The Rutland Ospreys pair, who reunited on March 14 in Manton Bay of Rutland Water, laid their first egg of 2018 today (Wednesday).
The Rutland Ospreys pair, who reunited on March 14 in Manton Bay of Rutland Water, laid their first egg of 2018 on Wednesday.
It was laid a little after 5am on Wednesday, and was caught live on the webcam at www.ospreys.org.uk/webcam at 6.09am this morning when the female osprey, Maya, lifted off the nest to reveal a bright, speckled egg!
Ospreys usually lay between two to four eggs each year. Last year, Maya laid four eggs for the first time.
Eggs are usually laid a couple of days apart, so more will hopefully appear over Easter weekend. Volunteers from the Rutland Osprey Project monitor the ospreys to record their behaviour, ensure their safety and talk to the public that visit.
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.
The Rutland Ospreys have returned to Manton Bay at Rutland Water nature reserve. This year the birds have returned incredibly early, with the female returning 10 days earlier and the male returning seven days earlier than last year.
The female returned on March 12, making her the earliest breeding osprey to ever return to Rutland.
Anya Wicikowski, osprey project officer, said: “Currently no one is quite sure what has caused this early return and subsequent early egg-laying. Possible factors could include this year’s strange weather or competition for nesting space.
“Nonetheless, we are extremely happy to have the pair breeding again in Manton Bay, it really shows how successful the osprey translocation project has been and how wildlife can really prosper with just a little help.
“This early egg has surprised us all, but we hope it is the first of many, helping to spread the range of ospreys throughout the UK.”
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.
Visitors to the Lyndon nature reserve (LE15 8RN) can view the osprey nest live from the visitor centre (open seven days a week 9am-5pm), or in ‘real life’ from the dedicated osprey watching hide.
Families can take part in the Wild Easter Trail from Good Friday to Easter Monday, finding lots of animal facts as they explore the reserve.