Two year old Ospreys often return to their natal site for the first time in early June. The two Site B chicks from 2009 have already made it back and Roy Dennis’s young Osprey, Rothiemurchus, is currently touring Scotland. Now, excitingly, a third young Osprey has made it home to Rutland. Project Information Officer, Paul Stammers was in the hide to witness it. Here’s his account in words and video.
“It had been another busy and eventful morning at Lyndon. We had planned the early morning cruise for the next day, contacted all the volunteers for the next round of monitoring and spoken to numbers of visitors in the centre.
At 12:30 I decided to take a walk on the reserve, and arrived at Shallow Water hide shortly after 1 pm. John Wright was there in his usual spot, camera posied and scope at the ready. He told me that 5R had just gone fishing. I decided to wait for him to return.
After about ten minutes a bird came in from the east. We assumed it was 5R, but then we noticed that the female was mantling over the chicks in the nest. “We have an intruder” said John. The bird circled the bay, passing very close to the hide. John was busy snapping away, “It has a blue ring on the right leg – I bet it’s 00 or 01”. The bird then passed even closer allowing John to take an even better photo. Suddenly there was a lot more excitment in his voice, “Hang on, I think it is a new bird – maybe 06”. Sure enough a few minutes later we were able to confirm that it was 06(09), a male who fledged from Site O in 2009.
And then a thought struck me – I might have ringed this bird! I phoned my partner Christine and asked her to check my ringing records. Sure enough, she was able to confirm that I had ringed the bird on 15th July, 2009. Fantastic – my very own Osprey had returned!
I left the hide to walk to the centre thinking how fortunate I had been to witness so many of the project’s milestones – the translocation of the first chicks from Scotland in 1996, the return of 08(97) in May 1999, helping to monitor the first breeding pair in 2001, and watching the return of 5R and 5N in 2006. I thought that visiting Senegal and Gambia earlier this year had been the highlight of my involvement in the project, but now even that had been superseded by seeing the return of my very own Osprey!
On returning to the centre the radio crackled. It was Angela in Waderscrape to say that 06 had now landed in the tree in front of the hide. Like me, she was very excited. She was delighted to know that she was the first volunteer to see the latest addition to the Rutland family. What a great day it had been for us all.