A pair of Western Ospreys has returned to their breeding quarters at Manton Bay, Rutland Water nature reserve, at a record-breaking early date, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust has announced.
The female, ‘Maya’, was back at the reserve on 12 March 2018, a full 10 days earlier than last year and five days earlier than the previous record. The male, ‘33(11)’, joined her three days later, seven days earlier than he arrived last year.
The birds are part of the Rutland Osprey Project, a reintroduction programme that started in 1996, bringing ospreys from Scotland to England. Prior to that the species hadn’t bred in England for 150 years and Rutland remains one of the few places in the country where ospreys nest.
The pair is already occupying a nest, which can be viewed live at www.ospreys.org.uk/webcam.
A spokesperson for the project commented: “We can now confirm the earliest-ever return of our male and female ospreys from Africa, to Manton Bay, Rutland. Both birds 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.”