The bigger picture

I’m sure you will all agree that the photos we get from the nest cameras are superb, particularly this year with the new zoom camera and the wide angle view. However, it is wonderful to also see things from a different perspective. From down in the hides, you can see much more than we can from the centre, and when John Wright has spent a day down there, we have a selection of brilliant photographs of the action both on the nest and surrounding it.

The adult birds continue to bring sticks and nest lining to the nest throughout the season, even though it’s almost over. It is their instinct to do so, to keep the nest in good condition. Last season, even when there were no chicks, Maya and 33 spent a lot of time building up the nest, as it also helps to cement the pair bond between two Ospreys. The sticks and the soft hay and grass I understand, but why the female likes to bring hard clumps of what looks like manure, I do not know!

Female bringing a stick

Female bringing a stick


Maya flies in with clump

Maya flying in with a clump of mud or manure…

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P1520973---Female-bringing-a branch

Maya with a large branch

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Maya bringing a clump of mute swan feathers for nest lining

Maya bringing a clump of mute swan feathers for nest lining

P1520912---Female-bringing-Mute Swan feather

We all know that 33 is a superb fisherman, and have watched videos of him bringing all sorts of fish to the nest, from trout to roach to tench! These photos show him bringing in a couple of roach and a trout. It’s great to see him from this angle, with Burley-on-the-Hill in the background.


33 bringing in some roach



The perfect fish-carrying pose!


A great big trout


Recently, 33 has been catching a lot of fish in the bay, and the roach in the photos above were caught very close to the nest, right in front of the viewing hides! This is great for visitors to the hides, but it’s something we miss from the centre. Luckily for us, John’s photographs provide a perfect compromise for those of us up here. Look at this fabulous sequence of 33 fishing from the French perch!

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Some of you may know that there are a pair of buzzards nesting quite close to the Ospreys. Anyone who has been to the hide, in fact! They haven’t bothered each other much at all, as both pairs have had their own broods of chicks to care for. However, on the odd occasion there has been a bit of aerial fighting between 33 and one of the buzzards – check out these amazing action shots!

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There has also been several Osprey intrusions recently. We know from John that male Osprey 51(11) has intruded in the bay a few times. The other day, there was a female Osprey intruding. Our first thought was that this could be another two-year-old returning! It turned out that it was, but not one of ours… when John zoomed in on his photo of her, she had no leg rings.

Unringed female

Unringed female


This unringed female intruder must be a youngster returning to the UK for the first time. She has most likely been distracted on her way north to Scotland. It would be great if she became attracted by one of our unattached males, and returned next year!

Whilst we may be happy to see a young Scottish Osprey in our midst, Maya was somewhat less than thrilled, and chased this intruder away.

Maya giving chase

Maya giving chase


As we saw yesterday, the juveniles are stretching out their wings and exercising them an awful lot! Fledging will take place at some point this week. These two pictures show the impressive wing span these seven week old birds have.

Chick stretching

Chick stretching and hitting Mum!

Female landing

Female landing, chick flapping


Finally, here is a lovely shot of all three juveniles lined up nicely behind the female. It certainly is a nest-full, and this photo shows just how big those chicks are now!

All lined up behind Mum

All lined up behind Mum



4 responses to “The bigger picture”

  1. Kirsty

    Which hide were these taken from please? Fabulous pictures by the way!

    1. Kayleigh Brookes

      They were taken from Shallow Water hide on the Lyndon reserve.

  2. Janet Vardy

    Its getting very excititing.I will miss these 3 babies when they are gone.What happens to them when the fledge do they fly to were the parents are and will they stay together.

    1. Kayleigh Brookes

      After they fledge they stay around the nest for a good six weeks or more. The adults continue to feed them on the nest, so they won’t go far from that. They will migrate individually to West Africa in late August or early September.