The webcam will be back online in time for opening, so we can all watch and wait for the first of the pair to return. As these two don’t appear to stick to regular dates, there will be a wide window of opportunity for their return. Perhaps it will be even earlier this year…

Work is still on-going on the Lyndon reserve – our hardy team of volunteers have been out in all weathers and temperatures, cutting, raking, chopping, burning, weaving and having fun too!

Roy Edwards (1)

Clearing the pathways (R. Edwards)

Roy Edwards (2)

Willow coppice stools (R. Edwards)


Spring is always a season of hope and expectation, with the excitement of the ospreys’ return rewarding our patient anticipation (OK, not always patient). The return of the ospreys is just one of the many great occurrences that transpire as winter edges into spring – the greening of the trees, an increase in birdsong and activity, early flowers and warmer temperatures are just a few of the things we have to look forward to in the coming months.

The Osprey Project hosts several events throughout the season that begin in the spring. Our first event is a bird-ringing demonstration on 22nd April, accompanied by a cooked breakfast! Then on 6th May we are running our annual dawn chorus walk on the Lyndon reserve, again with a breakfast to reward the early morning!

ringing-168x300Lyndon reserve at dawn

Our most numerous and popular events are our osprey cruises, where we embark on a boat tour of the reservoir, with the aim of seeing ospreys flying and fishing. Cruise vouchers were a really big hit before Christmas, as, due to the fact they are not date specific, they make excellent gifts. Vouchers are still on sale, because even though Christmas is over there are still a number of occasions gift vouchers could come in useful! Click here for more details about our cruises.

The Rutland Belle at sunrise before we set out on our latest early crusie of the summerThe Rutland Belle

Exciting times are approaching! Stay with us as we wait for the stars of the show to arrive back home.


Maya waiting for 33 to arrive last year

33 with a new stick

The pair settling in together




Home again

We had a wonderful time on our osprey project trip to West Africa, as usual! The wildlife was fantastic, the company was excellent and we stayed in some lovely places. As we all know, during our stay in the Gambia there was some potential for unrest due to the refusal of the current president to step down and make way for the new one, following the elections in early December. This situation worried some people, however, there really was no need for anyone to be worried about us, as the situation was not as the media made out. Everything went smoothly and completely as normal, we did not encounter any unusual activities or problems anywhere. The only thing that changed for us was that the time of our scheduled flight home on Thursday 19th was brought forward by 45 minutes. So the trip went completely to plan!

We would like to thank our excellent team of volunteers for making this trip such good fun! We had some great outings and saw some wonderful wildlife, as detailed in my earlier two blogs. Here are some photographs of the trip, taken by the team.

When in Gambia... (K.Brookes)

When in Gambia… (K.Brookes)

Sometimes the fun is too much... (S.Box)

Sometimes the fun is too much… (S.Box)


This doesn’t need a caption (S.Box)


Chris enjoying the hammock (S.Box)


Two lovely ladies


Sunrise at Missirah (L.Howells)


Sarah enjoying the hammock at Footsteps (L.Howells)


Time for a brew! (L.Howells)


Enjoying our last evening at Footsteps Eco-lodge (L.Howells)