Both young birds have taken their first flights this week and are now fully mobile! The first one to take the plunge was YB, the older chick and the one we think likely to be a female. Her first foray into the World beyond the nest was not quite aviation at its finest and was mostly caused by the interference of her clumsy mum.
It was Sunday afternoon and YB was flapping in earnest, as we have seen her doing more and more over the last week or so. There was a good foot of space between her and the nest and she was watched all the while by her doting mum, who was looking down from her perch on top of the camera pole above the nest.
Not content with just watching though, mum flew down to join her young and collided with YB, pushing her out and off the nest, and so, at 3.02 pm, the first flight was had. Though taken by surprise, YB kept it together and flew to a perch about seven feet below the nest, where she stayed for the next three hours (possibly wondering how on earth she was meant to get back up again!)
She continued flapping her wings down there and practising as she had done in the nest. Mum flew past just to check on her and see where she was. At 6 pm she flew up to a camera tree about 50 yards from the nest, before returning home again to join her brother at about 7.15 pm.
After that, she did a few more practices over the nest. On one practice she got about five feet above the nest before crash-landing directly on top of her brother, squashing him flat! He looked a little peeved, but unhurt.
Well, the gauntlet had been thrown. YA had seen his big sis' take a flight and it was a matter of honour that he do the same, and soon! The following day (Monday) he was very active and flying four or five feet in the air for 20 or 30 seconds at a time. It looked so promising but by the time we had all gone home at 7 pm, he still hadn't flown off the nest. However, when we arrived at 8 am on Tuesday morning, the nest was completely empty - we haven't been greeted with that sight since the season began!
It wasn't empty for long and about 10 minutes later YB came back follwed quickly by YA.
So, the chicks have successfully fledged and we couldn't be happier. They are still eating their meals in the nest and plenty of them. At the moment, the youngsters are actually heavier than their parents but they will lose a lot of this fat now that they are exercising and they will start to gain muscle.
YB's first flight was wonderfully timed, as it was during our community weekend, which 1,200 people turned out for over Saturday and Sunday. As always, we had a fantastic time with stalls and activities on site. If you missed it, don't worry, we have one more lined up for this season over the August bank holiday weekend.
If you would like to provide vital support for the Glaslyn Osprey Project by joining the RSPB, please contact Ellen Perry on 029 2035 3000 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - it can cost as little as £2.67 each month. Alternatively, you can join online at: http://www.rspb.org.uk/join
Remember to enter the promotional code GOS when asked as this will ensure the Glalsyn Osprey Project benefits from your membership. To find out how to help the RSPB fundraise in Wales to support this and many other important projects, please contact Nick Bates on 029 2035 3009, e-mail: email@example.com