Ospreys make earliest return to Rutland Water

Rutland Osprey
Rutland Osprey
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The Rutland Ospreys have returned to Manton Bay at Rutland Water.

This year the birds have returned incredibly early, with the female Maya returning 10 days earlier and the male, known as 33, returning seven days earlier than last year.

Maya returned on March 12 making her the earliest breeding osprey to ever return to Rutland. She was also one of the first ospreys to return to the UK after her long migration from her wintering ground.

Osprey in the UK usually overwinter in West Africa, many Rutland ospreys have been sighted in The Gambia and Senegal.

The Rutland Osprey Project was started in 1996, as a translocation project to reintroduce ospreys from Scotland to England. Before this, ospreys were extinct in England.

Last year eight pairs of ospreys bred in Rutland raising 16 chicks. To date the Rutland Osprey Project has produced 133 osprey chicks. These chicks have gone on to repopulate other areas of the UK including Wales.

The nest can be viewed live at www.ospreys.org.uk/webcam and the Lyndon Visitor Centre, LE15 8RN is now open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm for visitors who would like to see the ospreys for themselves.

The Rutland Osprey Project is a partnership between Anglian Water and Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, with the help of the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation.

Anya Wicikowski from the trust said: “We can now confirm the earliest ever return of our male and female ospreys from Africa, to Manton Bay, Rutland.

“Both ospreys have come back early this year, arriving five days ahead of the previous record. This is a very exciting time and we hope that the pair, who have already been mating, will have another successful breeding season here at Rutland Water.”