Now that both ospreys are back, they are taking the time to do a little spring cleaning. Once the season was over last September, a brave RSPB Cymru bod was sent high into the tree on a mission to strengthen the nest and remove all the clutter of twigs and moss that had built up there over the breeding season - as you can imagine, it was pretty smelly and full in there. Now the birds are determined on building it up again - the male has been bringing back moss and the female has been adding it to the inside of the nest and making it all nice and comfortable. She will need to be comfortable because once the eggs arrive she will spend all her time in there incubating them.
The male has been bringing back plenty of fish today - all trout. The pair have also found the time to mate enthusiastically. Last year the first egg was laid twelve days after the birds were first seen to mate. If that happens this year then we really will have Easter eggs, as they will be laid over the Easter weekend - fingers crossed!
During the day the ospreys have fended off the attentions of a couple of cheeky crows who came a little too close to the nest - interested in the fish and all the mating no doubt.
Here on the ground we have our aprons on and feather dusters out and are tackling some spring cleaning of our own as we dust off the visitor centre and viewing hide ready to welcome the first visitors of the season. From tomorrow, we will be open from 10am until 6pm every day until early September. There are telescopes and binoculars in the hide, plus you can see all the close-up action in the visitor centre where live images from the nest-cam will be showing. Looking forward to seeing you there!
It's all happening so fast! Just two days after the male osprey turned up, a female arrived. At 3.15 pm yesterday, she flew in from the west of the nest site and plonked herself straight on the nest.
The male sprang into action and began displaying, flying high into the air and calling. Not to be left out, she began calling too, indicating that the male should go off and bring back a fish, which he dutifully did. Not long after his return, they were already mating.
As always with the female, it is difficult to identify her beyond doubt as she is unringed but the speed with which she has begun mating with the male and her apparent familiarity with the nest site and local area suggest that this is the same female as previous years.
The pair do not spend the winter together in Africa, they migrate seperately, so they will need to reacquaint themselves and carry out the usual pair bonding activities. It's amazing to think that they have flown all the way to Africa and back, yet here they are, sitting on top of exactly the same tree they left six months ago.
We're all filled with anticipation for the season ahead. It's fantastic to see the pair again, almost like welcoming two old friends back into the neighbourhood.
We are beginning to unravel the mystery of the male osprey. It appears as though it is our regular male after all, despite the absence of the orange ring from his right leg.
Using the camera installed on the nest, we have been able to zoom in on the metal BTO ring around his left leg and read the ID number, confirming his identity after all.
The mystery of what became of the ring still remains though. Perhaps it came off whilst he was fishing - it would receive quite an impact each time he plunges into the water. The ring could have come off anywhere between Wales and west Africa - suffice to say we won't be going looking for it!
Some exciting news yesterday evening. After around 7 pm, we had confirmed sightings of a male osprey at the Glaslyn osprey nest at Pont Croesor near Porthmadog. A pair of birds have nested here in north Wales since 2004, so we were expecting - hoping! - that they would return.
It's a bit unclear at this stage whether this is the regular male. It certainly looks like him, but the orange ring on his right leg is missing. Could it have come off in the last six months? Or is this a new male osprey looking to settle in and find a mate? We will have to do a bit more investigating before we can know for sure...