This morning the Osprey Team met on the banks the reservoir, the storm had finally blown itself out and we were left with blue sky streaked with white cloud. The sun shone white light over the water turning everything else to shadow. The reservoir was as still as a mill pond, broken only by swans or ducks carving through its surface. From the depth of Manton Bay rose the pole the osprey platform sat upon, the nest itself made from stick, branches and even teasel weaved together into a protective ring. Before we could spot them the male and female osprey had spotted us, they rose into the air and circled above the nest, calling for our attention.
Before we knew it the tiny boat had chugged across the water to the nest, it towered above us, as the ospreys swooped even higher still. With great strength and skill the ladder was positioned at the top of the nest, followed shortly after by BTO licensed ringer Lloyd Park, with great care the osprey chicks were lowered down into the boat. With skill, precision and a gentle hand the osprey chicks were fitted with two rings. One the metal BTO ring and second, a blue and white darvic ring, giving the two birds their individual identification. The rings will help to track them over their lives, informing us about their migration, breeding, and ecology; allowing a better understanding of these amazing birds. After the measurements and weights were recorded it was decided we had one male and one female, the male was given the ring 3AU and the slightly larger female 3AW.
In what felt like only minutes the birds were back in the nest, before we left we managed to give the osprey cams a much needed clean and then we were making our way back to the shore. The parent birds still circled above us as we disappeared, leaving them in peace. The report from the hide was that Maya was sat observing the nest from the perch, ensuring we did not return.
It’s hard to describe the feeling when you see something that you have watched on a screen or from a distance and suddenly it is right in front of you. Watching these birds grow up has been funny, interesting and truly incredible. Being up close with these birds was once of the most amazing experiences, I can’t wait to see what they do next.