A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church

Cruise Countdown Commences…

Ever fancied seeing an osprey fish from the water? With less than 2 weeks to go until the Rutland Osprey Project’s first osprey cruise of 2018, the team is starting to get excited.

Many of those reading this blog may well have been on an osprey cruise with us before. Taking place on the Rutland Water reservoir, the Rutland Belle (pictured below) leaves Whitwell Harbour on the northern shore and visits the parts of the reservoir where the ospreys have been seen fishing the most.

A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church

Rutland Water is a vast reservoir, with approximately 25 miles of shoreline (including Hambleton peninsula) and you get a unique view from the boat.

The Rutland Belle is a very comfortable boat, with a toilet on board and a small bar selling refreshments and snacks.

A cruise ticket also includes a talk (choice of 10am or 2pm) at the Lyndon Visitor Centre for those that wish to learn a bit about the ospreys beforehand from our staff. If you wanted to go and see our famous Manton Bay nest where Maya and 33(11) are breeding, you can also get 20{aebb832937d1885646bba593f8f1074bbe61a552c8a5f5d60514d6f049ed1f58} off the price of a permit with your cruise ticket.

An Osprey Cruise on a sunny summer evening in 2012

During the cruise a member of the Rutland Osprey Project will be on the microphone, telling you about Rutland Water and the project as well as, most importantly, pointing out the ospreys as they fly past on the hunt for fish.

With over 20 ospreys back at Rutland Water, and more hopefully on the way, these cruises should be something to remember. The cruises are done at dawn and late afternoon because our research has shown that this is when most of the fishing is done. In the unlikely event that we are unlucky enough not to see an osprey (wildlife being wildlife) there is still lots to see out on the water for the wildlife lover including Red Kite, Common Tern, Gadwall and much, much more!

Sunrise over the Rutland Belle

There are 3 Dawn Cruises throughout the season. These are extra special because, not only do you get to watch the glorious sunrise over the water, you also get a cooked breakfast at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre afterwards!

Osprey diving for a fish

The Rutland Osprey Project is running 18 cruises throughout the summer of 2018, including the 3 special Dawn Cruises. The first cruise on 26th May is nearly sold out but there are still places on the second cruise on 2nd June. You can view all cruise dates and book online here. If you have any enquiries please contact Sarah Proud on 01572 720049 or volunteering@rutlandwater.org.uk.

The pitter patter of tiny zygodactylic feet...

The pitter patter of tiny zygodactylic feet…

This morning was a wet and dark start to the day, with Maya looking very wet while incubating the eggs!

33 brought a small fish to the nest this morning

33 brought a small fish to the nest this morning

Maya was looking very fidgety, getting up and down and rearranging the eggs all morning. Could it be that she could feel some movement?


At approximately 11.30am Maya stood up and 33 appeared back on the nest, initially looking like he was going to incubate for a while. He knew something was happening however and stared at the egg as a crack started to appear, and shortly after the first chick hatched! Check out the action in the clip below….

We are so thrilled to see the first chick of 2017, and just a day after one of 33 and Maya’s first chicks together returned home to Rutland Water! Now begins the countdown for the remaining three….