What an exciting day we have had at Lyndon! When an osprey landed on the Manton Bay nest at 09:14, volunteers Tony & Shirley and myself all got very excited, thinking it could be 33 back early. The osprey was hiding his leg ring at the time, but when we looked back through the recordings we could see it was clearly 1J. 1J fledged from the Manton Bay nest in 2013, and was photographed yesterday fishing at Horn Mill Trout Farm. Here he is on the nest this morning.
Here are the photographs of 1J fishing at Horn Mill, taken by Geoff Harries.
1J didn’t stay very long, and soon flew away from the bay. It was wonderful to see an osprey on the nest again!
Then about 50 minutes later another osprey landed on the nest. My first thought was that it would be 1J again, but when we looked…..it was 33!!
Later in the day, whilst 33 was sitting on the nest, yet another osprey came along! 33 began mantling and from above a female dropped down onto the nest behind him. We could immediately see that the bird was sporting a green leg ring, and therefore was not Maya. It was 5N(04), a breeding female from another of our nests.
33 stood and mantled for a while before taking off and hovering above 5N, looking as though he might try to mate with her.
She clearly wasn’t interested and he didn’t get near her. She flew off and was later seen flying back over the nest with a fish, and disappearing out of sight.
We were all ecstatic that 33 had returned, and were hoping that Maya wouldn’t be far behind him. By this we thought the next few days, but she surprised us all by returning today! Volunteers Peter and Diana were monitoring in the hide, and at 13:35 Peter radioed the centre to say an osprey was on the perch and looked to be unringed. Just as I was replying, she landed on the nest!
Shortly after Maya arrived on the nest, 33 decided he’d better get started straight away, and rose up above her, landing on her back to mate.
It was an unsuccessful attempt, as you can see from the above video. However, Maya was definitely receptive, and they have plenty of time.
Both birds left the nest, then five minutes later Maya arrived at the nest with a huge, freshly caught, still kicking trout! She was clearly hungry and not prepared to wait for 33 to feed her.
33 did try to steal a bit of Maya’s fish, though! He flew in and sidled hopefully up to her, but she was having none of it, and later she flew off to eat in peace.
33 went and caught his own fish later, and thanks to a heads-up from the hide, we saw him catch it right in front of the Lyndon Visitor Centre! Like Maya’s, it was still kicking a bit when he brought it back…(graphic images warning).
33 has already been moving some sticks around the nest, and he also made an attempt to scrape out the middle of the nest. Unfortunately for him the wind wasn’t on his side, and that’s where he ended up!
It’s fantastic that the Manton Bay pair have returned, and both on the same day again, which is amazing. It’s almost as though they planned it! They did it in 2015 when they arrived back on 6th April. We’re glad they haven’t made us wait until April this time!