Ospreys, Ambassadors, and Cakes!

Ospreys, Ambassadors, and Cakes!

(c) John Wright

On Sunday, the Osprey Education Team held their first meeting for their young Osprey Ambassadors. Read Osprey Education Officer Ken Davies' summary of the afternoon!

There are several things required before we can say that a new Osprey season is properly under way:

  1. Ospreys: well, we’ve got 3 so far!
  2. Osprey Ambassadors: lots of them – keen, pumped up, and ready to go!
  3. Cakes: enough to supply the whole of Rutland, but all gone now!

Two of these elements came together in force on Sunday March 15th at our Volunteer Training Centre, when 24 of our amazing Osprey Ambassadors, together with various family members, met up with our Osprey Education Team and other members of staff, to re-acquaint themselves with one another and ‘all-things-Osprey’, and test out their observation skills from our wonderful upstairs gallery, overlooking a bird-rich lagoon.  Several new Ambassadors were welcomed, from schools as far away as Oxfordshire, thus extending the Osprey Ambassadors network even further to schools and other youth groups all over Central England!

Osprey Ambassadors 2020

Photo by Pete Murray

After preliminaries and presentation of badges to new Ambassadors, everyone watched thrilling highlights of a Rutland Osprey (056) recently filmed in West Africa, tried to do a fiendishly difficult quiz, and responded to challenges set by team members. Then it was time for wonderful cakes in the kitchen (thanks, as ever, to the amazing Liz) and then up to the gallery in the sunshine where binoculars and a telescope were laid out ready for our enthusiastic young naturalists.

Cake spread for Osprey Ambassadors 2020

Photo by Pete Murray

OK, no Osprey on Lagoon 4 today – perhaps that was too much to ask, but hey! How’s this for a start to a list – Peregrine Falcon, Smew, Avocet, flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing whirling about, and even a ‘Mystery Bird’, which, despite careful descriptions and conversations, no-one could put a name too!

Everyone had a memory stick loaded up for them, ready to show to their class or maybe in assembly, when they go back to school this week. This will be renewed with all the latest Osprey news, at our next meeting, on April 5th – this time down in Manton Bay in full view of the Osprey nest there!

One last surprise – former Osprey Project Officer Tim Mackrill donated enough copies of his fine book ‘The Rutland Water Ospreys’ for every Ambassador to have one to take home! Thanks, Tim, they loved them!

With thanks to all staff, parents, teachers and volunteers who supported the event! We couldn’t do it without you! And if you know any young person between the ages of nine and fifteen who thinks they would like to be an Osprey Ambassador for their school, just tell their parents to get in touch with us at kdavies@lrwt.org.uk.

Keep an eye out on our website for the launch of 'Osprey Home School', an initiative by the Osprey Project's Education Team, which aims to provide resources for parents and guardians to utilise during World Osprey Week.