Maya’s Return

Today has been an extremely exciting day for the Rutland Osprey Project! The first osprey was seen in Rutland, and to add to the excitement the first bird back was identified as Maya the Manton Bay osprey, this meant that her return was broadcast live for all to see via webcam.  This is the earliest we have ever had a bird back in Rutland, as the birds usually return around the 17th March. We are not sure what has caused this early return, but it will be very interesting to see when the other ospreys make their way back to Rutland. We are still tracking our tagged bird and hope to have an update for you tomorrow.

This was a great start to the 2018 osprey season and added to the excitement of World Osprey Week (WOW). Ken Davis, from the education team, has written a great blog detailing the events of the first day of WOW. 



World Osprey Week Day 1: Maya is back, and Catmose Primary are WOW’d.



Monday March 12th 2018 : An unbelievable, brilliant day! A visit to Catmose Primary School in Oakham on the first day of World Osprey Week was exciting anyway, but what happened afterwards as we were making for home was absolutely fantastic! ‘There’s an Osprey eating a trout on the nest in Manton Bay’ was the simple message……..Who could it be? Bit early for Maya, said someone. ‘Awaiting confirmation’ said the next post. ‘Keep your eye on the website….’

The Education Team (Jackie, Pete and Ken) had just completed whole school assembly for over 200 boys and girls (aged 5 – 11) at Catmose Primary School in Oakham, just a few kilometres from Manton Bay. This is an excellent school, and everyone was very quickly involved as we showed our pictures and described the famous Ospreys these very lucky children have right on their doorstep every summer. We explained very carefully why there were no Ospreys in the Bay right now because they were still making their way back from their wintering grounds in west Africa or Southern Spain……little did we know what was going on in the Bay! Members of the audience answered our Osprey questions and were eager to hear about every part of the great Osprey story, including nest, rings, trackers, and every single detail. You could hear a pin drop in the hall……apart from every time someone mentioned World Osprey Week, which led to a hearty shout of WOW! – which was probably heard back at the Bay! And as a special treat at the end, we played the famous Osprey Song, performed by the children of Hurst Lodge School in Ascot (find it on You-Tube). And that’s not all – Headteacher Mrs Jackson announced that four trips are to be arranged in the summer term so that every single student in Key Stage 2 (and that’s about 120!) can come over to Manton Bay and see the Ospreys for themselves. Yet more and more ‘WOW’s’ – it’s been a WOW morning, and this is a WOW school – thank you for your great welcome and enthusiasm! We three have had a great time – hope you all did too! And we’ll see you all again later in the year!

And then everything else started to happen! It must have been just as were finishing, in the later part of the morning, that those messages started coming through…..It was possible, just possible, that on the very first day of World Osprey Week 2018, an Osprey, a very special Osprey called Maya, had completed her homeward journey, and was enjoying her first Rutland trout in six months! Welcome home Maya! You couldn’t have timed it better!!

2018 World Osprey Week (WOW)

This week is World Osprey Week (WOW), the idea of a week to celebrate ospreys across the globe was started by the project back in 2014, WOW is now in its fourth year and has allowed hundreds of school children from across the globe to engage with ospreys and nature conservation. Not only does this aid in the protection of ospreys across their migration route, but it also allows children to reconnect with nature and become inspired.

During this week our education team will be visiting schools across the region to deliver talks and lessons about ospreys. The same will be happening across the osprey migration route in each school signed up to WOW, which can be seen on our interactive map

It is difficult to measure the impact delivering these talks has on conservation as a whole, sometimes its easy to forget how important nature education is for school children, and the impact it can have in their lives. Just this weekend we were visited by a boy who had been inspired by a talk delivered by the education team in his school and wished to enroll as an osprey ambassador. This will allow him to share his passion for ospreys and nature with his peers. I myself only began volunteering in nature conservation when I was visited in school by an outreach initiative from Rutland Water. This demonstrates how nature education can have a profound  effect and can inspire the conservationists of the future, which will then directly impact nature conservation.  

Waderscrape hide, Lyndon Reserve.

A New Season

Despite the Arctic conditions of last week, spring is well on its way. At Lyndon this means one thing, ospreys! 

Everyone here at Lyndon has been very busy setting up, ready for the new season. Lloyd Park and Dave Cole spent a few very cold days setting up the webcams in Manton Bay, they have done a great job getting the cameras just right! I can now announce the webcams are  streaming live onto the website! So far we have only had visits from some Egyptian geese and a curious cormorant. Hopefully, in the next few weeks this will be Maya and 33(11), our Manton Bay pair. 

First visitor on the Manton Bay webcam

Paul Stammers our returning Information Officer braved the snow last week to start setting up the centre, which is now restocked and ready for our opening on Saturday 10th March. Even though there won’t be any ospreys just yet,  it would be great to see some of you there.   

The tracked osprey 30(05) has had the right idea and is still in the same spot on the beach in Senegal. Currently she is not traveling any great distances, only a couple of kilometers out to sea; hopefully she is saving her strength for the long migration ahead. We will be posting regular updates on 30 (05) migration in the next few weeks, to help celebrate World Osprey Week (WOW)

30(05) still on the beach.

We are very much looking forward to this new osprey season and hope you are too! Fingers crossed we’ll have a great year, with lots of ospreys! 


New Faces

2017 saw some staff changes at Rutland Water, with Senior Project Officer Tim Mackrill leaving in April, and then in October, Kayleigh Brookes, our wonderful Project Officer, moved onto pastures new after 4 seasons with the Rutland Ospreys . Both of them are greatly missed, but luckily we have 2 excellent new staff members joining the team this year!

Rebecca Pitman is the new Senior Reserves Officer (Projects) for Rutland Water, overseeing the osprey project and the species monitoring work at the reserve.

