It has been another amazing day! This weekend has got to be one of the best we have ever known, what with the superb Osprey Cruise yesterday, and then all that transpired today…
Some of you, nay most of you, will be aware of the significant occurrence that was witnessed on the Manton Bay nest today – the fledging of S3! S3 is the third and final chick to fledge from this nest, so now we have all three of our Manton Bay juveniles of 2015 on the wing!
The day began with S3 alone on the nest.
She wasn’t always alone, though – she was joined throughout the morning by every member of her family at some point or other. That’s family support for you!
S2 came and sat on the edge of the nest for a bit, before flying off. It was as if he wanted his sister to follow him – “Come with me S3, it’s fun!”
On one occasion Maya was on the nest with all three of the juveniles, who were lying down next to her, just like old times!
S3 did an enormous amount of helicoptering this morning, and she was looking much more confident. She was getting ready, building herself up for that moment when she would leap off the nest and not land back on it. We were ready, too, noticing the signs were looking good that today could be the day.
S3 had been watching her siblings and parents flying around, and coming into and out of the nest, all morning. Then, at ten past one, it was her turn. You could almost see the indecision in her eyes, that hesitation. She wasn’t entirely sure she should, or could. But she was ready – this was it. She had a few jumps, a few flaps, then eventually up she went, as if she was helicoptering, but this time she didn’t reappear on the screen. We could see her shadow move, then the post wobbled and we knew she had landed on the French perch on top of the camera pole. So she didn’t go far, but she went! There was a crowd of visitors in the centre who were standing watching, willing her to fly, and when she did a cheer went up!
S3 sat on the French perch for nearly an hour, perhaps not sure what to do next. Her decision was made for her, when her own personal clumsiness, perhaps aided by the gusty wind, made her fall off the perch! Luckily she realised she had to do something quickly, and she hastily flapped her wings and stopped herself from falling into the water. She managed to then fly to the T-perch.
Perhaps unnerved by what must have been an alarming experience, S3 stayed on the T-perch for three hours! Maya came along not long after S3 landed there and joined her, then she stayed with her all afternoon.
We knew S3 couldn’t sit there all day, and she would need to come back to the nest at some point. So we waited with anxious anticipation for her to leave the perch, hoping she would be able to make it and not end up in the reservoir!
Whilst we were waiting for S3 to move, S1 and then S2 flew into the nest, and there they sat quite happily, perhaps waiting for S3 to join them.
Eventually, just before 5pm, S3 finally flew off the perch. Well, she sort of slipped off it!
She flew around the nest for over a minute, followed closely by a watchful Maya, then she landed on the nest, where the other two juveniles were waiting for her. Her landing was not too bad, although she did stand on S1!
Again, there was a crowd of riveted visitors at Lyndon, watching the screen with me for the moment she returned. When she landed on the nest, there was an outbreak of delighted applause!
The three juveniles settled down on the nest together for a while, then later a fish was delivered, to finish off a fabulous day.