The Glaslyn Osprey Project is part of 'Aren't Welsh Birds Brilliant!', a partnership between RSPB Cymru, Forestry Commission Wales and the Countryside Council for Wales.
It is funded by the European Union's Objective One programme through the Welsh Assembly Government (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund) and Enfys, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and administered by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
Well, what a week! All three chicks are doing very well and are the size of pigeons by now being approximately two weeks old. As they get larger of course, so do their appetites and our male bird has been demonstrating his hunting skills this weekend bringing up to six fish a day back to the nest. Its at this stage also that the chicks become a little bit more independent and are now moving around freely in the nest rather than just staying in the brooding cup; it must be difficult for the female to protect all three youngsters when they can be several feet apart in the nest. Goshawks and other raptors will still be a threat for another couple of weeks yet.Of note also, today we saw the male feeding the chicks as well as the female for the first time this year. Disregard the old text books that say this doesn't happen, it certainly does in Wales!. Having said that however, it's Mum that is the boss in the nest — she allows the male to help feed the chicks only for so long until she decides to take over and banish him to a nearby tree or back to the cob estuary for more mullet.
A strange thing happened yesterday, whilst hovering over the nest with his latest catch (see photo) the male actually dropped the fish into the nest edge, something that we have not seen before. Perhaps he was afraid of being ousted out again by his bossy wife — can't blame him really..The intruder osprey is still around and causes our pair some grief from time to time; surely this bird is here to stay the summer now as its too late to be a migratory bird.Finally a big thank you to the dozens of volunteers that have helped out again this week, particularly Colin and Anne who finally made our protection caravan camouflaged!. Also, all those people that helped out in the visitor centre - we welcomed and joined our 200th member of the season to the RSPB on Thursday, well done.
The chicks are between seven and 10 days old now and getting bigger by the minute seemingly. This shot was taken at 10am this morning just after a hearty mullet meal and its at this stage that they take on the appearance of little dinosaurs; we can still just about make them apart - the oldest on the right and the (whiter) youngest in the background.
Great excitement yesterday morning. We know that at least one other osprey has been around in previous years but yesterday another bird actually landed on the Glaslyn nest to the horror of our female who reacted aggressively to the intruder. For the first time we had three ospreys (well, six including the chicks) in the same nest at the same time which is good news of course as we have other potential birds around that could displace our Glaslyn pair should something happen to either of them or if one fails to return from Africa in the future. Remember, we still only have the one breeding pair in Wales, officially our rarest breeding species.Unfortunately, we were unable to see if this intruder osprey had a ring on its leg, now eyes peeled for the rest of this week..
The first chick is a week old today and all thee are doing exceptionally well. It always amazes me their rate of growth at this time, they must have tripled in size and weight in the last few days; of course, in another five or six weeks time they will be the size of adult ospreys with a wing span nearing six feet!
In conjunction with the RSPB and BBC Springwatch celebrations (new series starting 26 May on BBC1), we're holding a community weekend this Bank Holiday, all three days, Saturday through to Monday. This is the RSPB's way of acknowledging the importance of community involvement with the Glaslyn Osprey Project and engaging with local partners and charities.
We'll have our usual face painting sessions for kids (and some adults!), bird safaris, refreshment stalls, art and craft, books and photography stalls plus many more. So come down for a few hours if you possibly can and join in the fun.