Same places, new faces..

Braving howling winds and unpredictable downpours, driving against hunger pangs and trying to stay on course to reach the distant shores of Rutland water… hoping against hope that this would be a successful year, a young ornithologist embarks on her migration to exciting new territory…

2019, new year, new people, new wardrobe (the Leicester and Rutland Wildlife uniform is a vast improvement on my usual Attenborough-wannabee beige and blue!) and exciting new challenges. This season I’ll be working as the Osprey Project officer, helping welcome these enigmatic birds back to the UK after their arduous journey from West Africa- I struggle to comprehend doing that with British airways let alone on the wing! Migration is something I’m fascinated by and I’ve followed in the literature the extraordinary lengths our native birds go for their winter feeding grounds. I find it remarkable how much information we can obtain about migration, particularly as we are beginning to develop more and more sophisticated tracking technology. It will be so exciting to see where the tagged Ospreys go at the end of this year, we have already seen where some have ended up: Guinea Bissau, Senegal… I cannot wait for them to return to Rutland, the pre-season preparations are underway already and the enthusiasm and anticipation rippling around the volunteers and staff is infectious! I can only hope to do as good a job as my predecessors, and feel very lucky to be working with dedicated people in a beautiful location, watching and waiting eagerly for the Osprey’s return!

A little (Tern) goes a long way…

Before working in Rutland I worked with other long-distance migrants, namely the iconic and elegant Little Tern, both at Chesil Beach in Weymouth and Gronant Dunes in Denbighshire. These projects gave me my first real taste of conservation, and highlighted the importance of volunteers and project staff in shepherding a whole new generation safely through to fledging, and perhaps even see them return in future to our shores. I can already see evidence of all the hard work and commitment to the Osprey project over the years and I cannot wait to be a part of it.

The next few weeks are going to fly by… but hopefully the Ospreys will chose to stay for another productive season at Rutland! There’s a lot to look forward to this year, so I’m making the most of the calm ahead of season to brush up on my Osprey knowledge and practice my fun facts for the upcoming guided walks and talks I’ll be doing over at Lyndon later on… let’s Os-pray my jokes go down well…

2 responses to “Same places, new faces..”

  1. Mike S

    Welcome Marie. Good to see the camera is up and running.

  2. Valerie

    Don’t forget they don’t all go to Africa , remember Blue 2AA who winters in Portugal as do quite a few UK ospreys , always good to remind the public they can see them in a country much nearer !!!!