Magic in the air

Welcome to the Rutland Osprey Project 2015! What an amazing feeling it is to be here once again at the beginning of a new season. There is so much to be excited about!

The team have been busy over the winter months maintaining and improving the reserve at Lyndon. The car park has been tidied, several coppice plots have been re-cut, new dead hedges and willow fences have been erected, and, oh yes, there’s a new hide!

The Osprey-viewing experience is set to be greatly enhanced by the brand new Waderscrape hide. It is everything you could ever want a bird hide to be. Step across the lovely bit of decking at the entrance, and open the door to fabulous views out of glass windows (that open), giant floor to ceiling windows, comfy seats, masses of information and interpretation to read on the walls, a TV at one end showing live images of the privileged view into the Osprey nest, volunteers on hand to answer questions, telescopes to look through, not to mention the oodles of space and that lovely smell of freshly worked wood. It’s an experience not to be missed!

Work being completed on the interior of the hide

Work being completed on the interior of the hide

The view through the big windows

The view through the big windows

A lovely bit of willow fencing outside the hide

A lovely bit of willow fencing outside the hide

 

This year we have three cameras with which to view the Ospreys. Yes, three! One is, of course, the all-important view from above, into the Osprey nest. Another shows the nest plus a lovely panoramic of the reservoir behind it, offering a wonderful view of any incoming Ospreys! The third camera is set on the shoreline, and focuses on the T-perch. This way we will be able to see the Ospreys from the Centre when they are not on the nest, as they often sit on that perch and take fish there to eat.

The webcam is now up and running, as some of you may have already noticed. The live online feed will only show the close-up view of the nest (shown below). The ladder is not going to remain against the nest all season, of course. It is only there whilst we sort out the cameras (and fix them should there be problems), and it also helps to deter any naughty nest-nabbers, also known as Egyptian Geese! The ladders will come down well before any Ospreys are expected.

The new camera view of the nest

The new camera view of the nest (ladder to be removed next week)

 

Speaking of which, the first Osprey back last season was the well known 03(97), often the first to return, on 16th March. Maya, the Manton Bay female, was the second Osprey to return to Rutland last year, and she arrived on 17th March. Accordingly, in a couple of weeks we could well see the first Osprey returning to Manton Bay! The anticipation of the return of Maya and 33(11) is palpable, even more so is the desperate hope that this year they will breed, and we’ll have chicks on this nest once again!

We’re keeping tabs on our satellite-tagged female, 30(05). Yesterday her data showed she is still on the beach in Senegal. Given that last year she arrived back in Rutland on 24th March (the first day of World Osprey Week!), and it usually takes her roughly eleven days to make the journey, we expect she’ll be thinking about setting off perhaps this time next week. We’ll keep an eye on her data and announce any changes.

The Lyndon Visitor Centre opens its doors on Saturday 14th March. The shop will be stocked, the cameras will be rolling and we’ll all be waiting with baited breath for an Osprey to land on the nest early. You never know…

So it’s exciting times here at Rutland Water. There’s magic in the air, and soon there’ll be Ospreys in it!

 

7 responses to “Magic in the air”

  1. Valerie

    Welcome back Kayleigh xx

  2. Dolly

    Very exciting to read of all your new developments, and we are all looking forward to the ospreys safe returns!

  3. Mike Simmonds

    Welcome back Kayleigh and all the team. Looking forward to visiting later in the year.

  4. Sheila Elliott

    And so the season will shortly kick off. It’s lovely to see an old face back at the helm too. How lovely to have the extra cams too, but I take it we viewers will only have the main nest cam, as usual – not that I am complaining at all! I am all geared up with laptop and tablet on the table, and the book by my side for reference!

  5. Sally Bell

    Cannot wait to visit. See you all soon

  6. Nick Gordon

    Welcome back Kayleigh, you’ve set the scene nicely for us as we eagerly await curtains up on another season of drama and high theatre that is the Ospreys stock in trade!! 🙂