Flying without wings

What an exciting day it has been! The fantastic news was released this morning that the 100th Osprey chick to fledge from a nest in Rutland has done so this year! More about this monumental milestone can be found by clicking here. The news has spread far and wide, and today, the Lyndon Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve – home of the Rutland Osprey Project and location of the only publicly viewable Osprey nest – was inundated with paparazzi! TV crews, radio stations and journalists flocked in to interview staff and find out all about the incredible Rutland Osprey Project.

The 2015 season has been the best we have ever had, and to reach the milestone of 100 chicks to fledge from the area is wonderful! It is great that the success of the project and the 2015 season has been recognised. It was also terrific to see the well-deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication put in by people such as Tim Mackrill and Paul Stammers, who have been involved with the project since its inception.

Look out for their faces on every news channel tonight!

Tim and Paul

Paul and Tim

 

In September last year, we celebrated the success of the season in style with our inaugural Osprey Ball. This year, we are holding a similar event – our Osprey Fundraising Dinner and Dance! This event promises to be an evening to remember, and a fitting celebration of the amazing success of the 2015 season, and the 100th chick to fledge from Rutland! The Dinner and Dance will be held at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, from 7pm onwards on Friday 18th September 2015. There will be delicious food, a fabulous raffle, live music and the chance to dance! Roy Dennis will be joining us for the evening and giving a talk. We hope you will join us at this event, and celebrate the success of the project with us! More details can be found by clicking here.

The event room at Barnsdale

The event room at Barnsdale

 

Today, the Ospreys have once again provided endless entertainment in the bay! They have spent a lot of time on the nest today, and this morning S1 was in the process of tearing into a fish when we switched the cameras on.

S1 eating fish

S1 eating fish

 

Whilst we have been in two minds about the sex of S1, and originally plumped for female, we are now almost 100% certain he is actually a male. Sometimes it can be hard to confidently determine the gender of an Osprey, and there are usually some who are indeterminate at the age of ringing. Since he fledged, we have been able to look at the development of S1 more closely, and compare his size to the adults when sitting on perches near them. Due to these observations, we now believe him to be male. You can also see that he is noticeable smaller than his sister, S3, who was clearly a female at ringing – you can see how huge she is!

S3 was sitting watching as S1 ate the fish, and the next thing we knew, she was standing up next to her brother and ripping a clump of rushes to pieces. It looked clear to us that she was copying the behaviour of S1 as he ate the fish, and using a piece of nest material to practise on!

Mimic (1)

S3 grabs a piece of nest material…

Mimic (2)

…and mimics S1 eating the fish!

 

It was very interesting to witness S3 doing this! For S3 to mimic the action of S1 as he ate the fish, demonstrated that Ospreys do indeed learn by watching their parents and siblings. We know that they often watch their parents fish, and S1 and S2 have been seen dunking themselves in the water as if they are copying them, and practising fishing for themselves. They may not know the reason they are diving into the water, but they are clearly mimicking the behaviour of their parents, and one day there will be a fish in the spot that they dive into, and their instincts will kick in!

S3’s imitation of S1’s feeding behaviour evidently paid off, as a little while later she was seen eating the fish!

S3 eating the fish

S3 eating the fish

 

You may haven noticed on the webcam page that we have changed the view to include the camera which is focused on the T-perch. The wide angle view camera – the favourite view of some of us – has unfortunately suffered another obscuration. The lens has fogged up somehow, and whether it be a spider web, condensation or Osprey excrement, it impedes the view. This, plus the fact that all five Ospreys are using the T-perch quite a lot, prompted us to change the second view on the webcam. We hope you all enjoy the change!

Here is some proof that they are all using the T-perch fairly often!

33 and Maya

33 and Maya

S3 on T perch

S3 on T perch

Mum with S1

Mum with S1

Mum, Dad and S1

Mum, Dad and S1