Thursday, 15 April 2010

Website back online

The Rutland Ospreys website is now back up and running, so please check for the latest news.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Calm again in Manton Bay

Following the incredible battle between 5N and the unringed female on Friday afternoon, normal service has been resumed in Manton Bay. 5N made one brief return on Saturday afternoon, but was immediately chased off by both 5R and his mate. They were obviously determined that there was going to be no repeat of Friday and, since then, things have become more settled. 5R has caught at least two fish each day for the past three days, and the pair have been copulating regularly.

More good news is that we are hoping to have the website back up and running by Wednesday afternoon.

Don't forget you can get great views of the Manton Bay nest by visiting the Lyndon reserve - signposted off the minor road between Manton and Edith Weston on the south shore of Rutland Water.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Battle of Manton Bay

Having arrived at the Manton Bay nest on Tuesday morning, the unringed female had appeared very settled. 5R had provided her with a regular supply of fish and the birds were copulating regularly. All seemed very promising. But then 5N turned up.

Just before 2pm yesterday afternoon 5N - who bred at the nest in 2007 and 2008 before moving to Site N last year - appeared over the nest and dive bombed 5R and the female, forcing them both to take to the air. For the next half hour 5N continued to bombard her brother and his mate. Each time either bird landed on the nest they were dive-bombed by 5N. Following 08's return on 31st March, she has appeared very settled at Site N, but the sight of a female on her old nest was obviously too much for her to take.

Eventually 5R did manage to return to the nest. However the battle between his mate and 5N showed no sign of relenting. By now the unringed female had turned the tables, and was attempting to drive 5N away from the nest and displaying above her. It is unusual to see a female displaying, so this demonstrated that the female now considers Manton Bay to be her own territory.

5N was not giving up without a fight though. Both birds were now gaining height, the unringed female attempting to shepherd 5N away from the bay. At one point the two birds must have been more than 3000 feet up; just tiny dots in a bright blue sky.

Eventually they dropped down again and the chasing and 'chipping' began once again. 5N was not giving up.

By 4:30pm the two females had gained height again and now they drifted south, leaving 5R alone in the bay. Another hour and a half passed before they returned, by which time 5R had headed off east from the nest in search of fish. The two females completed several circuits of the bay and then disappeared again. Ten minutes later 5R was back with a trout, oblivious to the fact that the two females had made a brief return. By 8:15pm it was dark and there was still no sign of the female. 5R though had only eaten half of the fish - keeping the remainder for the female for when she returned. But the question was, would she return?

We checked the nest at 7am this morning and sure enough, the female was back! She had just finished the fish that 5R must have given her when she returned, and was cleaning her bill in the nest. Buoyed by her return 5R was making frequent trips to collect nesting material. Several successful copulations followed, and more significantly, there was no sign of 5N. Hopefully there will be no repeat of yesterday's amazing scenes.

With the female back in Manton Bay, Shallow Water and Waderscrape hides are well worth a visit. You can access the Lyndon reserve from the minor road between Manton and Edith Weston.

Photos to follow soon.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Spring in Manton Bay

It has been a beautiful spring day at Rutland Water today; Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs are in full voice around the reserve and the first Brimstones have made an appearance.

The unringed female has again spent all day with 5R in Manton Bay, providing fantastic views for several hundred visitors to the Lyndon reserve. 5R returned with a fish just after 10am and after tucking into the head, he took the remainder to the female fifteen minutes later. Since then, the birds have been seen copulating throughout the afternoon.

Still no sign of 32 on Lagoon 4 though.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Female returns to Site B

On Sunday morning, 03's mate returned to Site B (nest on private land). Her distinctive head and underwing patterns identified her as the same unringed female as 2009.

5R and his female

With a female to feed, 5R has often made fishing forays around Manton Bay, providing great views from Shallow Water and Waderscrape hides. While 5R is away fishing, the female usually waits patiently on the nest. Nearby, work is continuing on the exciting habitat creation work at the reserve. The Ospreys appear totally unconcerned by the presence of machinery working nearby, as this photo shows.

5R drops a stick on her head

5R attracts a female

While technology continues to fail us, Ospreys do not!

Unfortunately we have still not resolved the problems with the website - but hope to have it up and running again by the end of the week. We do however have much better news from Manton Bay.

The unringed female who spent much of last summer with 32(05) at the Lagoon 4 nest, returned on Monday evening. With 32 still absent from Lagoon 4, the female has spent most of her time with 5R in Manton Bay. Yesterday evening, after several unsuccessful fishing trips, 5R returned to the nest with a hefty trout just before 7pm. He wasted little time in presenting it to the female who took it to the nearby t perch to tuck into her meal. The fish was so large that the female still had some remaining at 8am this morning. Since then 5R has brought numerous clumps of turf to line the nest, and we've observed several successful copulations.

The really interesting thing now will be to see what happens when 32 realises that the female is back. Will he return to Lagoon 4? If he does, will the female follow? We'll be updating the blog on a daily basis until the website is back online, so watch this space. Even better, why not visit Lyndon for yourself. You can get great views of the nest from Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides on the Lyndon reserve which can be accessed from the minor road between Manton and Edith Weston on the south shore of Rutland Water.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Website problems and latest news

As regular visitors to the Rutland Ospreys website will know, we are currently having some technical difficulties with the site (and also the Rutland Water Nature Reserve site). Rest assured that we are doing our best to solve them, but in the meantime we'll be posting all the latest news from the project on this temporary blog.

5R has been present at the Manton Bay nest throughout the Easter weekend, providing fantastic views for hundreds of visitors to the Lyndon reserve. He has caught several fish within sight of the hides at Lyndon, so the reserve is well worth a visit at the moment!

Elsewhere, last year's breeding female returned to the Site B nest (on private land) on Sunday morning. She is already looking very settled with 03(97) and the female who was present for several days last week has, rather predictably, moved on. 32(05) has again remained absent from the Lagoon 4 nest, meaning the Lyndon reserve is still the best place to see Ospreys if you are planning a trip to Rutland Water in the next few days. The reserve is signposted off the minor road between Manton and Edith Weston on the south shore of Rutland Water.

More news and photos to follow during the week.