Here they come

More and more familiar ospreys are back at their nests, bringing us joy in difficult times.

That was the week that the ospreys started coming back, properly this time. Birds we know, love and have been watching for years are back, on their nests and — in some cases — mating already.

The best-known couple who are back are, of course, 33 and Maya from Manton Bay. As Abi Mustard writes:

Since our first Osprey arrived back on 13th March, the past week has seen four more individuals return to Rutland, including our most iconic pair, Maya and 33(11), from the Manton Bay nest. These two, astonishingly, returned within hours of each other, with 33 making his debut on the webcam at around 07:00, and Maya making her first appearance at lunchtime!

That’s not quite the whole story, though, is it?

Before Maya arrived, Blue 25 had made herself quite comfy on the nest, and 33, being the gentleman that he is, was attentive to the lady of the nest providing her with both a fish and a cloacal kiss. Maya’s arrival quickly saw 25 depart, hopefully back to her established nest nearby, to await the return of her established mate.

Here’s Maya, 33 and 25 getting rather close:

And here’s our resident couple, alone at last:

Rutland also held their first (and probably last, for the time being) meeting of their young Osprey Ambassadors.

Who else is back?

One of the birds I was personally most nervous about — Mrs G — returned safely to Glaslyn on Saturday:

We are very pleased to share the news that Mrs G landed on the Glaslyn nest at 10:36 this morning, March 21st. She is officially the first Welsh osprey to return to her nest, and for a record 17th breeding season. Incredible. Just what we needed to lift our spirits.

She is certainly one of the elder stateswomen of the Osprey world. Let’s hope Aran makes it back safely, too. Glaslyn have opened an online shop to help the funds keep flowing during this period of shutdown.

Meanwhile, at Loch of the Lowes, Laddie (LM12) returned:

At 15:33 this afternoon we saw him descend onto the nest, clutching a fish. This was a fairly fleeting appearance and he left after just a few seconds, pursued by two crows.

Laddie’s got some serious tidying to do on that nest.

8F and 2F are back at River Gwash:

Black 80 is back at Threave.

And, hot off the press as I write this, is the news that Blue 24 is back at Brenig.

Ospreys have been spotted in the Poole area:

Elsewhere

Kielder’s 201/Chirdon is still on her holiday:

There’s much missing data, but it is clear she is spending some of her time at a RAMSAR site, Tinkisso. The information sheet (in French) fleshes out the basic site description.

News of migrating Rutland birds S1 and 4K, and the Lake District’s 14.

Further afield, Tom is back at Chesapeake:

As is Audrey:

But apparently another female has been hanging around…

News and Anniversaries

The Osprey Decade

Congratulations to Tiger Mozone whose Osprey Group on Facebook turns 10 this year:

Ten years ago today I set up this Facebook group. It was supposed to be an extension to a group on Delphi dating back to 2004

So, of course, the community that lives there is even older than that. That’s an astonishing feat of long-term community management. Well done!

World Osprey Week

It is, apparently, World Osprey Week, but the most exciting aspect of this is for people like me who suddenly find themselves home-schooling their children. There’s a whole bunch of osprey-related activities for school children. Hurrah!

Let’s talk COVID-19

Sorry to do this, but I do need to spend a little while talking about the current situation with the novel coronavirus. Many of the people reading this might well be complexly confined to their homes. Some might have some ability to travel for essentials, but that’s it. Some, like me, have seen a sudden, dramatic drop in their income (I’m a self-employed trainer and consultant - the one category of worker the government has done nothing to support). These are difficult and trying times. Dyfi Osprey Project has had to delay its opening indefinitely, and not take on the planned staff.

The good news, though, is that osprey-watching is the perfect distinction in these moments!

So, here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. I had planned to do this weekly, but, given that I have rather more free time than expected, would people like me to up the frequency during this busy osprey period? Do let me know, by hitting “reply”.

  2. I promise not to mention COVID-19 again, unless it’s in the context of a project needing support.

All good?


Until next time, keep well, and keep watching the nests.