One of the great things about watching the Manton Bay nest from either Waderscrape or Shallow Water hide is that you stand a good chance of seeing 5R fishing. As you’ll know if you’ve visited, the nest is on a telegraph pole positioned in the middle of the bay; with water on all four sides. 5R doesn’t always fish close to the nest – often he will head off to the eastern end of the reservoir – but this weekend he caught several fish in Manton Bay; treating lucky visitors to some spectacular views in the process. Luckily for us, John was there to capture all the action.
In recent years we have noticed a decline in the number of roach caught by the Ospreys – suggesting that the reservoir’s population has declined. There are indications, however, that they are on the increase again. And that certainly seemed to be the case over the weekend – all fish that 5R caught in the bay were roach.
During the incubation period 5R rarely caught more than two fish each day. But now, with three hungry chicks to feed, he has really upped his game. He has more than doubled his daily fishing effort; and it was no surprise on Sunday morning that he started fishing again almost immediately after delivering the first roach to his family on the nest. What was a surprise, though, was just how close he was to Shallow Water hide when he made his next strike. John’s photos say it all…
If two catches wasn’t enough for the excited visitors, 5R later completed a hat-trick of Manton Bay catches.
As you’ll know if you’ve been watching the webcam, its usually the female who feeds the chicks. They are growing at an incredible rate (not surprising given all the fish Dad is providing) and its now easy to see their heads moving around from the hide. One visitor commented at the weekend that they look like puppets on a string!
On Saturday evening passengers on our first Osprey cruise of the summer were treated to superb views of yet another returning Osprey. 30(10) fledged from the Manton Bay nest in 2010 and made one brief appearance last summer. We were wondering if we’d see him this year and, sure enough, he arrived on Saturday afternoon – intruding at his natal nest before being chased off by his Dad. To 5R, 30 is now just another intruding Osprey – and he treated him as he would any other bird that ventured too close to the nest. As luck would have it, 5R chased the young male into the North Arm of the reservoir and directly over the boat!
If this has whetted your appetite for visiting Manton Bay, you can find out more by clicking here. The view, alone, makes it worthwhile. The Ospreys aren’t bad, either.