Spring is always a nervous time for the Rutland Osprey Project team as we wait to see which Ospreys make it back from the 6000 mile round-trip to West Africa. Sadly, this year we already knew that 09(98) wouldn’t be one of the birds arriving to re-claim his nest in late March. His satellite transmitter showed that he died on the northern edge of the Sahara, having been predated by an Eagle Owl during the night.
Last year 09 raised two chicks with 5N(04) – a female who fledged from the Site B nest in 2004. Unlike her mate, 5N arrived back in Rutland on 28th March and she’s been waiting patiently there ever since. Over the last few weeks we have received many emails and messages from those of you who followed 09’s story last September, asking if 5N has found another mate. Well, for the past few days 5N has been joined at Site N by four-year-old male 01(09); and they are already looking settled together. This is really encouraging and we’ll be sure to update you with more news in due course.
01’s not the only Ospreys to have returned to Rutland over the past week. Yesterday three-year-old male, 11(10), made several intrusions at the Manton Bay nest and today 28(10) has visited both his natal nest at Site B, and also Manton Bay. This brings the total of Ospreys to have retuned to Rutland so far this year, to fourteen.
Although it is too early to tell exactly how many breeding pairs we’ll have this summer, it’s certainly been a very encouraging start to the year. We’ll update you with the progress of 5N, 01, and some of the other Rutland birds later in the season but we hope you’ll appreciate the need to keep some information confidential for the time being. Sadly egg collecting and disturbance – accidental or otherwise – remains a threat. Last year, for instance, the police had to intervene when we caught two photographers underneath one of the nests.
For the time-being keep watching the webcam, check out our daily updates from Manton Bay, and if you can, come and visit us at Lyndon where you can enjoy some of the best views of breeding Ospreys anywhere in the UK. Watch out, too, for an updated Who’s who of the Rutland Ospreys which we’ll be posting on the site in the next few days.