There is always more happening in Manton Bay than the bits we are privileged to see on our webcam, particularly at this time of year when the youngsters are no longer on the nest 24/7. Due to this it is always lovely to get a view of the goings-on in the bay from someone who sees them first hand from the viewing hides – our volunteers! We often have blogs from Ken Davies and Lynda Berry, and today osprey volunteer Linda Jones has written up her account of her latest osprey monitoring shift, which was a rather special one. Thank you for this report Linda!
Friday 12th August 2016
What an amazing early shift this morning for my fellow volunteer, Peter, and me. It was action packed and ranked first in the many shifts we had done.
It started at 6am, when a kingfisher landed on the reed within touching distance of the hide, even before we had set up!
At 6.05, 33(11) brought a large trout straight into the nest and was grabbed by T8 who spent the next hour and three quarters eating it, refusing all attempts to prise it away, despite the fact that T7 spent the entire time food begging. It was T6 who came in to take over the fish eventually, poor old T7! However, at 8.30 33(11) took pity and brought in the remains of another trout which T7 was relieved to take away to a perch on the fallen tree to devour. Another Osprey highlight of the morning was a visit by an intruding Osprey. Peter and I could not identify it but Maya chased it away.
Whilst the Ospreys, as always, kept us interested and amused, there was much more to this shift! The morning was beautiful, warm and sunny. The water was calm, and there were hundreds of birds around, including flocks of Canada and Greylag geese, and black headed gulls. Lots of Great Crested Grebes, and young ducks of various kinds. In front of the hide, four young Moorhen were busy feeding and one of them had an amusing encounter with a Mallard, standing up gazing at it, as if to say “who are you, you’re not my mum?!”
There were so many small birds in and out of the nearby bushes: including a lovely family of Whitethroat, wrens and tits. We saw Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers. To our delight, as the morning went on, the Barn Owl came out to doze in the sunshine outside its nesting box. The colours of its feathers in the morning sunshine were beautiful. Then, wow, a stunning female Marsh Harrier glided over the reed bed and we were treated to five minutes of it flying around not far from the hide.
Peter and I were constantly amazed about the range of birds we were seeing – they were putting on a real show – and the three hours sped past. We were tempted to stay on at 9am but we had both been up since 5am and we didn’t think it would be possible for this unique experience to carry on.
What a privilege it is to be a volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve and to share this wonderful experience on the Lyndon Reserve early in the morning. We were truly blessed.