The long and winding road

It was so exciting on Thursday to see the return of 30(05)! She is a very well-known and much-loved bird, not least because she is the only one who’s movements we can follow! And follow her we have. We have been with 30 through every step of her arduous northwards migration this season, worrying about the weather, her slow progress, and hoping that she would make it home ok. It may have taken her more than twice as long as last season, but make it she did, and we are over the moon to have her back. It was even more exciting that her first port of call was Manton Bay!

30(05) on the Manton Bay nest

30(05) on the Manton Bay nest

 

We have charted 30’s journey all the way from her wintering grounds in Senegal, right back to Rutland. She left her spot on the Senegalese coast on 10th March, and 24 days later, on 2nd April, she arrived in Rutland. Below is a table that outlines the distance she travelled on each day of her migration, and the hours she spent migrating each day.

Day Date Distance (km) Distance (miles) Time migrating Total hours
1 10th March 226 140 10:00 – 19:00 9
2 11th March 269 167 08:00 – 19:00 11
3 12th March 228 142 10:00 – 19:00 9
4 13th March 194 120 10:00 – 19:00 9
5 14th March 197 122 07:00 – 19:00 12
6 15th March 210 130 07:00 – 21:00 14
7 16th March 301 187 06:00 – 21:00 15
8 17th March 287 178 06:00 – 19:00 13
9 18th March 744 462 07:00 – 22:00 15
10 19th March 283 176 06:00 – 19:00 13
11 20th March 329 204 08:00 – 19:00 11
12 21st March 327 203 07:00 – 21:00 14
13 22nd March 242 150 06:00 – 16:00 10
14 23rd March 153 95 08:00 – 15:00 7
15 24th March 72 45 09:00 – 14:00 5
16 25th March 223 138 06:00 – 18:00 12
17 26th March 236 147 07:00 – 17:00 10
18 27th March 139 86 07:00 – 16:00 9
19 28th March 70 43 11:00 – 14:00 3
20 29th March 164 102 05:00 – 15:00 10
21 30th March 129 80 08:00 – 15:00 7
22 31st March
23 1st April 288 180 08:00 – 19:00 11
24 2nd April 99 61 05:00 – 12:00 7

 

As you can see from the table, there were days when 30 didn’t travel very far at all, and on 31st March she did not go anywhere, and sensibly stayed where she was on the River Bresle in France. This was due to the atrocious weather conditions that she had to contend with. On the other hand, there were a few days where 30 made quite good progress, such as on 18th March where she travelled 744km (462 miles) in one day.

During her 24 days of migration, 30 covered a total of 5,405km (3,358 miles). Her average distance per day was 225km (139 miles). 30 spent 236 hours on the wing during this year’s migration. This is out of the 576 hours that her migration took her in total.

30(05) flew over Eyebrook Reservoir on her way back to Rutland Water

30(05) returning to Rutland on 2nd April

 

As Tim said, we do not know what 30 will do now. It is exciting to see her back, and also to speculate on what might happen next. Of course, it can only be speculation, because there is no way to predict what the Ospreys will do! We had thought 28(10) might stick around in Manton Bay and claim it as his territory, however we have not seen him in the Bay for a few days. The thought crossed our minds that 30 might decide to breed in Manton Bay, as her nest last year failed and she does not have a partner. Perhaps if 28 had still been around on Thursday, 30 might have stayed. As it was, she did not return here after she left to go fishing.

Another poser is whether Maya will return this year. Could it be that in two consecutive years we have lost both of the pair from Manton Bay who bred here for four years? 5R(04)’s failure to return last season was a heavy blow, and the thought that we may have lost Maya this year will be a hard fact to handle.

We are hopeful that, should Maya fail to return, 30 or another female could take over her position as breeding female in Manton Bay. 33(11) may also be on his way back, and we know he thinks this nest is his! Therefore he will almost certainly be resident in Manton Bay, and his presence will encourage a female to stay and breed.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do except wait, with mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety!

30 preparing to fly off

30’s beautifully patterned under-wing

 

There are still several World Osprey Week Ospreys on their way north – check out the latest locations of all of them on our interactive map. 

3 responses to “The long and winding road”

  1. Jane Allport

    Heart too full to speak. Nature is wonderful

  2. Sheila Elliott

    Playing the waiting game is worrying for all concerned, but ospreys know best, and what will be, will be. We have to wait and see what happens over the next few days 🙂

  3. Dave

    I wonder how this will end up?
    Are we seeing that the males are having problems returning?
    In Rutland the male population is down,
    Come on guys the girls are waiting for you.