Blogs

Beautiful dawn

Yesterday morning, we had a wonderful dawn chorus walk at the Lyndon Nature Reserve. It was a bit of a chilly start, but the sun was out and the sky was blue. The birds dutifully sang to our hardy crowd of early risers, filling the cool morning with melody. The event ended on a high note with a wonderful breakfast! What a lovely way to begin May! Many thanks to Paul Stammers, John Wright, Lloyd Park and Fran Payne for making this event run smoothly and successfully.

Lyndon reserve at dawn

Lyndon reserve at dawn

 

In Manton Bay, our wonderful osprey pair continue to bring delight to visitors! 33 is a particular attraction, making people smile with his caring behaviour and willingness to sit on the nest with Maya and incubate the eggs. He is still catching plenty of fish, and feeding himself and Maya well. He will undoubtedly be a star once again when the chicks come along – it should only be another couple of weeks before hatching happens!

Here are some videos and photos from the past few days.

Together Snuggled up 2 Together

Fish

On the other side of the reserve, the ospreys on lagoon four are also beginning to look settled. There are no eggs there yet, but the signs indicate the pair could breed. Here is another fabulous video by Dave Cole of the pair over there. Thank you Dave for this!

 

 

Osprey Education Newsletter May 2016

Osprey News – Eggsciting Times for Our Ospreys!

Field Officer John Wright tells us that SEVEN pairs of Ospreys are now incubating their eggs in nests spread over a wide area around Rutland Water. In Manton Bay, Maya and 33(11) are looking after the eggs very well, and sharing duties to keep them nice and warm. If all goes well, we should see the first signs of hatching sometime in the middle of May. Visitors have been flocking down to Wader Scrape hide to watch this pair at close quarters. Another piece of thrilling news is that over at Lagoon 4 near the Egleton Centre, another pair are showing signs of breeding for the first time!

Osprey Festival 2016

The Osprey Festival for Primary Schools takes place on Wednesday 6th July and Secondary Schools on Friday 8th July and it will be here sooner than you think! Lots of schools have already started on their art, literature or science and work, and some has already been sent to us from Italy. So it is now officially an international event!

Remember we must have your entries to us by May 23rd so please get cracking.

For details of the festival categories click here!

We are planning activities and workshops for the day, and schools entering will be invited to send some of their pupils to attend. We hope to offer an osprey cruise on the Rutland Belle to those pupils who produce the winning entries.

Education1

Osprey artwork

 

World Osprey Week 2016! WOW – it was great!

The 3rd World Osprey Week in April was a terrific success, with links in three continents (Europe, Africa, North America) allowing school students to interact with one another on their favourite subject – OSPREYS! We saw Osprey artwork, listened to Osprey poems, and even had a performance of an Osprey song – very much appreciated by live school audiences in Italy, Spain, Gambia and of course the United Kingdom. We are very grateful to Catmose Community College (Oakham) and Casterton Primary School for hosting our two Skype links during the week. The presentations you produced were just fantastic! For Class 3 at Casterton, perhaps the highlight was when Iain Macleod from Squam Lakes Nature Centre in New Hampshire (USA) appeared live on the screen with a real Osprey which had been found injured a few years ago and was now back to health, although unable to fly. Iain answered all the children’s questions, and we could have gone on all afternoon!

Also during World Osprey Week, our Education Team (Jackie, Pete and Ken) visited five local schools and gave Osprey talks to over 500 children. Special thanks to the teachers and children at Casterton Primary, Leighfield Academy (Uppingham), Catmose CC, English Martyrs Primary (Oakham) and Wittering Primary School (nr Stamford).

Tim Mackrill updated the Osprey website (www.ospreys.org.uk) every day during WOW with news of satellite-tracked Ospreys making their way back to their northern breeding grounds in Finland, Latvia, North America and many other countries. Students in over 250 schools and colleges all over the world took the opportunity to link up and share in this amazing natural spectacular called MIGRATION, and make use of the specially prepared material on the website. Thank you to all – and especially to the ospreys!

Introducing…………..THE AMBASSADORS!!

No, not the name of a new band, but the Osprey Ambassadors, a group of young people from local schools in the Rutland area, who will be their school’s link with all the exciting Osprey news from the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. Several schools have already appointed their Osprey Ambassadors, and the Education Team have started training them to be the Project’s vital link with their schools, passing on news and information to the next generation of Osprey watchers and protectors. Many of them have already visited the Lyndon Reserve in order to gain first-hand experience of Ospreys at their nest.

