Schools Blog

Maya Male Makes it Back!

Yesterday just as we were winding down for the day, a second osprey was spotted on the nest. This morning we were able to confirm this was 33(11). Maya’s usual partner. This is fantastic news, as it points us towards another successful breeding season for the pair. They have wasted no time at all having already started copulating this morning. 


33(11), being the perfect gentleman then treated Maya to a lovely breakfast not long after. Not only that but he also helped with the housework, bringing sticks to the nest and nest scraping. 



Let’s hope this is the beginning of another great year for the Manton Bay Ospreys! 


WOW-Day 4

Today the education team have been  as busy as ever visiting Ketton school, to teach the children all about ospreys read it here!!


WOW 2018- Day 3

Ken’s WOW Blog 

Well it’s Wednesday March 14th – Day 3 of World Osprey Week! And what a week it’s been so far! It was an early start for us today as were due at one of our flagship schools in Oakham – Brooke Priory!


Brooke Priory is probably the only school we have visited for each of the five World Osprey Weeks since we first started them in 2014. Today was a special assembly for them – we were treated to brilliant music by the school orchestra, then the school presented a cheque to a local charity which provides breakfasts for children and adults – and then it was our turn! We had prepared a brand new presentation, which as well as giving all the latest news about the Rutland Ospreys and Maya’s return, included a very important section about the dangers Ospreys (and other birds and mammals) face through waste plastics and other materials in the oceans. The students already have a group called ‘Planet Protectors’, and they were well tuned in to the message we were giving. Plastic drinking straws and other non-degradable packaging came in for particularly harsh treatment! Well done Brooke Priory! As the school orchestra played us out, there was a lot of really good discussion from the students about how we can help Ospreys and all other wildlife by taking a little care about our choices in shops!

A few minutes later and we are in the studios of Rutland Radio, and Jackie is whisked in front of the microphone where host Rob Persani quizzes her about WOW and the latest news about the returning Ospreys. Listen to Jackie this  Friday morning on 107.2 and 97.4 FM!

Time for a breather! Back at Lyndon, Maya is thrilling a small crowd gathered  in front of the screen – she looks very much at home on the nest, and is even bringing twigs in already!  Everyone hopes her mate 33(11) is not too far behind! The Centre is already a hive of activity – volunteers Andy and Anne Strang are sorting out a large donation of bird and other natural history books which we will sell during the season, with all profits going to the Osprey Project! Many thanks to Andy and Anne– and please do not hesitate to  donate any more of your unwanted natural history books to us!

After lunch we are off again – this time to Fernvale Primary School in Thurnby, near Leicester! This is a new school for us – we are anxious to spread the Osprey story more widely this year, including some more urban centres in towns and cities such as Leicester, Peterborough and Corby!

So if you are in any way connected with a school that hasn’t yet been ‘ospreyed’, please get in touch and we’ll be pleased to oblige!

Maya’s Return

Today has been an extremely exciting day for the Rutland Osprey Project! The first osprey was seen in Rutland, and to add to the excitement the first bird back was identified as Maya the Manton Bay osprey, this meant that her return was broadcast live for all to see via webcam.  This is the earliest we have ever had a bird back in Rutland, as the birds usually return around the 17th March. We are not sure what has caused this early return, but it will be very interesting to see when the other ospreys make their way back to Rutland. We are still tracking our tagged bird and hope to have an update for you tomorrow.

This was a great start to the 2018 osprey season and added to the excitement of World Osprey Week (WOW). Ken Davis, from the education team, has written a great blog detailing the events of the first day of WOW. 



World Osprey Week Day 1: Maya is back, and Catmose Primary are WOW’d.



Monday March 12th 2018 : An unbelievable, brilliant day! A visit to Catmose Primary School in Oakham on the first day of World Osprey Week was exciting anyway, but what happened afterwards as we were making for home was absolutely fantastic! ‘There’s an Osprey eating a trout on the nest in Manton Bay’ was the simple message……..Who could it be? Bit early for Maya, said someone. ‘Awaiting confirmation’ said the next post. ‘Keep your eye on the website….’

