08(97) and 5N(04) first bred together in 2007, when they raised two chicks at a nest on the Lyndon reserve. Having failed in 2008, they moved to a new nest, Site N, in 2009 and raised another two healthy chicks.
The nest is away from the reservoir and in one of the most remote corners of Rutland, well away from all public rights of way.
The Site N juveniles have been the most advanced Osprey youngsters in Rutland this year, and so it was no surprise that they were the first to set out on migration. The juvenile female, 12, was the first of the family to depart – beginning her first hazardous journey south on 17th August. After several days of poor weather, 5N took advantage of a change in conditions on Sunday 22nd; leaving the nest just before lunchtime under clear, sunny skies. More rain followed, but when it cleared on Friday 27th, 11 was off. 08 remained at the nest for one more day before he too headed south. It is amazing to think that, having left two weeks ago, 12 may already have crossed into Africa. Let’s hope that she and the other Rutland birds heading south this autumn, survive the perilous journey.
08 and 5N’s two chicks are now eight weeks old and have been on the wing for almost a week. Already the two youngsters are very competent fliers, often venturing several hundred metres from the nest. They were both in fantastic condition when they were ringed two weeks ago – as with the Site B and Manton Bay chicks they were fitted with a blue ring on their right leg. 11 is a male, and 12 a female. With her chicks becoming more independent by the day, 5N has been absent from the nest for prolonged periods. Yesterday for instance she intruded at the Manton Bay nest and then headed east to fish off the Lyndon centre.
The first signs of hatching at Site N came almost two weeks ago, and we now know that there are two healthy chicks in the nest. Yesterday evening it was possible to see both chicks as they were fed a roach by 5N.
08 and 5N are now four weeks into incubation at Site N. More news as it happens.
At around 4:30pm on 26th March 5N returned to Site N. Like last year she had arrived in Rutland before her mate. Of course we do not know where she winters, but her early arrival suggests that she is one of an increasing number of Northern European Ospreys who winter in southern Spain or Portugal. Whatever the case, it was great to see her back.
Unsurprisingly the arrival of 5N sparked a flurry of interest among the various unattached males. On Saturday 5N was joined by 32(05) at Site N. The young male returned to the nest with a fish, but refused to hand over any of his catch. He did however try and copulate. Predictably, 5N’s response was anything but receptive!
By Monday 5N appeared to give up on 32 and instead moved to Manton Bay where she remained for the next two days. 5R, like 32, did not feed her, despite constant food begging. Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, she grew tired of waiting and caught her own fish close to the Lyndon centre.
On Wednesday morning she had returned to Site N and later that afternoon she was joined by 08. Remarkably, he had returned on exactly the same day as last year. Unlike the two more inexperienced males, he immediately presented 5N with a trout. Harmony was restored.