Rutland Water welcomes latest osprey chick arrivals
There was anticipation and celebration at Rutland Water as their star osprey breeding pair Maya and 33 welcomed their latest chicks into the world.
Having laid three eggs at the end of March and early April, expectant mother Maya saw her first chick emerge at 3.20pm on Saturday.
Two days later, on Monday evening, a Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust volunteer raised the call that egg number two had hatched.
The Trust's osprey team are now hopeful the final chick will break out at any time now in their Manton Bay nest.
"There are four main moments for us," said LRWT's osprey information officer Abi Mustard.
"The adults returning, the egg laying, hatching and then the chicks fledging.
"It's brilliant to watch, and the quality of the new webcam has made a real difference."
Maya had raised 29 chicks up until last year, and this will be her 10th brood at Rutland Water, and a sixth with 33 since the pair began breeding together in 2015.
The chicks take around seven to eight weeks to fledge and will then stay close to the nest until the autumn migration.
"Once they have fledged it's a really exciting time to come here because we not only have two adults flying around, there will be the juvenile ospreys, too," Abi said.
"They will stay close to the nest because they're still dependant for food, but they will start by taking short flights to build their strength up.
"He will be busy providing enough fish for the chicks as well as Maya because she won't really leave the nest.
"They are really good parents and Maya has a very success rate with her chicks."
A total of 24 adults ospreys have made the migration from West Africa to the reservoir, ranging from 3,000km to 4,000km, but there may yet be more to come.
The birdwatching hides reopened last month with limits on numbers allowed in the hides at once, and face masks are mandatory.
"Breeding ospreys will have arrived by now, but adults not breeding can return later, or first-time returners can come back right up until July," Abi explained.
To watch the latest goings-on from the Manton Bay nest, visit www.lrwt.org.uk/rutlandospreys