S2 has lift-off

Having finished my A levels in June, I’ve spent the last week volunteering with the project at Lyndon. It’s been a fantastic week, but today had to be the highlight! It all started when I walked into the centre this morning, to discover that S2 had fledged at 07:48 am. His first flight was one to remember: it lasted more than 15 minutes and consisted of Maya escorting him in an attempt to encourage him back to the nest. However, S2 had his own ideas and eventually landed on the Manton Bay bund. We were worried he may struggle to take-off from such a low perch, but happily he made his way back to the nest with ease half an hour later.  S2 is the second juvenile from the Manton Bay nest site to fledge, with S1 taking its first flight yesterday. Naturally, I was eager to get to the Waderscrape hide to see S2 fly for myself. Here’s a video of him taking to the air.

S2 stretching his wings having returned to the nest after an amazing first flight

S2 stretching his wings having returned to the nest after an amazing first flight

When I reached the hide all the juveniles were on the nest, with 33 and Maya close by. All was quiet there. It was not so quiet in the scrape in front of the hide. A water vole made an appearance before darting back into the cover of the reeds; and then continuing to pop in and out throughout the morning. Eventually, there was a clear view of the water vole swimming down one of the channels, before disappearing back into the reeds, having been disturbed by a moorhen. A few minutes later there was a dart of blue and a kingfisher appeared, although it didn’t stay for long. Personally, that was the best view of a kingfisher I have ever had, as usually all I see is a flash of blue.

S1 spent much of the day perched next to her Dad on the T perch

S1 spent much of the day perched next to her Dad on the T perch

Back to the ospreys, S1 and S2 made a couple of short flights, which was great to see, as all their wing flapping and helicoptering has paid off, allowing them to have the strength in the wing muscles to fly.

Later in the afternoon both S1 and S2 were both off the nest, leaving S3 alone. Perhaps encouraged by her siblings S3 has become much more active in the afternoon; with more wing flapping and jumping. It will be interesting to see how long we have to wait before she too makes her first flight. Here’s a video of her from this afternoon.

Today has been an amazing day, and one which will be hard to forget.

The family

3 responses to “S2 has lift-off”

  1. Sheila Powell

    Lovely blog, thank you. We so enjoyed our visit a month ago and saw them all on the nest and now I am really enjoying the book. What a wonderful way to spend your summer volunteering at Lyndon, such a beautiful reserve. We look forward to visiting again.

  2. Kate Waterton

    Again, many, many thanks to all concerned – I have so enjoyed Maya and 33’s journey into parenthood and watching their chicks from egg to fledging – 2 down, 1 to go! It has been an honour to watch nature at its very best from my home via the webcam and news updates.

  3. Mike Simmonds

    Thank you Abigail. I think the moment of fledging is one of the most exciting things one can witness. It is a mixture of excitement and apprehension as the birds are now totally alone and there is no way of knowing if they are up to the task for at least a few moments. To see them take off and fly with confidence is such a relief and then comes the fear as to how they will cope with their first landing! In this case, as you point out, not ideal.