Osprey Team Latest

Fishy business

Looking at the state of the weather today, it’s no surprise that Maya, 33 and S3 are all still with us! S1 and S2 have definitely begun their long journey south – there was a slim possibility that they might reappear, but they have not. So it is just S3 who’s left, but she seems in no hurry. She is still being very well fed by both Maya and 33. The rain clearly didn’t hinder their fishing today, as this morning three fish were delivered in the space of half an hour! When we arrived at the centre, S3 and Maya were both on the nest eating one each.

S3 and Maya each with fish

S3 and Maya on the nest with a fish each

 

Later on, Maya took one fish to the T-perch, and S3 followed her over there. They remained there for the majority of the morning, sitting in the rain.

S3 and Maya on perch

S3 and Maya on the T-perch

S3 moving closer to Mum

S3 edges closer to Mum

 

Whilst they lounged on the perch, a cheeky black-headed gull landed on the nest and helped itself to the abandoned fish!

Gull scoffing

Gull eating the fish

 

Then a crow decided to join in the party, flying in with a flourish and flushing the gull!

The crow almost took off with the fish, but ended up just pulling it to the side of the nest, where it got wedged. S3 struggled to reach this fish to get it back, but she didn’t give up, and in the end she managed it!

S3 reaches fish

S3 reaches fish

 

Saving the best for last

On Saturday evening, the Osprey team and the Rutland Belle hosted our last Osprey Cruise of 2015. It’s always sad when things come to an end, but we can look back happily on an absolutely fantastic season of cruises! We have run eighteen cruises this year, fifteen afternoon ones and three dawn ones, and they have all been incredibly popular and well-attended. They have also all been very successful in terms of Osprey sightings. This year, we have seen Ospreys on every single cruise. Some viewings were better than others, of course, and occasionally we even had up to six Ospreys in the air at one time, and we’ve seen several actually catching fish!

Saturday’s cruise was no exception – it was a superb cruise to end the season. We followed an Osprey we thought to be 33 as he circled and soared, looking for fish in the water. He attempted several dives, pulling out at the last second, then we were treated to a spectacular view of him plunging into the water, sending up glistening shards of spray. He had clearly caught hold of a fish, and he was struggling on the surface of the water for some time, trying to lift it out. We were beginning to think he would have to give up, but eventually he dragged the enormous trout out of the water, and flew past us very closely to get back to his nest. It was 33, and our volunteer Mick informed us he had landed on the fallen tree with his catch.

On the way back down the South Arm of the reservoir, we were treated to another view of an Osprey carrying a fish – it was coming towards us from the east, and did a great fly-by.

What a brilliant cruise – we all agreed it was one of the best we have ever had, and perhaps the best view ever of an Osprey fishing. Thank you to everyone who came on board, and to the Rutland Belle and her crew.

Here’s to another season of successful Osprey cruises next year! You can buy vouchers now for next year’s cruises, just email kbrookes@rutlandwater.org.uk for more information, or click here!

Rutland Belle 4N7A0117---33-from-Belle

 

 

When you’re gone

It looks as though some of our Manton Bay Ospreys have finally decided to leave! They have taken their time, but it was nice to have them all for so long. We don’t like to see them go – a bay devoid of Ospreys is a depressing sight. Alas, we know that they must – it is their nature to only spend the summer here, and winter elsewhere. If they didn’t leave us, we wouldn’t have that wonderful sense of excitement and anticipation in March every year, or be able to visit The Gambia and Senegal and see them on their wintering grounds. Every cloud has a silver lining.

They haven’t all gone just yet, though. Maya, 33 and S3 are still with us, and it is S1 and S2 whom we believe to have begun their journey southwards. The two male juveniles were last seen late yesterday morning. There is always a chance they could reappear, but with each passing hour it looks more likely that they have, in fact, departed. It was only a matter of time. Their migratory instincts are very strong, and we hope they will carry them safely to their destination.

As I have mentioned before, Maya bucks the trend that says adult female Ospreys leave first on their migration. She always waits until at least one of her chicks has left before she does, therefore we are not surprised that she remains with us. Of course, we can’t attempt to predict 33’s behaviour, as this is the first year he has raised chicks. Last season, he left the day after Maya. It will be interesting to see if he waits until last this year, as is the commonly held belief when it comes to breeding male Ospreys.

With two gone, the others won’t be far behind! As such, now could be your last chance to see them this year, and, as Dave mentions in his video (below), this weekend was his last chance to film all of the Ospreys in the bay. Therefore, we are happy that we have another fabulous video from Dave Cole to share, filmed from Shallow Water hide yesterday. Many thanks to Dave for this, and I hope you all enjoy what might be the last video we have of the Manton Bay Osprey Family of 2015.

 

Don’t drop the fish

If you have been watching the webcam, reading the updates or have visited Lyndon in the past few days, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Manton Bay Ospreys are still here! They are very relaxed and comfortable sitting around the bay on the various perches, and the juveniles still come to the nest occasionally.

S3 on the nest today

S3 on the nest today

 

These juveniles have had it easy so far, but one day soon their migratory instinct will kick in, and they will follow that irrepressible urge to fly south to warmer climes. The only question is when that will be!

You may remember that we had a special presentation during the Birdfair. On Sunday afternoon, the Osprey education team launched their new book – “Be and Osprey Expert”, written by Jackie and Pete Murray. Also at this presentation, a group of pupils from Brooke Priory School performed an Osprey song that they had made, specially for the Rutland Ospreys! Brooke Priory have been very involved in the Osprey Project and World Osprey Week (WOW), and have embraced Ospreys as part of their learning at school. We are very pleased to share their special Osprey song!

Make me want to stay

Recently, there have been reports from around the country of Ospreys leaving on their autumn migration, as we would expect. The five birds in Manton Bay, however, are all still here! Today, they were even on the nest quite a lot. All three juveniles were on the nest together at one point in the morning, one of whom – S1 – was eating a fish, whilst the others looked on.

All three juveniles, S1 with a fish

All three juveniles, S1 with a fish

 

The next time we looked, Maya was on the nest with two of the youngsters – S1 had gone, and S3 was eating a fish that Maya appeared to have just delivered.

Maya with S2 and S3

Maya with S2 and S3

 

S2 had to wait until last to feed, and stood watching and complaining loudly as S3 ate. When she had had enough, S3 left the fish with S2 and he happily tucked in.

S2 with the fish

S2 with the fish

 

All three juveniles are evidently still being very well fed by their parents, and therefore seem to have no motivation to leave the area any time soon! They have been incredibly well fed all season, as we have so often seen by the amount of fish left uneaten at the side of the nest. Perhaps 33 has done his job too well, as they clearly don’t want to go!

As I have said previously, Maya generally waits until one of her chicks has gone before she leaves. However, this year we could see a change in the running order if she gets fed up of waiting for them!

S1 in the sun at the end of the day

S1 in the sun at the end of the day

 

Don’t forget, even though the Ospreys will surely have left us by then, there is still a chance to join the Osprey Project at our end of season celebratory event – our Osprey Fundraising Dinner and Dance on 18th September. Click here for more details!