Progress of our satellite tagged birds

Progress of our satellite tagged birds

We are delighted to report that our ospreys with satellite tags, 4K(13) and S1(15) are both in their wintering grounds in West Africa, the map outlines S1’s route over the Sahara Desert.


The desert’s vast and desolate expanse presents a demanding challenge to all our migrating birds. They will typically take a westerly route from southern Morocco, through Western Sahara arriving in northern Senegal up to five days later. Because of satellite technology, we now have a better understanding of their journeys. They migrate across the desert using a soaring and gliding flight, using strong thermals to gain altitude, gliding onwards, then slowly losing height before they reach the next updraft. This method conserves their energy. Remarkable.


The end of a record season for the ospreys!

The end of a record season for the ospreys!

Maya and 33 eventually decided that they too must leave Manton Bay and start their migration to their wintering grounds.  They were last seen in Manton Bay on the 2nd of September, but for a while we were unsure as to whether they had departed, or would surprise us with a quick return to their territory before going on their way, this pair often do the unexpected.

33 was keen to defend the nest for as long as possible, he spent a great deal of time bringing in branches as if in preparation for the next season.


This was one of the last shots of the pair on their nest together before they left.

Now that they have gone, we can reflect on what has been a bumper year for The Rutland Osprey Project. 31 ospreys returned to Rutland this season and 10 nest sites produced a record number of 23 youngsters.  056 the third chick from the Manton Bay nest became our 150th fledgling, a fantastic success for the project, now in it’s 23rd year.

Migration of S1

Migration of S1

S1, one of our male ospreys, fledged from Manton Bay in 2015, one of the offspring of 33 and Maya.  He was ringed on the 30th June 2015 and left on his first migration on 29th August 2015.

S1 was first seen back in the UK in 2017 and has been holding a territory, although has not yet managed to attract a female.  He was fitted with a GPS tracker in August 2018.

He started his 2019 migration on the 31st August, roosting on the south coast of England before crossing the channel in the early hours of the morning and arriving in France at 9am on 1st September, since then he has made steady progress south through Spain.

The project has two other satellite tagged birds, 4K and 30.

4K’s blue ring is clearly visible in John Wright’s photo

4K, a male bird from 2013,  has yet to leave on migration and 30’s satellite tag is no longer transmitting – but we do know that all is well with this female from 2005, as she has been seen this season.

Credit to Geoff Harries.

We will keep you updated with progress of the birds as they migrate to their wintering grounds.



33 defending his territory to the last

Our adult male, 33, has spent some time this morning bringing in more branches and maintaining his nest.

He also defended his territory when an unknown osprey flew over Manton Bay.

Maya and 33 remain – for now…..

Our 2019 season is drawing to a close and although the fledglings have gone it’s fantastic to still have the adult birds with us so we can enjoy watching them.

33 is determined to add sticks to the nest, flying in on a regular basis then rearranging them as he sees fit.

Maya has been food begging and today she gave up on 33 providing a meal and caught herself a trout.  33 fished too and both birds were seen eating the fish, perched in the poplars.

Let’s hope they stay for a few more days.