Nearly six weeks ago, when the Manton Bay chicks were only six weeks old, Tim reported that 2013 has been a record year with at least thirteen chicks in five nests. Excitingly, we now know that there are FOURTEEN chicks this year, and (touch wood) they have all successfully fledged!
5R and his mate have now successfully raised eleven chicks since 2009 and if you follow the website you’ll be well acquainted with the Manton Bay youngsters, 1J (M), 2J (F) and 3J (F).
It’s been another fantastic year for ‘Mr Rutland’ at Site B – 03(97) has raised three chicks, bringing his total to 30 since 2001! All three chicks are doing well and are now spending prolonged periods away from the nest. Below is a photo of 4J (F), 5J (F) and 6J (M) when they were ringed at the beginning of July.
A four-year old male has bred at Site O this year. 03(09) paired up with the metal-ringed Scottish female who first bred at Site O in 2009, last summer, but his inexperience and late arrival meant that the female did not lay eggs. This spring it was a different story; 03 returned much earlier and the pair now have three very healthy chicks, 7J (M), 8J (F) and 9J (M). These three chicks are fourth generation Rutland Ospreys – their great grandfather is 03(97) at Site B! A real sign that the Rutland population is now self-sustaining.
At Site N, 5N(04) has raised two chicks with another four year-old male, 01(09), and the juvenile males, 1K and 2K, have now been on the wing for several weeks. Fledging is always a dangerous time for the youngsters and the Site N chicks certainly had us all worried for a while. Both young males fledged when we had terrible stormy weather and neither returned to the nest for more than 30 hours after only being on the wing for a day or two. It was a great relief when both chicks returned to the nest and since then they’ve been busy doing what young Ospreys should be doing – food begging, eating and strengthening their wings.
The surprise addition to the class of 2013 are the chicks from Site C. In mid-April two three-year-old birds, male 11(10) and female 25(10) paired up at another nest on private land. This is a nest that has been used once before – by a pair of translocated birds in 2003. Like the other returning three year-olds, we thought that 11 and 25 would spend their summer wandering around Rutland and perhaps exploring further afield. Not these two though. 25 laid eggs in late April and over the last week 3K (F), 4K (M) and 5K (F) have all made their maiden flights. It’s exceptional that two first-time breeders have produced three chicks!
If, like me, you sometimes get confused by all the ring numbers, here’s a handy table showing all the 2013 youngsters…