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Sightings in the Sun

Sightings in the Sun

With all the recent snow, it now feels quite some time since we saw an osprey at Rutland Water, and whilst it won’t be long before they are here again, it is always great to hear news of Rutland birds out in West Africa. Volunteer Chris Wood is currently on holiday in Senegal, and has been spending some time at the Sine-Saloum Delta in the north of the country. This morning Chris got in touch today to report a sighting of 32(11)!

32(11) in Senegal

You may recall that this is not the first time 32(11) has been spotted in West Africa. He was seen in January of this year by members of the team, and was spotted for the first time back in 2016. 32 was born in Manton Bay back in 2011, to Maya and 5R(04) (making his grandfather the well-loved osprey 03(97)!). This time he was spotted on the same bit of salt marsh he was seen on in January. This is to be expected – we know from 30(05)’s data that ospreys return to the same place each winter, often to the exact same perch!

The weather in Senegal looks a lot more osprey-friendly than the current scene on Lagoon 4!


Osprey Ambassadors’ Party

Osprey Ambassadors are children in local primary and secondary schools in the Stamford and Rutland area, who act as the link between the Rutland Osprey Project and their school. The Osprey Ambassadors Party, was held on Sunday 1st October 2017.

The Rutland Ospreys have now all migrated to West Africa, and this week end a special event marked the end of the 2017 osprey season. Bye-bye Osprey week or BOW finished with an Osprey Ambassadors party!

Seventeen children, who are Osprey Ambassadors in eleven local schools, accompanied by thie family and friends met at the Volunteer Training Centre on Sunday. This end of season party was organised by the Osprey Education Team, and Pete Jackie and Ken gave a special thank-you to the children for their hard work in their schools during the year, and their continued active interest in this project.

We began with brief highlights of the year, including World Osprey Week in March, the “Ospreys and us Video” competition, our links with the Urdaibai Bird Reserve in northern Spain, the monthly Ambassadors Osprey Club and our part on the Wildlife Trusts stand at the Rutland Water Bird Fair.

The children then enjoyed some osprey related games such as Musical Migrating Ospreys, Pass the Osprey, and Pin the Zygodactylic Toe on the Osprey.

No party would be complete without food, and Liz Elsden produced a specular spread with her signature chocolate osprey cake, osprey cupcakes, and a huge array of colourful fruits, sweets and jelly all with an animal theme!

The afternoon finished with a birdwatching session from the VTC gallery looking out over Rutland Water. The young Osprey Ambassadors now are all looking forward to next year when the ospreys return.

Words and photographs by Education Officer Pete Murray. 

Party introduction

Pass the osprey

Pin the toe on the osprey

Alex and Alex – winners of pin the toe

Party food, Liz Elsden

Osprey cupcakes


World Osprey Week 2018 – 12th   to 18th March

World Osprey Week or WOW celebrates the return of the Rutland Ospreys It is possible to teach your lessons using osprey based teaching resources. Schools can simply register and then use our FREE primary and secondary teaching resources including worksheets (with teacher’s notes), lesson plans, fun activities and project ideas that cover a wide range of national curriculum subjects.





Season's end

Season’s end

It’s amazing how quickly the season goes, September always creeps up rather rapidly! All of the ospreys have now departed – there was a late-leaving juvenile who was hanging around Lagoon 4 for a while, but he has now left us too. The Lyndon Centre’s last day was Sunday 10th September, and that evening we celebrated with a thank you event to our osprey volunteers, with drinks, food and entertainment! Volunteers are vital to the success of the project, and we really can’t thank them enough. 

This season has been incredible – with eight breeding pairs we have had the best breeding success to date. 15 chicks successfully fledged this season, which makes our total number of fledged ospreys a whopping 132! Visitor numbers were high again this year, over 26,000 people came to see the ospreys at the Lyndon Reserve! We would like to thank everyone who visited us at Lyndon, followed us online and watched our webcam, your support is vital and we hope to see you again next year! The webcam is now offline, and will be reinstated next spring, when the Lyndon Centre opens again in March.

Here is a great video showing highlights of the 2017 season, created by our wonderful Information Officer Holly Hucknall. If you visited us at Birdfair or earlier this month, you may have already seen this, but if so it’s worth watching again!



Party time!

Yeehaw! We had such a wonderful time at our end of season barn dance last Friday! A huge thank you to The Navigation Band who were absolutely brilliant, and made the evening super special with their excellent music and patient caller! Thanks also to the Roasting Pig Co. for their succulent hog roast and to Patricia Clarke for the bar.

Special thanks must go out to everyone who attended the dance, helped us raise almost £200 on our raffle and joined in enthusiastically with the dancing! Here are some pictures of us all having fun, thank you to volunteer Matthew Blurton for the photographs.

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30's location over the past few days

By the Beach

Good news – 30(05) has arrived at her wintering grounds in Senegal! She finished the 3000 mile journey at 4pm on September 8th, and will remain on her patch of Senegalese beach now until spring next year.

3000 miles completed!

3000 miles completed!

30 slowed down a little as she reached the border between Mauritania and Senegal, probably stopping to fish at the river that separates the two countries.
30's location over the past few days

30’s location over the past few days

We are so pleased she arrived safely – she set off on the same day as Maya, so here’s hoping Maya has arrived safely at her winter home too, wherever that may be. Here is a close-up of the area 30 stays – a quiet spot with an unending supply of fish right on her doorstep!
A nice place to spend the winter

A nice place to spend the winter

As well as the good news about 30 we have something else to share with you – wonderful volunteer Dave Cole has made another brilliant video, this time of a juvenile osprey on Lagoon 4. The video features some great moments of osprey behaviour that we don’t see on our webcam, including the mid-air shake ospreys do after a good bath!

Today is the last day that the Lyndon centre is open to the public before it shuts for the winter, so we’d like to say thank you very much to everyone who visited and supported the project this season – we hope to see you again when the ospreys return in 2018! You will still be able to access the Lyndon reserve over the winter, and we will continue to keep you updated with osprey team news here on the blog.