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!”