As we wait for the first egg to hatch at Manton Bay – it could be any day now – we have had some exciting news from Wales.
Earlier today a female Osprey intruded at Cors Dyfi where 03(08) – or Nora as she is now better know – is breeding. Having been chased away from the nest where Nora and her mate are incubating three eggs, she landed on a second artificial nest a few hundred metres away. Using their fantastic cameras, the Dyfi team were able to zoom in on the mystery visitor and take this photo, which clearly shows a blue ring on her right leg.
The blue ring is enough to tell us that she was ringed in either England or Wales, but it is the inscription that is really important. The ’12’ which is inscribed in white numbers (reading up the ring) identifies her as a female who fledged from the Site N nest in Rutland in 2010. This means that she is also Nora’s niece!
What’s more, 12(10) is the sister of 11(10) – the male Osprey who was recently seen in northern Spain. Given the usual high mortality of young Ospreys it is exceptional for both birds to have survived this long. Now that we know 12 has returned to the UK safely, we’re hoping that her brother follows in her footsteps and makes it back from Spain.
There is every chance that 12 was the female Osprey seen at Arlington in Sussex at the end of last week. This photo (taken by Roger Haggar) shows that it had a blue ring on its right leg but, frustratingly, it wasn’t quite possible to read the inscription in Roger’s photos.
It will be very interesting to see what 12(10) does next. Roy Dennis’s satellite tracking of the young Scottish Osprey Rothiemurchus reveals how much young birds wander before they settle down to breed. There is every chance that, having visited Dyfi today, 12 may intrude at the Glaslyn nest in North Wales (where another of our Rutland birds is breeding) in the next few days and then head across to Rutland. Or, if she finds an unattached male at a nest, she might not go much further. Once again this demonstrates the value of the Rutland translocation project and positive, pro-active conservation in general. There would be no breeding Ospreys in either Wales or central England had it not been for our work at Rutland Water; it has completely changed the Osprey distribution map in the UK.
I wonder if 12 will be the next Rutland Osprey take up permanent residency in Wales? Watch this space!