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Higher and higher

The weather was much better today! This is what we’d like more of, a lovely bit of sunshine. There has been a slight breeze too, which has encouraged the juveniles to get up and flap their wings! They have all been doing a lot of jumping up and down today, lifting a lot higher above the nest than we’ve seen so far! With three large juveniles on the nest, and sometimes the adults too, it often gets very crowded, but they appear to be very good at taking it in turns to spread their wings. Earlier today, T8 was having a good flap, then T6 decided it was her turn so T8 stopped to give her space.

T8

T8

T6!

T6!

 

Then later T7 joined in.

T7

T7

 

This morning 33 delivered a very tiny perch to the nest, which T8 held onto for a while, before Maya got impatient and took it from him. T8 and T7 had a feed, but T6 was much more interested in jumping around!

Perch

Perch

 

Then this afternoon 33 brought in another small fish, this time a pike. The juveniles were clearly not that hungry today, and rarely are as they are all very patient when fish are delivered and often don’t seem very interested. 33 has certainly done a tremendous job of fishing for them!

Pike

Pike

 

The young ospreys are becoming more adventurous and seem to be more interested in preparing to fledge than eating. Perhaps they’re not happy being stuck on the nest all the time anymore, and get the feeling that there is more out there and they want to discover it. All that flapping sometimes makes them tired, though, and they still spend a fair bit of time lying down!

T8 close up

T8 close up

Everybody

Everybody

 

 

Wet weather

There was no sign of any sun today, only an endless band of rain! The poor ospreys were hunched up on the nest for most of the day, attempting to stay out of the rain and wind.

In a line

It’s fair to say they looked rather miserable, but 33 cheered them up by bringing in dinner!

At one point today it was lovely to see that T6, the largest of the three, stood over the smallest, T8, who appeared to be sheltering under his big sister!

T8 sheltering under T6

Understandably, the juveniles were not all that active today. However, they still found some motivation to do just a little bit of wing exercising. T8 got quite enthusiastic about it this afternoon, and was jumping up and down.

T8

 

 

 

Wind in your wings

The day began promisingly with some sunshine! During the morning the juveniles all had a go at exercising their wings, aided by the breeze, which seems to encourage them! Here is a video of T8.

33 delivered a large trout just before eight this morning, and it was lay half-eaten in the nest for most of the day. The chicks each had a nibble on it as it once or twice, then Maya came along and grabbed it for herself. As soon as she did she was immediately surrounded by all three juveniles, whose instincts told them that Mum was holding food and might feed them!

She didn’t feed any of them to begin with, and a couple lost interest quickly. T6 persevered though, and eventually Maya began to feed her. The chicks are all old enough to eat for themselves, but clearly are happy to be fed occasionally! It is easier for them, and the instinct is still in Maya to feed them. Last season she was even seen feeding them after they had fledged.

When T6 had had enough, she swapped places with T8, who had patiently waited his turn. When T6 moved he shuffled forward to sit by Maya and be fed.

When the youngsters are well fed they are calm and easy-going about the food in the nest, but if all three were hungry it might be a different story when fish are delivered! We’ve seen that, when they have fledged, they tend to become more boisterous with food, competing with each other for it and trying to be the first to grab it when it comes to the nest. Each young osprey has its own personality of course, and some may be bolder than others.

T8 again

T8 being fed

 

 

 

Cancellation of Osprey Concert

It is with regret that I have had to make the decision to cancel the charity concert planned for Friday 1st July. The concert was to have been a join venture between The Rutland Osprey Project and local community choir Global Harmony.

Global Harmony had offered their services to help raise funds for the project’s work at Rutland Water and in Africa, and for this I am extremely grateful, and apologise to members of the choir who had been working hard on the music.

I understand the disappointment this cancellation has caused Global Harmony and those few people that had purchased tickets, but I felt that numbers did not justify staging the concert.

Once again I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Paul Stammers, Project Officer.

In a flap

Now that the chicks are six weeks old, they are going to be doing a great deal of wing flapping and helicoptering over the next week, in preparation for fledging. There was quite a lot of energetic flapping occurring today, and even a bit of jumping up and down! It was T7 doing most of it this morning, then later on T6 had a good flap, whilst holding onto the nest material with her talons.

T6 flapping

T6 flapping

 

We’ve seen the chicks eating fish by themselves a few times now, the first time it was witnessed was just before they were five weeks old. Today it was T6 who took the initiative with the rather large trout that 33 delivered. Maya wasn’t there at the time, so 33 left the fish on the nest and flew off, leaving the chicks to it. They didn’t really seem that hungry or interested, at first T8 had a little nibble, but T7 was more interested in flapping. After a while T6 got stuck in.

33 with chicks

33 with chicks

 

One of the chicks, T7, did have a bit of a problem with a piece of fish skin a few days ago, she couldn’t seem to work out how to eat it! The skin is quite tough, and when Maya feeds the chicks she usually pulls the best, fleshy bits off for them and eats the difficult bits like the skin herself, so they are not used to it yet.

All in a row

From the left – T8, T7, T6