Osprey Team Latest

First chick hatches!

Brilliant news from Manton Bay – the first chick hatched just after 6pm this evening! Here’s the wonderful moment we saw the tiny youngster for the first time

Maya looking down at her newly-hatched chick

At this stage the youngster is still incredibly weak and Maya spent the majority of the chick’s first hour brooding it. However, from time to time she stood up and shuffled around, giving us fleeting glimpses.

Maya settling down to brood the chick

Maya settling down to brood the chick

For a more prolonged view we needed 33 to catch a fish. Sure enough, at 7:05pm, he dived and caught a roach close to the Lyndon Visitor Centre. He flew back to be bay and, like usual, landed on the nest-side t-perch with it. It was a good-sized fish and there was still plenty of it left when he took it to the nest 50 minutes later. At this stage 33 was still unaware that the chick had hatched; but that all changed as soon as he landed next to Maya. Here’s the moment he saw the youngster for the first time. You can almost see his surprise…

33 looking down at his newly-hatched chick for the first time

33 looking down at his newly-hatched chick for the first time

The chick is still too young to feed (at this early stage it is too weak even to hold its head up) and so after eating some of the fish herself, Maya left the remains on the side of the nest so that she could try again later.

20 minutes later Maya did try to feed the chick again, but it was still took weak…

Being an experienced mother, Maya knows exactly what she’s doing. She’ll keep trying to feed the chick but it may be that it won’t have its first meal until the early hours of tomorrow.

Maya trying to feed the newly-hatched chick

Maya trying to feed the newly-hatched chick

The next few days will make for fascinating viewing and so make sure that you put the webcam on tomorrow morning or, even better, come and see us at Lyndon over the bank holiday weekend. With a bit of luck, there should be two more hatchings to follow in the coming days….

Have your cake and eat it

We have definitely seen an improvement in the weather today! Still a wee bit windy, but much sunnier and warmer! 33 brought in a little fish at about 09:00 this morning, and I waited as usual for the moment when he would deliver it to Maya. However, he didn’t!

33's fish

33 scoffs the fish, while a magpie looks on

 

When 33 left the T-perch I was pretty certain he had eaten it all, as he had been wiping his bill on the perch to clean it of fish residue. However, I held onto a bit of hope that he had a tiny bit left…Maya looked around expectantly when he left the perch, and he came flying towards the nest, but he arrived with not a scrap!

33 arrives with nothing

33 arrives with nothing

33 incubates

33 incubates

 

Later in the evening, 33 redeemed himself by catching a large roach, and this time he did bring it to Maya!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s update, our education team have been very busy working with schools recently, visiting schools from all over the region and hosting pupils at the Lyndon reserve.

Copthill school near Stamford visited Lyndon last month with their year one pupils, and they followed this up by inviting the team to do a whole school assembly, which they did yesterday. After the assembly the team worked with the reception class and read them our story book ‘Ozzie’s Migration’. On their way through the school the team were delighted to see the artwork that had been done after the year one’s visit to Lyndon.

Copt Hill display

Copthill display

Copt Hill display

Copthill display

 

You may recall the picture of the superb Osprey cake… this cake was made by Jan Warren, to celebrate the Osprey Club of Whissendine School near Oakham. The school have been holding this Osprey Club as an after-school activity, and members of the Osprey team have visited several times and joined in. Yesterday was the last meeting, hence the cakes, and they went down very well!

Click here for more information about our education work, and opportunities to get your school involved with Ospreys!

Osprey cake, made by Jan Warren

Osprey cake, made by Jan Warren

Osprey cake and pupils

Osprey cake and pupils, with Jackie and Ken

Osprey chocolate nests

Chocolate Osprey nests

Pupils looking at the Osprey website

Pupils looking at the Osprey website

Osprey dice game

Osprey dice game

Drawing an Osprey

Drawing an Osprey

 

 

 

 

Let them eat cake

Yesterday, Maya spent a long time meticulously positioning the sticks around the nest. Both birds have done a bit of nest rearranging again today, however, they have completely ignored the huge stick that is directly in the way!

Silly stick

Silly stick

 

We do hope that stick gets moved soon, as it rather impedes our view!

The newly zoomed in camera is fabulous, and we are getting very excited about the imminent arrival of the first chick! Today is day 35 in the incubation cycle, so it could be any day now. In Maya’s four years of breeding, her first chick has always hatched either 39 or 40 days after the first egg was laid. This means that the day of hatching should be Sunday or Monday… of course, we can never be certain… but when it happens, we’ll be there to press record!

Maya with the eggs

Maya with the eggs

 

33 has just come back with a large roach! He was away for over an hour, but it has been quite windy today, and the reservoir is looking quite choppy, so it will have been tough for him out there.

Maya taking fish away

Maya taking fish away

 

Our education team have been buzzing with the praise that they received after World Osprey Week, which was a huge success! They are now busy both visiting schools and with school visits to the reserve, and are doing a superb job of inspiring children and teachers with the world of Ospreys! Whissendine Primary School has been so taken by Ospreys and the Project they have established an Osprey Club! This afternoon, the team visited the school for the final day of Osprey Club, and presented them with these fabulous cakes, made specially by volunteer Jan Warren.

Osprey cake

Osprey cake!

Osprey nest cake

Osprey nest cake!

 

If you’re a teacher who would like to learn more about how you can incorporate Ospreys into your teaching, why not register for our teacher training day in July. Click here for more information!

