Three growing chicks

I’m sure we say it every year, but it really is remarkable how quickly Osprey chicks grow. If you have been watching the webcam you’ll know that the three chicks in the Manton Bay nest are getting bigger, stronger and more feathered by the day. It is really interesting to watch them at feeding time. The larger two chicks are nearly always fed first, but there is usually plenty of fish left for the youngest. This is testament to the fact that 5R is a fantastic fisherman. Yesterday afternoon, despite a very strong north easterly wind, he brought three good-sized roach back to the nest after 5pm. The bays on the south side of the Hambleton Peninsular were sheltered from the wind and were just about the only spot on the resrvoir where fishing was possible. His exploits certainly provided great viewing for passengers aboard the latest of our Osprey Cruises- with 5R hitting the water very close to the boat.

Here’s a video of 5R delivering the first of his three roach catches to the nest. We’ve edited the footage into three sections – and you have to wait until the final section to see the smallest of the three chicks getting its share of the fish.

As if to show off his fishing prowess yet further, 5R caught a huge bream yesterday afternoon. The fish was so big that he couldn’t lift it out of the water, and instead he used his wings like oars to propel himself across the open water to the nearby bund. After eating the fish on the bund for about an hour he finally summoned enough energy to carry it back to the nest. Here’s the video of him delivering it to the female and chicks. It is just about the biggest fish we have ever seen brought back to the nest (and don’t forget this is with the head missing). As you can see, the local Greater- Black-backed Gulls were very interested in the fish too.

Away from Rutland Water, there was fantastic news from the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust reserve at Cors Dyfi, where the first chick hatched yesterday afternoon (and has been followed by a second this morning). The female at the nest is 03(08) a bird who fledged from the Site B nest in Rutland in 2008. The fact that she is breeding in Wales demonstrates how our work at Rutland Water has completely changed the Osprey distribution map in the UK. Our long term aim has always been to restore Ospreys to the whole of southern Britain – and this latest news shows that it is happening. Many congratulations to Emyr and the team at Cors Dyfi. For more check out their facebook page.