End of the innocence

As I mentioned on Saturday, there is no better place to see Osprey action than down in the hides overlooking Manton Bay, on the Lyndon Reserve. There is so much going on at this time of year, what with the juveniles so often on the wing, being chased by other birds, chasing each other, practising diving and getting into all sorts of mischief!

To give you a taste of what you might witness in the bay, Dave Cole has created another superb video of the Osprey action over the weekend, plus plenty of other wildlife on show in the bay! Thank you once again to Dave for this fantastic footage.

We also have a wonderful selection of John Wright’s photographs from the past few days, showing the adventures of the Ospreys in Manton Bay. To begin with, here is a lovely, idyllic scene, with all three juveniles sitting together.

The three juveniles in more peaceful times, photo by John Wright

The three juveniles in more peaceful times, photo by John Wright


The above photograph was taken before they all started to fall out with each other! As I also noted in Saturday’s update, the juveniles are now becoming more aggressive with each other, and chasing each other away in order to get first dibs on any fish that are delivered. Here are a few shots of S1 chasing S3 the other day.

4N7A0306---S1-chasing-S3 4N7A0315---S1-chasing-S3 4N7A0571---S1-chasing-S2

S1 does seem to be the most dominant juvenile, and he has been the one doing most of the chasing. As such, he is also the one who manages to secure possession of most of the fish that are delivered!

33 delivering a roach to the nest, photo by John Wright

33 delivering a roach to the nest, photo by John Wright

33 bringing tench to S1, photo by John Wright

33 bringing tench to S1, photo by John Wright


S1 was the one who was waiting on the nest for the tench in the above photo. Funnily, somehow he managed to get it stuck in a stick, and had trouble getting himself untangled!

Here is a lovely sequence of photographs of 33 bringing in a huge trout! He took this fish to the leaning perch, where he began to eat it. However, he struggled a bit, so he decided to take it to the nest, where a very impatient S1 was waiting, along with Maya.


33 with trout – classic view of an Osprey carrying a fish in a streamlined position. By John Wright


P1630574 - 33 with trout and S2

33 lands with the trout next to S2

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33 takes off the perch with the trout

P1630591 - S1 attacking MB female before fish arrived

S1 on the nest, attacking the female before the fish arrived

P1630592 - S1 attacking MB female P1630593

P1630610 - 33 bringing trout to MB female and S1

33 arriving with the trout

P1630623 - 33 caught in the middle

33 gets caught in the middle!

P1630626 - 33 caught in the middle

And to finish the sequence, here is the video taken from the live camera when 33 landed with the fish!

The young Ospreys are wonderfully entertaining in their antics, and it’s fabulous to watch them as they discover their surroundings and enjoy their freedom. S2 and S3 were providing a lot of magnificent viewing at the weekend, and were frequently diving into the water (or should I say crashing into it?)

P1620929 - S2

S2 going in…



…and coming out again



S3 having a go


There has been the occasional Osprey intrusion occurring  in the bay over the past few weeks. One of the more recent visitors was an unringed female, seen in these photos below. She didn’t cause too much fuss, just flew around the bay for a while, accompanied by Maya and 33, then she headed away. It is likely she was on her migration, and was just passing through.

Unringed female Osprey

Unringed female Osprey

Unringed female and Manton Bay female

Unringed female and Manton Bay female

Unringed female continuing on her journey

Unringed female continuing on her journey


The Ospreys are still rather territorial, of course, and will defend their nest from any potential imposters. We know that a pair of Buzzards nested in the trees behind the Osprey nest, and they didn’t cause each other too many problems during the season. That is, until the juveniles fledged. Then 33 decided he didn’t like them, and was often seen dive-bombing them as they perched in the trees behind the nest, and we’ve seen photos from John of 33 chasing them away earlier in the season.

Here he is again, chasing away a juvenile Buzzard who got too close for comfort, and another one who actually sat on his perch! The audacity!

4N7A0405---33-mobbing-juvenile Buzzard

33 mobbing a juvenile Buzzard, photo by John Wright

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P1630127- 33 mobbing a juvenile Buzzard that sat in his arm chair

33 mobs a juvenile Buzzard who sat in his seat!


It’s not just other raptors, either – apparently Grey Herons are the enemy and need to be eliminated! Here are some brilliant shots of Maya dive-bombing one!

P1630151 P1630157 P1630158 P1630152 P1630145 P1630146 P1630147 P1630240 P1630144 P1630143 - MB female mobbing Grey Heron

As we have seen in Dave Cole’s videos, and anyone who has visited Manton Bay will know, there is a lot more than the Ospreys to see there (they are the best, though, let’s be honest!). Here is a photograph of a juvenile Cuckoo that has been spotted on the reserve several times recently. It is likely this bird was passing through on its autumn migration – juveniles often leave later than adults.

Juvenile Cuckoo, photo by John Wright

Juvenile Cuckoo, photo by John Wright


And to finish, here’s a shot of S3, sitting very close to where the Cuckoo was!

S3, photo by John Wright

Thank you very much to John Wright for all of the above photographs. Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s update, too, as we have another treat in store in the shape of a video from John!


4 responses to “End of the innocence”

  1. Drew

    Very nice videos and photographs. I love watching these amazing birds catch fish.

  2. Jenny Aburrow

    Amazing video and photos – thank you

  3. Mike Simmonds

    Thank you Kayleigh for another amazing set of views and such a comprehensive report.

  4. Jenny Still

    Thank you Kayleigh for the blog and to John for what I think are the best photos yet. When is the ‘2015 Rutland Water Ospreys’ book coming out?

    Fantastic stuff.