For a long time, the nest in Manton Bay has been the only osprey nest in use on the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. This year, that might be about to change. There are and always have been several other platforms around the reserve, put in place to attract ospreys and encourage them to stay and breed. Up to now, all except Manton Bay have remained devoid of ospreys. For the past couple of years, however, a male osprey who was born in Rutland in 2011 – 51(11) – has been holding territory on the nest platform on lagoon four, the northernmost lagoon on the Egleton side of the nature reserve. We have waited and hoped that a female will come along and join him, and so, we imagine, has he!
This year, his wishes may be granted. A young Rutland female, three-year-old 3J(13), returned to the area earlier this month, after first paying a visit to the Glaslyn nest in North Wales. She found 51 on the nest on lagoon four, and it looks like she might stay and breed with him! This is great news, as it means we could potentially have eight successful pairs this season, and a second nest on the nature reserve!
3J returned to the UK for the first time last year, and spent a bit of time at Ferry Meadows Country Park in Peterborough. She then paid a visit to Wales, before returning to Rutland. This is the sort of behaviour we would expect from a two-year-old returning for the first time. This year she has visited Wales twice, but returned within a day or two and she now seems quite settled on the nest with 51.
Before 3J returned, female 5N spent some time on the lagoon four nest. 5N is a breeding female – the most productive Rutland-born female, in fact – and she was simply hanging around waiting for her usual partner to return. When he did, she disappeared off to her nest site with him, leaving 51 alone again. Another female, an unringed bird, was also seen around the lagoon four nest recently. It is possible this was a bird flying though on the way north, or perhaps she is a youngster looking for her own nest. 51 is in demand!
Thank you very much to John Wright for the following photographs showing the sequence of events on lagoon four this year.
Thank you also to Dave Cole for this fabulous video, documenting some of what has been happening on the nest on lagoon four recently.