It’s been a very exciting day today! The morning kicked off with an intrusion at the nest. At around 08:00, Maya began mantling furiously, alerting us to the fact that an intruder was about. The three chicks lay down flat and completely still, as is their survival instinct – they are so well camouflaged with their speckled backs, lying still makes them practically invisible.
33 was not present, as he wasn’t on the T-perch or the nest, and he wasn’t chasing the intruder. This means he must have been fishing at the time. On the wide angle camera, we caught a glimpse of the intruding bird flying around the nest.
The interloper didn’t come close enough to the nest to be visible on the camera, so we saw no rings and do not know the identity of this bird. Eventually we saw it flying away from the nest on the wide angle view, heading towards Lyndon!
Paul and I grabbed our binoculars and raced to the windows. Sure enough, an Osprey was flying east, making its way from Manton Bay towards Lax Hill. The bird flew around in front of the centre, and looked like it might try to fish. Then all of a sudden it was joined by another Osprey, who we assumed to be 33, coming back to defend his territory. The two Ospreys circled around together, this way, that way, over the hill and back again. One of them landed on the artificial platform across from Lyndon, and looked around, mantling. Then it took off the perch and flew up, to be joined again by the second Osprey. They circled together again, round and round, higher and higher, until they both disappeared from our view.
What a fantastic bit of Osprey viewing early in the morning, and the centre hadn’t even opened yet!
There was more excitement later, too. Another intruder came along at about 11:30, and luckily John Wright was in the bay at the time and was able to identify this bird as 51(11), one of our non-breeding males. Maya again shouted and mantled at him and he flew away. The Ospreys make it very clear when they are not happy!
Again even later, around 15:30, there was yet another intrusion! 33 was present in the bay this time to protect the nest with Maya.
There have been lots of intrusions recently, and we hoped that one of the invading Ospreys would turn out to be another two-year-old from 2013. It’s possible that one of the unidentified intruders was a youngster, but we also have several non-breeding birds already in the area, such as 51, therefore the intruders could be any one of those.
Also today, 33 brought in a fish at 10:00, which Maya fed to the chicks, even though we know they can feed themselves now.
There has been some more wing flapping going on today. They are getting a lot more confident – here is S2 having a good attempt, and doing a bit of jumping up and down!
The intrusions ceased later in the day, and peace was restored all around.
Yesterday evening we had another amazing Osprey cruise! It was a private cruise for the benefit of a local charity, Warning Zone, to raise funds for their cause. Luckily for us several Ospreys decided to come out to play just at the right time, and we had some very close fly-bys, three Ospreys circling together, and one Osprey that caught a fish! It was an incredible evening. Thank you to Matt Broadhead, captain of the Rutland Belle, for this photo of the sunset that ended the cruise. Beautiful.