Its been an amazingly exciting week at Rutland Water. In fact, at times, its been hard to keep up with the newly-arriving Ospreys!
On Thursday this week, John, Lloyd Park and myself arrived at the Site B expecting to find 25(10) at the nest. The young female had been ousted from the Manton Bay nest the previous day and, with her own mate not back in Rutland, we were almost certain we would see see her with 03(97). And, sure enough, that’s exactly what we did find; 25 was sitting on the nest, with 03 eating a fish lower down on the nest tree. What we weren’t expecting, however, was to see a third bird perched less than 40 metres away, also eating a fish. John quickly identified this third bird as 03’s unringed mate of the past five years. She must have arrived that morning!
So what was going on? The only possible explanation was that 03’s mate was tired after the long journey and hadn’t been able to muster the necessary energy to chase off the young impostor. The stalemate continued for another thirty minutes…
Eventually 03’s mate left her perch and headed for the nest. 25 wasn’t going to give up without a fight, though, and for ten minutes the birds chased each other around the nest, calling at each other with sharp ‘chipped’ notes.
Finally 25 seem to sense that she was no match for the established female, and she headed off back towards the reservoir, with 03 in pursuit.
Having reclaimed her nest, the female is now looking very settled with 03. The two birds have raised a total of thirteen chicks at the nest in the past five years; here’s hoping for another successful year for them in 2014.