And, it's a wrap!

And, it's a wrap!

Peter Cairns/2020VISION

With the Osprey season drawing on a close, we take some time to reflect on how brilliant the past few months have been.

With the 2021 Osprey season fast approaching an end, signalled by the departure of our star pair, Maya and 33(11), which left on Monday 30th August and Tuesday 31st August respectively, we have time to reflect on the past few months and also look forward to the months ahead.

It’s hard to believe that the Ospreys are now leaving us as it seems like only yesterday they arrived and we were looking forward to them returning back in March time. But as it always is each year, it has been fantastic to have the privilege of delving into the lives of Maya and 33(11) throughout the breeding season. I think it’s been even more meaningful than ever over these past couple of years to be able to watch them through our webcam, which has helped us not miss a moment, whether it’s when the first egg is laid all the way through to watching 33(11) deliver numerous fish for the family.

Our new webcam system has of course been brilliant in providing us with not only a clearer image or the incredible ability to alter the view (and I’m sure we will be exploring all of that a bit more next season), but also has allowed us to enjoy moments of food begging and contact calls from the Manton Bay family. This, like many other elements of the work we do, wouldn’t be possible without the support you have given us and we would like to say a big thank you to you all for helping make this happen. Unlike in previous years where we switch the webcam off once the Ospreys leave, the good news is that we will be keeping it on throughout the rest of the year, and hopefully we will be able to focus in on different areas of Manton Bay.

Each year we run Osprey Cruises alongside the Rutland Belle, which is a great opportunity to watch the Ospreys from a different perspective and to enjoy all the wildlife and scenery Rutland Water has to offer, including some gorgeous sunsets, like the one below which was taken by one of our fab volunteers Linda! The Osprey Cruises have been excellent this season, and the Ospreys themselves have performed well – they must have received the Tweets I sent them just before the cruises start! With things having started to return to a new normality in the spring, it has been really lovely to welcome over 1,000 guests on board, who share our enthusiasm for these iconic birds and we already looking forward to next years’ cruises! Once we have the list of dates for the Osprey Cruises next year, we will post them on our website under our events page, and of course make sure to let you know.

Moving to the present and future, now that the Ospreys have begun their migration we will be following the progress of satellite tracked male, 4K(13), which spends the autumn/winter months in Guinea. 4K(13) has spent the season close to where he holds territory although he remains one of our bachelor Ospreys, not having bred. When I checked his satellite data yesterday, I found that he had begun his migration on Tuesday 31st August at around 08:00 and had already crossed the English Channel into France. It will be interesting to see how long he stays in France, considering last year he spent nearly two weeks there before continuing on his way.

Satellite tracked Osprey migration route

When the Ospreys leave, it usually is an indication to us that it is time to close the Lyndon Visitor Centre for the autumn/winter, however we are really excited to announce that we are remaining open for the duration of the autumn and winter! From the 1st October, we will be open every day from 10am to 3pm and we really cannot wait to see what the following months bring.