That’s five!

“There’s another one back!” Came the elated voice down the phone! “00(09) – John’s just seen her at Shallow Water Hide.”

Quickly diving to the webcam, finger poised at the record button, we waited with baited breath. She must have been close.

“She’s on top of the perch!” – thus just out of reach of the camera. Sitting on top of it, in fact. The image was bouncing slightly under the weight of this familiar female, tantalizingly close yet just out of view. We’d been watching our Manton Bay female soaring over Lax Hill only minutes before, the occasional Black-headed Gull  swooping in to mob her, when suddenly she seemed to make a beeline back towards the Bay. That was when the phone rang.

Staring avidly at the webcam we waited, when there she was: the Manton Bay female back to defend her nest, gliding elegantly into the shot and spreading herself wide.

Annoyingly, from the Visitor Centre we couldn’t spy 00(09), but a quick glance back at the board showed that she was bonding with another male in the area last year, but unfortunately it came to nothing – fingers crossed for this year! She’s three days later, too, having arrived back on the 18th March last year, but we’ll forgive her for that. This gives us potential for four nests so far – and it’s only the 21st March! Interestingly, several birds that have returned so far have stopped in at Manton as a first port of call (which is handy for us!). This really is shaping up to be a phenomenal start to the season, and to top it all off, our pair of Kestrels are looking rather cosy out the front of the Centre, too!

We’ve all got our fingers crossed for the return of 5R in the next few days (if not hours!), so keep your eyes on that camera!