Something very exciting happened today – the first two-year-old osprey has returned to Rutland! We found out when she landed on the Manton Bay nest at 13:31 this afternoon. Maya was incubating, and suddenly looked alert. 33 flew into the nest seconds later and both birds looked skywards, as though an intruder was high above them. Then their defensive behaviour intensified and they both mantled furiously. The intruder came closer and closer, then we saw legs dangling in the wide angle camera view! Who could it be?! Then the intruding osprey landed on the nest!
We switched to the close up camera view and could immediately see that the intruder’s blue leg ring read S6. S6 is a female osprey who fledged from an off-site nest in the Rutland area in 2015!
S6 only sat on the nest for a few seconds before being seen off by the Manton Bay pair. She stayed around the bay afterwards for a while, and you can see her flying around in the background in the video above. After a while, Maya took off to see her off for good. S6 eventually disappeared, after a total of eight minutes hanging around Manton Bay.
It’s fantastic that we have a 2015 bird back, as last season we saw no signs of any 2014 birds. The fact that she is a female makes us all even happier, as we have six male ospreys who are currently unattached. The hope is that she will discover one of them, settle down and bond in order to breed next year.
It’s quite early for the youngsters to start returning, so our (extremely) high hopes are that if S6 settles down quickly there’s a small chance she could even breed this year. It is rare for a two-year-old to breed, but it has happened before – a translocated female from 2001 returned to Rutland and bred in 2003, raising three chicks!
We will wait and see what S6 does – it is far more likely that she will spend some time visiting other nests in the area, and she may also pop over and visit our friends in Wales, as several of our other females have done! Look out for her Glaslyn and Dyfi!