It is always incredibly exciting to see an Osprey return in the spring; but what we witnessed at Lyndon today was even more special. Over the past three weeks we have followed 30(05) on every leg of her 3000 mile migration from Senegal. Today she arrived back at Rutland Water and we were waiting for her.
The latest satellite data showed that 30(05) roosted 18 miles south of Cambridge last night and so we expected her to arrive at Rutland Water this morning. Sure enough, just before 11am she was seen by John Wright as she flew north over Eyebrook Reservoir. Eyebrook is just a few miles south of Rutland Water and we thought her next stop might be Manton Bay. Queue an anxious wait at the Lyndon Visitor Centre as we scanned the skies to the south. Finally, some 45 minutes later, an Osprey came into view, followed by a Red Kite. Suddenly it folded its wings and descended quickly to the nest. It was 30! The video below was recorded just a few seconds after she landed on the nest – her yellow ring and satellite transmitter both clearly visible.
30 spent five minutes on the nest before taking off again. She headed off powerfully to the east, evidently in search of a late breakfast.
Soon afterwards I received a call from Jamie Weston to say that he and Lawrence Ball had just seen 30 (easily identifiable by her satellite transmitter) at Horn Mill Trout Farm. 30 had appeared overhead while they were working beside one of the ponds. She circled a couple of times and then disappeared off up the valley. Half an hour or so later Jamie and Lawrence were at their other fish farm site, at Ryhall, and an Osprey appeared again. And guess what? It was 30; and this time she meant business. While Jamie and Lawrence looked on she made a couple of circuits of the farm and then suddenly dived down, close to the photography hide that we helped to build last summer. After a brief struggle she emerged with a trout!
Having caught a fish 30 headed off out of sight and we haven’t seen her for the rest of the day. As I said this morning, we are unsure of where 30 will settle this spring. If Maya fails to return to Manton Bay, then she may breed there. Alternatvely she may settle at another nest elsewhere. Thanks to her satellite transmitter we will be able to monitor all her movements very closely – and it will make for fascinating watching. For the time being, though, it is just great to see her back in Rutland.
As 30 proved today, the fish farms at Horn Mill and Ryhall are extremely valuable for the Ospreys at a time of year when fishing in the reservoir is often difficult. Since he returned on 16th March, 03(97) has caught all of his fish at Horn Mill Trout Farm, providing spectacular views for photographers in the hide which overlooks a pond stocked with trout. Over the coming weeks Ryhall is likely to become equally important. We know that 28(10) has already caught several fish there this week and, with 30 also visiting today, the hide there is likely to provide great views for photographers too. To find out more about how you can book a place in the hides, check out the River Gwash Trout Farm website.
We’ll have more on 30’s return tomorrow – and also an update on the latest locations of the other World Osprey Week Ospreys.