Ambassadors receive special books in order to improve their knowledge, and we will be organising events for them to get together, and even join us (with parents and teachers) on a special Osprey Cruise aboard the ‘Rutland Belle’ in July! The first Osprey Ambassadors are already enjoying their new job!

Casterton C of E Primary School : Louie and Sam
Casterton B & E College : Jasmine
The Bythams Primary School: Isabella
English Martyrs (Oakham) : Georgia, Rachel & Finn
Catmose Community College (Oakham): Max and Isaac
Find out more about the Ambassador Scheme by clicking here!

Education2

Osprey Ambassadors visiting Lyndon

 

School visits to the Lyndon Reserve

Many Schools will be bring their pupils to the Lyndon Reserve this term to see the ospreys. The good news is that thanks to generous sponsorship by the Martin Lawrence Trust we are able to purchase several more pairs of ‘child friendly’ self-focusing binoculars for the pupils to use. As many of you already know these binoculars have been a real hit with the pupils who have used them.

Education3

Students on a visit to Lyndon

Tanji Beach clean

One of the key aims of the Osprey Flyways Project is to raise awareness of the need to protect migratory birds at all times of the year. We were thrilled, therefore, to hear from Junkung Jadama this week about how children from Tanji Lower Basic School in The Gambia have been helping out. JJ writes:

“As the Osprey Flyways Project is concerned about environmental education the students of Tanji Lower Basic School and Osprey club members take this step to clean Tanji beach because people throw litter all over the beach that is important for migrating birds. If you look at the video you will find out that there are lots of old fishing nets on the beach which can be dangerous for the birds.”

JJ also sent us these photos of the students’ hard at work. It is amazing to see how many nets they managed to clear from the beach. Many birds – Ospreys included – can easily become tangled in these nets and so the students’  efforts are incredibly important. Well done to all of them.

beach clean 2

beach clean 3

A wheel-barrow full of discarded fishing nets. Such nets pose a real danger to many birds - including Ospreys

A wheel-barrow full of discarded fishing nets. Such nets pose a real danger to many birds – including Ospreys

beach clean 5

beach clean 1

beach clean 7

Junkung Jadama organised the day - thank you JJ!

Junkung Jadama organised the day – thank you JJ!

Tanji Lower Basic School were one of four schools who got involved in a fantastic Skype link up during World Osprey Week. Xarles Cepeda from the Urdaibai Bird Center has sent us this brilliant video of the Skype call. We’re sure you’ll agree that all of the children did fantastically well.

If you would like to support our work in Africa through the Osprey Flyways Project, you can do so by sponsoring Kayleigh for her skydive – which is now just under two weeks away! We would also like to thank IEPUK for their ongoing support of the Osprey Flyways Project, and particularly Director George Peach who is undertaking yet another challenge on our behalf next week – the Rat Race at Burghley. Good luck and thank you, George!

Hail Maya

Ospreys who breed in the UK often have a lot to put up with in terms of bad weather. There was the year that snow was still thick on the ground when the ospreys returned, then there was the period of heavy rain in June last year, soaking poor Maya as she covered the chicks to keep them dry. Ospreys are incredibly resilient birds, and can easily cope with the inclement conditions England sometimes throws at them. They don’t always look happy about it though! I couldn’t possibly have a few days off without first sharing this lovely video that Paul recorded yesterday, showing Maya huddled up on the eggs in a hail shower! (The title of this blog is also courtesy of Paul Stammers!)

Lagoon 4

For a long time, the nest in Manton Bay has been the only osprey nest in use on the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. This year, that might be about to change. There are and always have been several other platforms around the reserve, put in place to attract ospreys and encourage them to stay and breed. Up to now, all except Manton Bay have remained devoid of ospreys. For the past couple of years, however, a male osprey who was born in Rutland in 2011 – 51(11) – has been holding territory on the nest platform on lagoon four, the northernmost lagoon on the Egleton side of the nature reserve. We have waited and hoped that a female will come along and join him, and so, we imagine, has he!

This year, his wishes may be granted. A young Rutland female, three-year-old 3J(13), returned to the area earlier this month, after first paying a visit to the Glaslyn nest in North Wales. She found 51 on the nest on lagoon four, and it looks like she might stay and breed with him! This is great news, as it means we could potentially have eight successful pairs this season, and a second nest on the nature reserve!

3J returned to the UK for the first time last year, and spent a bit of time at Ferry Meadows Country Park in Peterborough. She then paid a visit to Wales, before returning to Rutland. This is the sort of behaviour we would expect from a two-year-old returning for the first time. This year she has visited Wales twice, but returned within a day or two and she now seems quite settled on the nest with 51.

