Rainy days and cruises

Yesterday was another rather rainy day! The ospreys spent most of their time huddled in the poplar trees, hiding from the downpours. However, the rain caused some wonderful visual displays, such as this rainbow we caught on the wide angle camera, behind two rather wet juveniles!

Rainbow

Thankfully, the weather improved for our osprey cruise on the Rutland Belle yesterday evening. The sun even came out! It was rather windy though, which may have contributed to the three failed attempts at fishing we witnessed 33 make. We knew it was him as we’d been informed by our monitoring volunteers that he had left the bay and was heading our way. He spent a lot of time circling, soaring, hovering and looking down, then moving on and repeating, and he dived three times, crashing into the water but unfortunately coming up with nothing. Adult ospreys are said to be successful in one out of four dives, so we were hoping he would try again and catch! However, he began to disappear back down the south arm, and we had to make our way back to Whitwell.

In addition to 33, we had another 14 osprey sightings last night! It was absolutely incredible, often it seemed there was an osprey every way we looked, and sometimes two together! Last night’s cruise must be one of the best we have ever had.

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33 beginning a dive (JW)

33 beginning a dive (JW)

33 hitting the water (JW)

33 hitting the water (JW)

 

It turned out that, after his failed fishing attempts just before half past seven last night, 33 didn’t catch a fish until 9pm! Here he is bringing it – a roach – to the nest, where 2AM is waiting.

After 2AM had been eating for 15 minutes or so, Maya came along and flew off with the fish to eat some on a perch. That was the last we saw of it on the nest!

The ospreys would have been very ready for the roach 33 eventually caught last night, as the only fish he had delivered yesterday up to that point was at ten to eight in the morning!

Maya was the first one to receive yesterday morning’s fish – no juveniles were in sight! It was as if we were back at the start of the season before incubation had begun.

Later, Maya brought the fish back to the nest, where 2AN grabbed it and began to eat.

Maya brings fish back

2AM then got his share at 09:40.

The last tiny bit of the fish was left on the nest for a few hours, until 2AN returned to the nest at 13:14 and polished it off.

Today’s first fish came in at 05:22, and it was 2AM again who was there to receive it!

33 with fish

Twenty minutes later, he flew off the nest holding the fish, and landed on the camera perch!

We didn’t see 2AM on the nest after that for the rest of the day. The next time we saw an osprey on the nest was at 13:35, and it was 33. He had come to the nest due to the presence of an intruder!

33 on the nest

After this, the next time we saw an osprey on the nest was ten to four. Maya had been sitting on the T-perch when all of a sudden she dropped off it and into the water, coming up with a pike in her talons! She brought it straight to the nest, alive and wriggling, where 2AN was so eager to take it that she grabbed Maya’s toe instead, while the pike danced around underneath! She’s lucky it didn’t leap straight off!

Maya incoming Fush 2AN with Maya's toe

2AN flew off the nest with the pike and ate it sitting on the camera perch.

Only half an hour later, 33 landed on the nest with a clump of nest material, then 2AN followed him to the nest, possibly thinking he had brought another fish. She looked rather disappointed that he hadn’t! What a greedy osprey!

Lastly, what a beautiful sunrise this morning!

Sunrise Maya