Well it has been a rainy day, but no less exciting! There has been a lot of action on the nest yet again today. The rain has been fairly consistent all day, but it hasn’t dampened the young Ospreys’ enthusiasm for beating those long strong wings! Here we have S2 having a good old flap, while his sisters sit behind him, enjoying the breeze from his wings!
Then we have S1 flapping madly whilst holding on to a stick.
And today S3 has had another go. It was only a little go, granted, but she looks like she’s just finding her balance. Once she grows in confidence she will be just as proficient as her sister and brother.
It’s possible that S3 is the youngest of the three, as she is the least moved by the prospect of flying. However, it doesn’t always follow that the oldest chick will fledge first, it’s more about confidence and the birds’ disposition. I am aware of the conflicts of anthropomorphising, but it is true that every Osprey has their own personality and individual character. Take 33(11) and 28(10) last season, for example. 33 was clearly the more confident of the two, and much more stubborn, whereas 28 lacked a bit of confidence, and wasn’t quite so sure of himself when it came to battling with 33. This doesn’t mean that 28 will always fail in fights with other male Ospreys, it just means he met his match with 33. As I said, every Osprey is different.
As I have said when asked which of the chicks hatched first – it is very hard to tell at the age we ring them. They all catch up in size and development by the time they’re five weeks old, and females will of course overtake males even if hatched after them. If S3 is the youngest, then she is a living testament to how well 33 and Maya have raised their brood, as she is the biggest!
There have also been more intrusions today by other Ospreys. Three at once, in fact! Luckily John Wright was in Shallow Water hide, which means two good things. One – we will get some more fabulous photographs tomorrow, and two – he was able to identify the intruders!
The three birds consisted of the unringed female from Site B, 51(11) and 8F(12). These are all non-breeding birds – 51 and 8F are both males who haven’t yet found partners, and are just hanging around looking for something of interest. The Site B female spends most of her time at her nest site with 03(97), and must have decided to go for a fly-about with the younger males for a bit!
In any case, all three Ospreys got a decidedly unfriendly welcome from the resident pair in Manton Bay. The chicks all hit the bottom of the nest, as is still their instinct, and Maya mantled over them, whilst 33 mantled on the T-perch, and at the same time kept a firm grip on a great big trout.
In this video you can see one of the intruders fly behind the nest.
Maya then takes off after them!
The excitement didn’t end there…we also captured two fish deliveries on camera today. The first one came in at about 10:30. This was a tench, which 33 caught from Lagoon One.
The next fish was the one 33 was holding when the intruders came by. This occurred at roughly 15:30. This fish was a trout, which he delivered to the nest when the intruders were gone and he had eaten the head.
Later on, when the fish had been largely consumed and the remains abandoned on the side of the nest, we noticed S1 eating it!
What a brilliant day, despite the weather! Perhaps tomorrow will be the day the first one will go…