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Thread subject: Rutland Water Visit
Name Date Message
Pam 07/20/05 07:04 am I was delighted to look through a powerful telescope at the interpretive centre at Egleton at RW and see the pen holding the eight female osprey fledglings to be released soon. The pen is perched up on a hill underneath a small wooded area. It is raised on high wooden stilts and perch poles have been erected nearby. The birds seemed quite active and could be seen perched near the front of the pen looking out over the water in the valley in front of them. It occurred to me that there must be quite a lot of noise from their calls but this could not be heard from where we were of course. I wondered if their calling would attract the resident nesting ospreys and was scanning the skies above with my binocs. I was rewarded with the sight of an osprey circling very high above the hill, swooping occasionally and then lifting and circling again. It then flew far to our right and then far to our left and out of sight on the northern end of the water. That is my first actual sighting of an osprey and you can guess I was thrilled. Later we went to the Finches Arms (Tiger and Marie will remember) and had a fantastic evening meal in their swish restaurant overlooking the northern arm of the reservoir. From their garden I looked over towards where Marie thought the Rutland osprey nest may be and sure enough above the trees, I saw another bird which I feel sure was an osprey, but again, very distant. One of the Rutland birds fledged on the 18th July. They are feeding cut up pieces of fish to the birds, larger pieces going to the eldest but of course they will have no parents to teach them how to fish when released so I am thinking that perhaps it is natural for them to know instinctively how to fish. Next month should be interesting and we are hoping to pay another visit when the birds have been released. PS: I now await Zara's report after her visit next week.
Tiger 07/20/05 07:36 am Great Pam that was much appreciated. Yes the Finches Arms is lovely isn't it?
Tiger 07/20/05 07:39 am Interesting how the Rutland birds were much quicker to fledge than the birds here.
karen 07/20/05 08:04 am Thanks Pam it sound wonderful. Inthe diary they said that one of the male osprey had flown by the translocated females pen to take a look.
Tiger 07/20/05 08:11 am Tha was the famous serial non breeder. He will be at least 10 years old before he has a chance of pairing up with the young females.

He is the one who a female turns up and teases each spring before heading off to breed elsewhere.


Cecilia 07/20/05 08:12 am Thanks Pam...I hope to get there someday too! Did they tell you why they chose all females to hatch? Or was that just an accident?
Pam 07/20/05 08:20 am The shortage was of females not males. The males have been frustrated in not finding mates. I have amended the above report regarding the feeding of the penned birds. Tiger is the knowledgeable one with regard to Rutland Water - he has been following events there for a long time.
Nancy L 07/20/05 09:24 am Nice report, Pam
Marie 07/20/05 09:39 am Pam, I remember our day at Rutland so well. Glad you got to see the ospreys.
Will be great when those 8 fledglings compete for the fish with the resident ospreys.
Will it be war I wonder. ? Poor little fledglings with out Mom and Dad to show them the way...I wonder how much knowledge is passed onto the young from the parents. We humans may never know. I wonder if anyone has done studies on how well these translocated osprey chicks survive.?
Tiger 07/20/05 07:17 pm No need to wonder Marie,


Tiger 07/20/05 07:32 pm I think that two things went "wrong". There were more males to begin with and I am not sure if that was intentional or not.

Also Rutland has had rotten luck with females.

First breeding took place in 2001 with a foreign female. However she lasted only two seasons and did not return for a third.

One of the females from 1999 chose to go back to Scotland rather than return to Rutland. She has bred successfully with a Scottish lad since 2002 I think. Interestingly he was missing some toes and there was doubt about his ability to provide for chicks. He did so however. But she did not return n 2005.

A two year old female bred at Rutland in 2003 but failed to return in 2004.

So it is all down to one female to do all the chick producing.

That said we are still waiting for the first return of a chick bred at Rutland.

Indeed not one of the chicks born in England since 2001 have returned after migration.

Cecilia 07/20/05 10:18 pm Well...that is sad and disturbing Tiger :-( I sure hope that they have better luck in the years to come.
cathy 07/21/05 12:20 am That is very interesting, Pam. How thrilling to observe your first osprey not on a computer monitor. I wonder why the females don't return to the Rutland males? Too much osprey locker room talk about "scoring".
Tiger 07/21/05 04:23 am LOL Cathy.
Well the fate of every one of the birds is detailed on the site. Many were satellite tracked and one can see some coming to sticky ends :(
Tiger 07/21/05 05:46 am Cathy One female just failed to make it to Spain:


Tiger 07/21/05 05:48 am This bird suffered a similar fate!

Tiger 07/21/05 05:50 am Those birds were both thought to be female.
Tiger 07/21/05 05:52 am This is not a Rutland bird but it shows what can happent to a young osprey. Unfortunately there is no map but the data shows that the bird found itself 400 miles out in the Atlantic. Luckily it found its way back to Portugal.


Pam 07/21/05 07:24 am Thanks for all that info. Tiger. I am having trouble with my computer DVD player so watched on the TV - "Ospreys - Flying home to Rutland Water" narrated by David Attenborough which we bought at the Egleton Centre. Really enthralling DVD and I need to study it - only seen it once. It is very informative, showing the release of the first "hacks". They lift a netting trapdoor on the pen and the chicks have their first taste of freedom - some are very reticent to go. They keep returning to the pen and are still fed by the volunteers until they are independent. The filmmakers were very secretive about the active nest location but I still feel it could be where Marie said - it is certainly on private land with no access to the general public. It was interesting to see in close up what we can only view through the telescope otherwise. It also gives quite a lot of info on the fitting of transmitters and migration routes etc. As I say, I need to study it and I wont be able to really do that until I get my DVD player working properly. (You can buy the DVD from the Rutland Water website).
Tiger 07/21/05 07:36 am Yes Pam I ordered my DVD the other day!
Cecilia 07/21/05 10:15 am Thanks Pam...It sounds worth getting.
Celeste 07/21/05 10:47 am Every word so interesting....finally getting around to reading....thank you all!
cathy 07/21/05 11:27 am What amazing migration stories these satellite tracks tell! Last week in the mountains of Washington, we saw several Western Tanagers, bright yellow with red heads. They are some of the songbirds that go all the way to Mexico and Costa Rica and back - over the Caribbean. The birds we see are evidence of incredible will to live and reproduce.

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006