At the beginning of March, I think most of our heads were starting to look to the skies for any sign of returning spring visitors, predominantly for us at the Rutland Osprey Project, the osprey. As soon as our brand-new webcam went live it was hard to resist checking it to see whether the resident pair, Maya or 33(11), were there. The number of times, me and other team members had to do a double take when we saw there was a bird on the nest, brought much anticipation. Alas, most of the time visitors to the nest were either cormorants or a pair of Egyptian geese – though slightly pesky at times for the ospreys, they are still arguably striking looking birds.
We were all wondering when and who would be the first osprey to return this year. Last year it was another one of our breeding females from an offsite nest 25(10), which was soon followed by our star pair Maya and 33(11) a day later on the 16th March. Would it be 25(10) that is first to return again this year, or would Maya and 33(11) beat her to it?
Last Wednesday (16th March) afternoon I received that long-awaited phone call to say our first osprey has returned! Just like last year, the osprey in question was none other than 25(10), which had arrived back to her nest on private land mid-afternoon. It was a moment of joy and celebration for us, and a relief that she has once again had a successful migration, from wherever she spends the autumn and winter. 25(10) has dropped into the Manton Bay nest the past couple of years and this year was no different. The next day she paid a visit to an empty Manton Bay nest and spent around ten minutes looking around.