The sky’s the limit

It’s been another pleasant day, the weather having been much more akin to summer recently! The five Manton Bay Ospreys have been in and out of the bay a lot today – the juveniles are becoming even more adventurous and can be absent for prolonged lengths of time. We mustn’t worry that they disappear for long periods at this age – soon they will have a potentially 3,000 mile migration to undertake, and we cannot be of any assistance to them in that. It doesn’t stop us thinking about them, though, as they make their first perilous journey south!

First of all, as promised, here are a couple of photos from John Wright of S2 with his first fish yesterday!


S2 with his first ever catch! Photo by John Wright


S2 with his tench, photo by John Wright


We haven’t seen a juvenile catch a fish today, but now he’s caught one, we wouldn’t be surprised to see S2 catching more. We did have quite a few nest visits by the Ospreys today, which is always lovely! At around 11:00, Maya arrived on the nest with a very small pike. S3 was right behind her, and she decided she wanted this fish! She managed to pull the fish away from Maya, and it was only then I noticed it wasn’t dead! The little pike jumped about all over the place, and S3 tried to stamp on it in vain, then she grabbed it with her beak and stilled it.

S3 grabs the fish

S3 grabs it


This year it has been fantastic to have four two-year-old Ospreys back from their wintering grounds. We know that two-year-olds wander quite widely when they first return, and we have seen evidence of this several times over the years. It’s wonderful that three of this year’s four youngsters have made an appearance in Rutland first, and we have been able to identify them as 3J(13), 1J(13) and 4K(13).

We know that 1K is still in Belgium, and 3J went to visit Wales, and we have recently been informed of the whereabouts of 1J. He was spotted for the first time last week at Fishlake Meadows, just north-east of the New Forest in Hampshire, and we believe he is still there.

Luckily, John Wright was in the area when the report of 1J came in, so he popped to Fishlake Meadows to have a look for himself. It’s a lovely little lagoon, full of fish and flooded out dead trees, which are perfect for perching. 1J was there, accompanied by an unringed female!


Fishlake Meadows, photo by John Wright

P1600806---Male-1J---Fishlake Meadows

1J at Fishlake Meadows, photo by John Wright


1J, photo by John Wright


Uncannily, 1J is not the first Rutland Osprey who has visited Fishlake Meadows. Four years ago, Rutland male 06(09) spent six weeks in the very same place! 06 was a two-year-old at the time, and we are happy to say he is now one of our breeding males in Rutland.

Here is another fabulous bit of footage from volunteer Dave Cole, of the Ospreys and other wildlife in Manton Bay. You will see that, just like S2 and S3 yesterday, S1 is seen sitting next to Mum on the T-perch and being fed by her! There are also some lovely clips of the juveniles flying, bathing and wading in the water, not to mention great shots of buzzards on the shoreline and other wildlife in the bay. Many thanks to Dave for this excellent video!

Videos like this really bring the experience of wildlife watching on the reserve alive for people. Of course, you can witness all of the action in Manton Bay for yourself by visiting the Lyndon Nature Reserve. The Ospreys are all still with us at the present time, but it won’t be long before they leave us and head south to their wintering grounds. Come and enjoy them while you can!

Three's company - the three Manton Bay chicks together on the T perch

The three Manton Bay juveniles


The Ospreys usually stay in Rutland until the end of August, or even early September, so we’re sure some of them will definitely still be here for the British Birdwatching Fair, which takes place on 21st-23rd August! Birdfair is always a well-attended and much-enjoyed occasion, and we hope to see you there! There will of course be an Osprey Project stand – you’ll find us near the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust stall. Visit us on any of the three days to learn all about the project both in the UK and Africa, watch highlights of the Osprey family in Manton Bay, take part in activities and support the project’s work.

This year, we are once again collecting any unwanted football kit that we will send to West Africa! Click here for more information. You can drop your kit off at the Wildlife Trust stand on each day of the fair. From there, it will be collected and distributed to schools and villages in Senegal and The Gambia, where the Rutland Ospreys spend their winter!

Children at Tanji Lower Basic School

Children at Tanji Lower Basic School




5 responses to “The sky’s the limit”

  1. Valerie Webber

    I went to Fishlake last Friday 🙂 John obviously stood in the same place as me

  2. Karen Elizabeth

    I went to Fishlake Meadows on Sunday to see 1J. I had heard a rumour that it was him and it’s lovey to have confirmation that indeed it was and to see John’s super photos. I came to Rutland a couple of times in 2013 so it was wonderful to see one of the chicks from that year all grown up and in my local patch 😀

  3. Sheila FE

    I spent a wonderful couple of hours in Waderscrape y’day. I last visited twice in April and to see the juvies (well, only S1 and S2 were around) in the air was magical. Blue 33 brought in a fish which he ate on the fallen poplar and I could hear the youngsters calling! Just wonderful. It was great too, to have a brief chat with you, Kayleigh. I look forward to reading about the various nests and the successful breeding season in due course. Thank you for your excellent blogs which are so descriptive.

  4. Margaret

    Thanks so much for this wonderful report. I watched Dave Cole’s video in full screen with the sound turned on – it was simply stunning! What an idyllic place Manton Bay is for a growing osprey family.

  5. Ann

    Thanks, Kayleigh, for yet another great blog and for all the photos. It is so gratifying to see the juvenile with his own fish! We went to Fishlake Meadows late on Sunday afternoon, and were fortunate to see the two Ospreys there. Thanks to John for the photos of 1J. Having been to Manton Bay in 2013 after Birdfair when we saw 4 of the 5R-and-Maya family of 5 then, we were especially pleased to see one of that year’s brood, 1J, alive and well, and possibly with a mate! Fingers crossed for them all for next year. At least 33 seems to be doing a very fine job as 5R’s successor.