What a day! When I received a message at 06:39 this morning, I didn’t expect it to be telling me that our breeding female, Maya, had returned! Maya did not arrive back in Rutland until 6th April last season, so we were not expecting her yet. But what a lovely surprise!
Osprey monitor Jan Warren was on duty in Waderscrape hide this morning, and it was she who had the first privileged glimpse of the wonderful Maya on return to her nest site. Jan immediately let me know, and I hurriedly loaded the webcam, at the same time as trying to send the good news through to all of my colleagues! It wasn’t until 07:15 that Maya landed on the nest, enabling me to grab a quick, rather blurry screen shot of her before she promptly flew off again. Throughout the day, she landed on the nest a few times more, but didn’t spend much time there. She caught a fish, which she ate on a perch, and she has bathed in the reservoir a few times. She seems to be reacquainting herself with the area! These short videos and pictures show her brief visits to the nest today.
Maya had a visit from 25(10) today, who sat on a perch in the bay for a while. The pair of them were seen flying around above the bay together, but with no apparent aggression. Both females are breeding birds and have their own nest sites, and so it is possible that Maya sensed no threat from 25. This year, the young Rutland female did not attempt to land on the nest, as she has done the past two years. In fact, two years ago Maya and 25 had a little bit of a scrap over the Manton Bay nest and a fish, as seen in the video below!
Clearly 25 wasn’t quite so respectful of Maya’s personal space back then! Also, at that time Maya had been waiting a while for her mate, 5R(04) so her patience may have been wearing thin. That was, of course, the year that 5R did not return, which meant Maya was alone for a prolonged period. We hope that 33 does not keep her waiting too long! He arrived on 6th April last season, but could very well be early this year as he is now a breeding bird with increased motivation to return more hastily.