Before 3J returned, female 5N spent some time on the lagoon four nest. 5N is a breeding female – the most productive Rutland-born female, in fact – and she was simply hanging around waiting for her usual partner to return. When he did, she disappeared off to her nest site with him, leaving 51 alone again. Another female, an unringed bird, was also seen around the lagoon four nest recently. It is possible this was a bird flying though on the way north, or perhaps she is a youngster looking for her own nest. 51 is in demand!

Thank you very much to John Wright for the following photographs showing the sequence of events on lagoon four this year.

Male 51

Male 51

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking stick

Male 51 breaking stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 breaking a stick

Male 51 with stick

Male 51 with stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51 with a stick

Male 51with a stick

Male 51with a stick

Male 51

Male 51

Male 51 with Roach

Male 51 with Roach

Male 51 shaking

Male 51 shaking

Male 51 shaking

Male 51 shaking

Lapwing chasing Male 51

Lapwing chasing Male 51

Male 51

Male 51

Male 51

Male 51

Male 51 with a Roach

Male 51 with a Roach

Male 51 with a Roach

Male 51 with a Roach

Male 51 nest scraping 30-3-16

Male 51 nest scraping 30-3-16

51 and female 5N 4-4-16

51 and female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N getting buzzed by Black-headed Gull 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N getting buzzed by Black-headed Gull 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N successful copulation 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N successful copulation 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N successful copulation 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N successful copulation 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N successful copulation 4-4-16

Male 51 and Female 5N successful copulation 4-4-16

Male 51 assessing the prospect of two females on his nest 19-4-16-

Male 51 assessing the prospect of two females on his nest 19-4-16-

Male 51 with Roach 19-4-16

Male 51 with Roach 19-4-16

Male 51 teasing unringed female with Roach 19-4-16

Male 51 teasing unringed female with Roach 19-4-16

Unringed female on nest and 3J arriving

Unringed female on nest and 3J arriving

3J, 51 and unringed female 21-4-16

3J, 51 and unringed female 21-4-16

Unringed female, 3J and 51 21-4-16-

Unringed female, 3J and 51 21-4-16-

51 hovering over 3J and unringed female 21-4-16

51 hovering over 3J and unringed female 21-4-16

51,3J and Unringed female 21-4-16

51,3J and Unringed female 21-4-16

51 bringing nest material 21-4-16

51 bringing nest material 21-4-16

51 bringing nest material 21-4-16

51 bringing nest material 21-4-16

51 bringing another Roach 21-4-16

51 bringing another Roach 21-4-16

3J and unringed female fighting for a fish 21-4-16

3J and unringed female fighting for a fish 21-4-16

51, 3J and unringed female 21-4-16

51, 3J and unringed female 21-4-16

51 mating with 3J 21-4-16

51 mating with 3J 21-4-16

51 nest scraping 21-4-16

51 nest scraping 21-4-16

51 coming in 21-4-16

51 coming in 21-4-16

51 coming in 21-4-16

51 coming in 21-4-16

51 bringing stick 21-4-16

51 bringing stick 21-4-16

Unringed female trying to keep 3J off nest 21-4-16

Unringed female trying to keep 3J off nest 21-4-16

3J landing on nest and unringed female raising wings 21-4-16

3J landing on nest and unringed female raising wings 21-4-16

3J chasing unringed female 21-4-16

3J chasing unringed female 21-4-16

Female 3J chasing the unringed female 21-4-16

Female 3J chasing the unringed female 21-4-16

Male 51 chasing the unringed female away 21-4-16

Male 51 chasing the unringed female away 21-4-16

Male 51 chasing the unringed female 21-4-16

Male 51 chasing the unringed female 21-4-16

GBBGull eyeing up the trout

GBBGull eyeing up the trout

GBBGull eyeing up trout

GBBGull eyeing up trout

3J and 51 21-4-16

3J and 51 21-4-16

51 trying to mate with 3J 21-4-16

51 trying to mate with 3J 21-4-16

51 and 3J successful copulation 21-4-16

51 and 3J successful copulation 21-4-16

Male 51 and Female 3J 21-4-16

Male 51 and Female 3J 21-4-16

Male 51 and Female 3J 21-4-16

Male 51 and Female 3J 21-4-16

Male 51 chasing Canada Goose

Male 51 chasing Canada Goose

Male 51 and Female 3J 25-4-16

Male 51 and Female 3J 25-4-16

 

Thank you also to Dave Cole for this fabulous video, documenting some of what has been happening on the nest on lagoon four recently.