The older Manton Bay chick is four weeks old on Friday, and the younger one a day over three weeks old, but you wouldn’t think that by looking at them! They are both huge, their feathers are beginning to show and it won’t be long before all their down is gone and they are fully feathered juveniles. All the fish 33 is bringing is helping their rapid growth rate, and the adverse weather hasn’t affected them at all – they just hunker down in the nest and Maya covers them to keep them warm and dry. They have been stretching their wings and attempting to stand up and walk around a lot recently!
Late last night, when the rain had stopped and the wind wasn’t so fierce, 33 went out and caught a fish! It was a great big trout, which he delivered head-and-all to the nest at 21:28.
As it was so big, not much of the trout was actually eaten last night, and it stayed on the nest for most of the night. 33 took it away to eat some early this morning, then he brought it back to the nest at 04:30 this morning.
It has still been very windy today, though at least it was dry. This morning the wind was playing havoc with the osprey nest – at 08:50 a stick suddenly went flying across the nest and landed on top of the chicks! In the video below, you can see that both Maya and 33 are struggling against the wind, and there must have been a strong gust that blew the stick from the side of the nest into the middle. Maya and 33 moved the stick out of the way together.
33 delivered the first fish of the day at 14:59, a nice fresh perch!
The next fish came just an hour and a half later at 16:31. At first we thought this was a trout, but on further inspection of the footage it looks more like a roach. Whatever the species it was huge!
It’s not just the ospreys creating wonderful viewing for visitors to Waderscrape hide, there have been several other delightful sightings recently! Highlights include members of the thriving population of water voles, sedge warblers, the occasional barn owl and some very bold water rails! Here is a selection of lovely photographs taken by Osprey Volunteer Matthew Blurton, of the wildlife outside Waderscrape. Thank you very much for these Matthew!