The Education Team (Jackie, Pete and Ken) had just completed whole school assembly for over 200 boys and girls (aged 5 – 11) at Catmose Primary School in Oakham, just a few kilometres from Manton Bay. This is an excellent school, and everyone was very quickly involved as we showed our pictures and described the famous Ospreys these very lucky children have right on their doorstep every summer. We explained very carefully why there were no Ospreys in the Bay right now because they were still making their way back from their wintering grounds in west Africa or Southern Spain……little did we know what was going on in the Bay! Members of the audience answered our Osprey questions and were eager to hear about every part of the great Osprey story, including nest, rings, trackers, and every single detail. You could hear a pin drop in the hall……apart from every time someone mentioned World Osprey Week, which led to a hearty shout of WOW! – which was probably heard back at the Bay! And as a special treat at the end, we played the famous Osprey Song, performed by the children of Hurst Lodge School in Ascot (find it on You-Tube). And that’s not all – Headteacher Mrs Jackson announced that four trips are to be arranged in the summer term so that every single student in Key Stage 2 (and that’s about 120!) can come over to Manton Bay and see the Ospreys for themselves. Yet more and more ‘WOW’s’ – it’s been a WOW morning, and this is a WOW school – thank you for your great welcome and enthusiasm! We three have had a great time – hope you all did too! And we’ll see you all again later in the year!

And then everything else started to happen! It must have been just as were finishing, in the later part of the morning, that those messages started coming through…..It was possible, just possible, that on the very first day of World Osprey Week 2018, an Osprey, a very special Osprey called Maya, had completed her homeward journey, and was enjoying her first Rutland trout in six months! Welcome home Maya! You couldn’t have timed it better!!

2018 World Osprey Week (WOW)

This week is World Osprey Week (WOW), the idea of a week to celebrate ospreys across the globe was started by the project back in 2014, WOW is now in its fourth year and has allowed hundreds of school children from across the globe to engage with ospreys and nature conservation. Not only does this aid in the protection of ospreys across their migration route, but it also allows children to reconnect with nature and become inspired.

During this week our education team will be visiting schools across the region to deliver talks and lessons about ospreys. The same will be happening across the osprey migration route in each school signed up to WOW, which can be seen on our interactive map

It is difficult to measure the impact delivering these talks has on conservation as a whole, sometimes its easy to forget how important nature education is for school children, and the impact it can have in their lives. Just this weekend we were visited by a boy who had been inspired by a talk delivered by the education team in his school and wished to enroll as an osprey ambassador. This will allow him to share his passion for ospreys and nature with his peers. I myself only began volunteering in nature conservation when I was visited in school by an outreach initiative from Rutland Water. This demonstrates how nature education can have a profound  effect and can inspire the conservationists of the future, which will then directly impact nature conservation.  

Waderscrape hide, Lyndon Reserve.

Osprey Ambassadors’ Party

Osprey Ambassadors are children in local primary and secondary schools in the Stamford and Rutland area, who act as the link between the Rutland Osprey Project and their school. The Osprey Ambassadors Party, was held on Sunday 1st October 2017.

The Rutland Ospreys have now all migrated to West Africa, and this week end a special event marked the end of the 2017 osprey season. Bye-bye Osprey week or BOW finished with an Osprey Ambassadors party!

Seventeen children, who are Osprey Ambassadors in eleven local schools, accompanied by thie family and friends met at the Volunteer Training Centre on Sunday. This end of season party was organised by the Osprey Education Team, and Pete Jackie and Ken gave a special thank-you to the children for their hard work in their schools during the year, and their continued active interest in this project.

We began with brief highlights of the year, including World Osprey Week in March, the “Ospreys and us Video” competition, our links with the Urdaibai Bird Reserve in northern Spain, the monthly Ambassadors Osprey Club and our part on the Wildlife Trusts stand at the Rutland Water Bird Fair.

The children then enjoyed some osprey related games such as Musical Migrating Ospreys, Pass the Osprey, and Pin the Zygodactylic Toe on the Osprey.

No party would be complete without food, and Liz Elsden produced a specular spread with her signature chocolate osprey cake, osprey cupcakes, and a huge array of colourful fruits, sweets and jelly all with an animal theme!

The afternoon finished with a birdwatching session from the VTC gallery looking out over Rutland Water. The young Osprey Ambassadors now are all looking forward to next year when the ospreys return.

Words and photographs by Education Officer Pete Murray. 

Party introduction

Pass the osprey

Pin the toe on the osprey

Alex and Alex – winners of pin the toe

Party food, Liz Elsden

Osprey cupcakes


World Osprey Week 2018 – 12th   to 18th March

World Osprey Week or WOW celebrates the return of the Rutland Ospreys It is possible to teach your lessons using osprey based teaching resources. Schools can simply register and then use our FREE primary and secondary teaching resources including worksheets (with teacher’s notes), lesson plans, fun activities and project ideas that cover a wide range of national curriculum subjects.