 

WOW! 40,000 miles and 48 countries

It now almost two months since World Osprey Week, but two of the birds we followed as part of WOW have only just made it back to their nest site. Tero and Seija are two of the most northerly breeding Ospreys anywhere in the world – their nest in Lapland is actually inside the Arctic Circle – and, knowing that spring arrives much later at such a northerly latitude, the birds do not hurry back to their nest site each year. In fact Seija was the first of the two birds to make it home; arriving on  10th May after a 42 day flight from the Ivory Coast. Her mate, Tero, was just three days behind her, having spent the winter 3000 miles away in Kenya, on the other side of Africa. Amazingly he had left his winter home on exactly the same day as Seija: 30th March (the day after WOW). There is a much more detailed account of their migrations on the Finnish Museum of Natural History websiteYou can check our their journeys via the animation buttons at bottom of our interactive WOW map.

30(05) is one of the Ospreys we'll be following during World Osprey Week

30(05) was one of nine satellite-tagged Ospreys that we followed during World Osprey Week

With Seija and Tero safely back at their nest site, all of the WOW birds have now completed their spring migration. Between them the WOW birds have flown almost 40,000 miles across 48 different countries, spanning four continents. To get back to their nests they have had to make long, arduous crossings of the Sahara, night-time flights across the sea, navigate vast mountains ranges, and perhaps most worryingly of all, avoid the guns of hunters. Helena – one of the Finnish birds –  survived crossing Malta where illegal killing of birds of prey remains a serious problem (see the Birdlife Malta website for more). Of course these nine birds are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bird migration. Each spring many millions of birds – many a fraction of the size and weight of the satellite-tagged Ospreys that we have been privileged to follow – make similar journeys. And that is what WOW is all about – a celebration of migration.

This year almost 250 schools from 12 different countries took part in WOW. Some made links with schools in other countries and, in some cases, continents; others used the interactive map to follow the journeys of the individual Ospreys; many downloaded the free teaching resources to bring Ospreys into their day-to-day lessons. We hope that by following the WOW birds on their spring migration that students and teachers have been as captivated by the amazing journeys as we have. We also hope that they have been able to learn about other countries in a new an exciting way. Through their remarkable journeys, migratory birds link people from many different cultures and backgrounds. They also demonstrate why international collaboration is so important when it comes to conservation.

One of the schools who got involved in WOW this year Hugglecote Community Primary School from Coalville in Leicestershire. Teacher Sarah Simpson has kindly sent some examples of their work. You can check it out in the gallery here. Well done to everyone involved!

Although all of the WOW birds have now made it home, schools can still register online via the Osprey Flyways Project. This gives you free access to 43 online lesson plans and ideas and the opportunity to make links with other schools who have registered for the project. To sign-up, click here.

Natalia Gutkowska (left) with her winning design and Claudia Czarnota who was third

The WOW logo was designed by Natalia Gutkowska (left) from Zespolszkowl school in Poland. Claudia Czarnota was third in the logo competition.

Children at Edith Weston primary linked up with Montorre school during WOW via Skype

Children at Edith Weston primary in Rutland linked up with Montorre school from the Basque Country and Tanji Lower Basic School from Gambia during WOW via Skype

Students at Gvanim school in Israel Skyping Zespolszkolw school in Poland

Students at Gvanim school in Israel Skyping Zespolszkolw school in Poland

A huge thanks to all the schools who got involved in WOW this year; and also to the Osprey researchers and organisations who have allowed us to follow their satellite-tagged Ospreys on migration. Particular thanks to Roy Dennis, Pertti Saurola, Iain MacLeod and Rob Bierregaard. You can learn more about the work they do via the Meet the WOW Ospreys page.

WOW will be back bigger and better next year, but if you’re a teacher who would like to learn more about how you can incorporate Ospreys into your teaching, why not register for our teacher training day in July. There is more information here.

Chicks in the Osprey nest erected by Provo Primary School in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Chicks in an Osprey nest erected by Provo Primary School in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Signs of change

Another very unpredictable day of mixed weather! It has also been an unpredictable Osprey day – for the first time in a long time there was an intruding Osprey in the bay! Both Maya and 33 were on the nest, 33 was incubating. All had been lovely and peaceful, then we received a call from our volunteers Paul and Marilyn in the hide, telling us an intruder was about! The bird flew above the nest, and came down towards the Manton Bay pair. 33 scrambled up and gave chase. We thought this might be the end of it, but later on the intruder came back!

We thought it might be possible that this bird was either one of our unattached males, or a newly arrived two-year-old! Luckily for us, Bill Kincaid, a visitor to the hide, managed to get some photographs of this intruder. From these, we determined that it was in fact an unringed male, possibly a youngster heading back to Scotland. Thanks to Bill for sharing his photographs!

Unringed male intruder, photo by Bill Kincaid

Unringed male intruder, photo by Bill Kincaid

 

Maya has done a lot of nest rearranging today, and has at times seemed almost obsessive with her placement of the sticks! She struggled to move some of them into the positions that she wanted, and spent quite a long time at it!

Maya moving sticks (3)

Maya moving sticks

Maya moving sticks (2)

Maya moving sticks (1)

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We played around with the zoom today on the nest camera, you may have noticed the change on the webcam! This will really come into its own when the chicks arrive – the picture is superbly sharp and clear!

Maya in the rain

Maya in the rain

Both birds and eggs

Both birds and eggs

33 incubating

33 incubating

Maya incubating

Maya incubating

 

You will also notice a change when entering our car park, as there is now a welcome difference in the approach to the Visitor Centre. You’ll certainly know you’re in the right place for Ospreys!

New welcome sign!

New welcome sign!