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A cold wind

What a difference a week makes. This time last week we were basking in glorius spring sunshine. This week we are shivering in a cold north-easterly wind. I suppose that’s Britain for you!

The strong wind has certainly made life a bit more tricky for 5R. This time last week he was catching numerous pike without having to venture more than a few hundred metres from the nest but the recent strong winds have now stirred up silt in Manton Bay making fish far more difficult to see. As a result 5R has often been absent for several hours at a time as he searches for fish. For instance he’s just got one small fish to show for four hours of fishing today. He’s made several trips east towards the dam but returned empty handed each time. The strong winds are forecast to continue for a few more days, so no easy fishing for 5R this weekend we suspect.

Elsewhere 03(08) has laid her second egg at her nest at Cors Dyfi in Wales. Fingers crossed for a third!

Another intrusion at Site B

Worryingly 09(98) continues to cause trouble at Site B. Following his lengthy and very aggressive intrusion on Saturday morning, he made repeat visits on Monday and then again this morning. Fortunately he is only intruding at first light and we are hoping that the short period the eggs have been uncovered for in recent days won’t have any lasting effects. This kind of behaviour is relatively common in Osprey colonies, but we have never recorded anything quite so aggressive at Rutland before. Thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers who are monitoring the nest we are able to record all of 09’s intrusions – it will be interesting to see how things develop.

Nightwatchman Ron Nuttall, perhaps better known as ‘the Rocket’ , was on duty at first light on Monday morning. Here’s his report of 09’s visit…

“At 5.15, just after daylight, the Rocket noticed 03 sneaking off on a fishing trip.  The Rocket was not the only one up early and observant at that time in the morning, the other turned out to be the Rutland Terror.

 The first notice of impending danger was startled cries from Chris “We have two ospreys in the air!!”  The intruder was on site like a shot, with his eye on the resident female. She left the nest to defend her eggs and the two ospreys were at war, twisting and turning over the trees and field in serious combat, for 45 minutes.

First, the observant and astute Chris thought that it might be (5R) from Manton Bay, on a social enquiry.  But being a settle bird, with responsibilities, and being witness to the ferocity of the persistent attacks overhead, he was moved off our list of the possible culprits, who were disturbing our morning observations of expected peace and tranquillity. Battle had commenced between the two birds, leaving Chris, rightly, to suppose that it was a battle to defend the nest from 09!! 

We were still not sure as to identification of the combatants.  The female was not to be seen on the nest.  Was she keeping her head down protecting her eggs?  Or was it her defending her family responsibilities like she had done fearlessly, in the previous year of breeding? 

The two birds continued their aerial battle one trying to return to the nest and the other acting as a cool, calculating interceptor. 

Chris and I were now on overtime, but our commitment to the cause would not allow us to retire from our duties, until the dust on the battleground had cleared, and the dispute resolved.

Without any fuss or fanfare of music, 03 returned with a fish, only to find his nest and family home deserted and constant dive-bombing all around him by the two warring factions. After an hour of frustration fishing on Rutland Water, he was in no mood to put up with this situation any longer and commenced battle.  Calmly at first, and trying not to loose his breakfast.  He found his efforts to make the peace ineffectual, and had recourse to more rigorous ones.  He got his mad up, dropped the fish to the ground, with a bump as bounced off the hallowed turf below.  After engaging KERS and maximising down thrust, was last seen streaking after the interloper, way off, at great velocity in a northerly direction, whilst his near exhausted wife returned to her duties tiered and hungry.

What a morning’s entertainment, all part of the duty of a pair of enthusiastic night watchmen!”

Well done 03

Well done 03

Great news from Wales! Yesterday the guys from the Dyfi Osprey Project rang to say that 03(08) has laid her first egg in mid-Wales. This is brilliant news for the project – see my previous blog ?to read why…

Here’s a photo of 03 with the egg. Be sure to check out the Dyfi Osprey Project website too.

Pike, pike and more pike

If you visited Lyndon over the Easter weekend then there is a very good chance that you will have seen 5R catch a fish. The fishing in Manton Bay has been so good recently that 5R hasn’t had to venture more than a few hundred metres from the nest in order to make a catch. Here’s a video of 5R delivery a small pike to the nest yesterday afternoon.

Unusual nest lining!

It’s been a fantastic Easter weekend at Lyndon. Incubation has continued with little or no drama (unlike at Site B) and 5R has caught numerous fish in Manton Bay, including at least three Pike after dives direct from one of the t perches. It’s made for great viewing from Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides.

5R has also continued to add the occasional peice of lining to the nest, but on Thursday he got more than he bargained for when he picked up what he must have thought was just a clump of grass. Peter Hill, who was on duty, takes up the story.

“5R on one of his afternoon forays away from the nest could be seen
flying back and forth over the tree-line opposite Waderscrape hide. He
briefly dropped out of vision only to re-appear with something black in
his talons and an irate Red Kite in hot pursuit! As he approached the
nest, the Kite gave up the chase and 5R dropped his gift into the nest
before settling on the Y-perch. His mate was NOT impressed. We contacted
Lyndon Centre for confirmation of what the black gift was, and were
surprised to be told that it was a dead crow. 5R’s mate stepped out of
the nest and appeared disinclined to go back onto the eggs. Eventually
she flew over to 5R and had words with him. As a result 5R returned to
the nest, took the crow and dropped it into the water.  Normal service
was then resumed,  though  the Red Kite would seem to have lost his lunch!”