Weather with you

The morning began much like yesterday. It was a bit like deja vu, actually – 33 brought in a large trout again, at almost exactly the same time, which he flew to the T-perch with and ate the head.

33 with huge trout

33 with huge trout

 

When he had finished, he flew off the T-perch, past the nest, then made an about-turn and headed back to the nest into the wind. He dutifully delivered his catch to Maya, who proceeded to feed the chicks.

Feeding the chicks

Feeding the chicks

All lined up

All lined up

 

Later in the morning, at about 10:30, an intruding Osprey was seen flying over the bay. Maya began mantling on the nest as soon as she spotted it. 33 flew in and joined her, and they protected their nest together. The intruder took the hint and flew off, so 33 took the opportunity to fly off the nest with the tail end of the morning’s fish. He ate some of it on the T-perch, then brought back to the nest later.

Mantling at an intruder

Mantling at an intruder

 

The weather has been somewhat unsettled today, and we have had several sunny spells, but also a few rain showers, not to mention a fair bit of wind! During one quite sharp shower, 33 sat hunched on the T-perch, and Maya did her best to cover the chicks and keep them dry.

33 in the rain

33 in the rain

Maya covering the chicks in the rain

Maya covering the chicks in the rain

 

The chicks have once again been wobbling round the nest on their over-sized feet, and stretching out their wings. Here is one of the chicks having a go at flapping those long, ungainly wings!

Trying out those wings

Trying out those wings

 

In the picture above, and the one below, you can see the bluish tinge of the wing feathers coming through. These growing feathers are covered in a waxy keratin sheath, or “pin”, which protects the feather as it develops. This protective covering will gradually peel off as the feather within it becomes mature, and will eventually be removed by the Ospreys as they preen themselves. Feathers at this stage are often referred to as pin feathers, but are also known as blood feathers, due to the blood supply that nourishes the growing feather inside the pin. As the feather nears the end of its development, the blood supply recedes and the protective sheath can be removed by the owner of the feather!

Feather pins in the wing

Feather pins in the wing

 

During the afternoon, the sun came out again, and 33 joined his mate and chicks on the nest for a bit of relaxation.

Together in the sun

Together in the sun

All together now

All together now

 

Maya left him on his own with the chicks for a bit, whilst she went and had a wing-stretch.

33 with the chicks

33 with the chicks

 

When she returned to the nest, Maya began to food beg – asking 33 to go fishing again. Like the star he is, he granted her wish in the shape of a very large roach!

33 lands with the roach

33 lands with the roach

33 brings a roach in

33 brings a roach in

 

Maya gratefully took the fish and fed the chicks, and 33 flew off to the T-perch, job done!

33 flying off the nest

33 flying off the nest

33 flying away

33 flying away

Feeding the roach to the chicks

Feeding the roach to the chicks

 

We had another very successful Osprey Cruise on Saturday! 33 came out to play and flew by the Rutland Belle a few times, looking for fish. Cruises are a superb way of seeing Ospreys flying and fishing on Rutland Water, and 33 could well be one of the Ospreys we see! He has certainly been doing a good job of keeping his family fed – just look at how healthy those chicks are!

What a beauty

What a beauty

 

The next cruise with availability is on Saturday 4th July, but places are selling out fast and there are only 11 spaces left on it! Click here to book now and avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, have a look at our other cruise dates by clicking here.

Rutland Belle

Rutland Belle