Osprey Team Latest

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. 

A Rainy Day

Each  day the chicks appear to multiply in size, it seems mad that they are almost a month old. This week they are finally starting to look like little ospreys, with the brown buff feathers beginning to protrude from their backs.

Do they know we’re watching

They are also starting to become more active around the nest; however, they do still spend most of their time asleep.

sleeping chicks

You may have noticed that the lower camera is blocked out at the moment; this could be one of the explanations of how it happened:

The weather this week has really turned out for the worst and over the next few days it is only going to deteriorate; so far Maya had done a great job of protecting the chicks and 33 seems to be able to fish in any weather. Let’s hope they both keep up the good work and that the sun makes a return before spring is over!

33 with dinner

Maya protecting the chicks from the rain


It’s a beautiful but windy day at Lyndon, it’s amazing to come in each morning and see how much the chicks have grown, they seem to transform overnight. Both chicks have now developed so much they can be seen peeking over the top of the nest and Maya can barely cover them both.

Maya, 33 and the chicks

Maya and chicks on the nest

As ever 33 has been diligently bringing in fish during the course of the day, with Maya taking over to feed the chicks.

We also have some more exciting news from Manton Bay, on Saturday night the volunteer in the hide called to let us know that there was a new bird in bay! This time it was 2AA, this osprey fledged from a nest on private land in 2016.


2AA in Manton Bay taken by Chris Wood.

Interestingly, 2AA was sighted in Portugal in 2016, 2017 and 2018. For more information or to see where he was sighted you can look on the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation: Osprey Migration Map. The very next day 2AA was again spotted by photographers at the River Gwash Trout Farm; have at look at these wonderful photos by Darren James.

2AA at River Gwash Trout Farm.
Photo Credit: Darren James.

2AA at River Gwash Trout Farm.
Photo Credit: Darren James.

2AA at River Gwash Trout Farm.
Photo Credit: Darren James.

In other news I must apologise for the post on Saturday in which said T3 is female, he is in fact male. It must have been wishful thinking.

“Inspired by Ospreys” – Competition 2018

This year we have an exciting competition for youngsters called “Inspired by Ospreys”.

 We want  children and young people to be “Inspired by Ospreys” and give us their best creative work in any of these categories.

  1. A drawing or painting (A4)

This can be any medium, paint, pen and ink, pastel etc. (Note; NOT a digitally produced image)

  1. A poem

An osprey poem using any type of verse.

It can be hand written or word processed no longer than one side A4.

  1. A short story

A short story which is based on ospreys in some way.

It must be no longer than 600 words. It can be hand written or word processed.


It would make a great school project so a whole class can take part, and you send us the best in each category! Time is short as entries must be received by Saturday 26th May 2018.


There are two competition age groups; 11 years and under and 12 years and over.

We will award first, second and third places (plus commended) in each category and each age group.


Sending your competition entries.

Entries can be sent in by individuals or sent together from a school.

We suggest that schools hold a competition of their own so that entries can be judged and perhaps the best 3 in each category are sent to us.


  1. Work can be posted to us, delivered by hand or sent by e-mail;

Postal entries; Jackie Murray, Rutland Ospreys Education Officer, Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre, Egleton, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8BT

E-mail entries; For pictures, attach a good quality photograph to an e-mail with the entrants details.

 Poems and stories can be attached to an email.

  1. Each individuals piece of work should have these details;

Posted entries; on the back      E-mailed entries; e-mailed with the attached entry.     

      • Pupil name and age
      • Category
      • School entries ; Name and school address with name of a contact teacher
      • Contact details ; Telephone number /e-mail address


  1. Judging of the work will be Monday 4th June. Schools will all be notified of the results.


Winning Entries will be put on public display in Oakham Library

Osprey diving for a fish

Down to Two

The week started out like any other, however, last night the third and smallest chick started to deteriorate, and this morning it was clear that it had died. The third chick hatched two days after its youngest sibling, which made it obviously smaller than the older two. Despite this all three chicks seemed to be doing really well and Maya was feeding each equally.


Things started to change when, yesterday afternoon 33 delivered a rather large clump of hay, Maya had already delivered a few clumps herself. However, this last clump swallowed up two of the chicks and for a while they were not visible. Later on 33 brought in a fish, this seemed to spur the chicks on,  first it was the bigger one that managed to pop his head out from the hay for a feed, then a few moments later the smallest chick just about managed to break free.


However, this was not enough, the two stranded chicks were now stuck on the other side of the nest, away from the nest cup and Mayas warmth. The bigger chick valiantly battled his way through the hay and fortunately his larger size and strength seemed to help and eventually he ended up back under Maya.  


The smaller chick was not so lucky, he put up a good fight trying to make his way back to the nest cup, but unfortunately did not make it. The chick was left out from under Maya for the rest of the night, although we had a warm day the night was cold and windy, meaning that the chick would have quickly cooled without Maya’s warmth.

The osprey team monitored the chick overnight and by morning it was clear the chick was dead and there was no action that could help without putting the remaining chicks at risk. It’s a real setback for Manton Bay and upsetting when you see the loss of a chick you’ve been watching for weeks, but on the positive side we still have two healthy chicks, both of which are looking very well fed!