Rebecca has previously worked for the RSPB, the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, the National Trust and Lincolnshire Biodiversity Partnership. Her CV includes roles covering reserve management, wildlife monitoring and people engagement, on reserves including RSPB Ramsey Island, Blakeney Point, RSPB Lakenheath Fen, RSPB Newport Wetlands and RSPB The Lodge. Having previously specialised in swifts for the RSPB before coming to Rutland Water, Rebecca regards working on ospreys as a promotion (if not at least due to being a much bigger species).

Originally hailing from South Wales, Rebecca is looking forward to getting to know Rutland Water and the surrounding area, as well as the start of the season and of course the return of the ospreys.

Joining Rebecca as Project Officer for the 2018 season is Anya Wicikowski – we welcome Anya back to Rutland Water as she is a previous Trainee Reserve Officer

Anya with Nick Baker at the Birdfair

Anya is a born and bred Rutlander, she first started volunteering on the Osprey Project at the age of 15, and from then on, she was hooked.  Since then she has completed a BSc in Wildlife Conservation taking a placement year during her undergraduate to work as a Trainee Reserve Officer at Rutland Water. After her degree, she worked for the RSPB on the Stone-Curlew project as Community Engagement Officer. She then decided to study for her Masters in Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation, during which time she worked on the habitat management team at Rutland Water for a brief two months, helping complete all the great management that takes place at Rutland Water.

In the Autumn Anya decided to take after the birds and migrated to Malawi, to study hedgehogs for Conservation Research Africa. She is very excited to start at Rutland Water and hopes she can carry on the amazing work of the osprey project.

A big welcome to both Rebecca and Anya, we’re looking forward to another great osprey season this year with them both! 

Education News Letter

2017 was not only a record year for the Rutland Ospreys (8 pairs raised 15 chicks to the free-flying stage) – it was also a record year for the Osprey Education Team! Between March and September we had 57 bookings for school and youth group visits, either in schools or here at the Lyndon Reserve, and we met well over 3,500 young people during the season! A lot of that success was down to our outstanding team of young Osprey Ambassadors, who attended the monthly meetings in the Wader Scrape hide in Manton Bay, and took all the news about Maya and her family back to their schools for us. This meant that teachers and students throughout Rutland were kept up to date – many schools organised their visits after hearing the exciting news from their Ambassadors!

Records are there to be broken… for 2018 we are hoping that the Ospreys of Rutland Water will enjoy even more success, and maybe the number of breeding pairs will reach double figures! That would be amazing!
We expect that many of our Ambassadors will stay on for another year, but some have moved on to new schools and may not wish to continue. So we will be looking for some new faces, as well as welcoming back old friends as well.

World Osprey Week – 12 to 18TH March 2018

The Ospreys will begin their long migration from West Africa back to Rutland in March, and World Osprey Week or WOW celebrates the return of the Rutland Ospreys. The website has the latest news about the migration of the Rutland Ospreys and some bird have satellite trackers, which means that we can monitor their progress north! It is a truly international event with migration “flyways” in Europe, West Asia, and the Americas.

WOW Skype at English Martyrs, Oakham

Free school educational resources

It is possible for teachers to deliver lessons using Osprey based resources! Ideal for World Osprey Week!!!
Schools, home school groups and other educational groups can simply register and then download and use our FREE primary and secondary teaching resources. These include worksheets (with teacher’s notes), lesson plans, fun activities and project ideas that cover a wide range of national curriculum subjects.

Education team in action at a Rutland school

“Inspired by Ospreys” – our creative competition for 2018

This year we have an exciting “Inspired by Ospreys” competition for young people. There are three categories and these are; A drawing or painting (A4), a short story (no more than 600 words),or a poem (no more than one side A4) There are two age groups; 11 years and under and 12 years and over. Full details and dates are on Rutland Osprey website .On the Education tab click on “2018 Competition Inspired by Ospreys”

Osprey Ambassadors

Osprey Ambassadors are school pupils who are the link between the Osprey Project and their school. Take a look at the Ambassadors page on the Rutland Ospreys website for more information. Follow this link …

World Osprey Week – Ambassadors Warm-up

All Osprey Ambassadors (with a supervising teacher or adult) are invited to a World Osprey Week “Warm-up” on Sunday 4th March 2-4pm, at the Volunteer Training Centre, Rutland Water. More information will be sent directly to ambassadors.

Waderscrape hide, Lyndon Reserve

Ambassadors Osprey Club

This held on the first Sunday EACH MONTH from April – September 2018
This takes place at the Lyndon Nature Reserve, Rutland Water, in the Wader Scrape hide from 2-4pm
Contact Ken for any information about Ambassadors and Osprey Club

We can visit your local school

The Education Team can visit local schools to give assemblies, or short presentations or educational activities. All the team are experienced teachers. More information about school visits is on our website at…
E-mail Ken for advice or to make a booking.

Visiting Lyndon to see the Ospreys

Educational groups can visit Lyndon to see the Rutland Ospreys. The best months to visit are May to July. If you would like to visit the Lyndon Reserve with any educational group, take a look at what the Rutland Osprey Education Team can offer at
It would be worth planning ahead to book your visit for 2018! Please offer us a choice of dates for you visit giving as much notice as possible.
E-mail Ken for visit advice or visit bookings at


Three osprey books for young people written by Ken Davies, feature the adventures and migrations of Ozzie the Osprey. All have been reprinted and are now available for sale at our Visitor Centres and in local bookshops in Oakham, Oundle and Peterborough. See for full details. A special signed, updated, numbered, hardback limited edition of Ozzie Leads The Way is due in March 2018. Ken is currently writing a new story about wintering Ospreys in Senegal and the people who study them.

Jackie, Pete and Ken, Osprey Education Team