There’s not much to say to you all this week except that the three chicks are growing fast and the youngest chick will be two weeks old on Sunday (31 May).
Due to the assortment of weather this week - we’ve had everything from heavy rain to glorious sun - the mother has been busy protecting the chicks from the rain and shading the chicks from the hot sun, trying her best to keep the chicks cool.
The father continues to bring back four to five fish a day; and in another two weeks the chicks will be old enough to be ringed.
We’ve also seen several other ospreys in the area over the last week – these aren’t the same ones as at the start of the season - both parents have chased them away from the nest successfully.
Some of you keen bloggers have been asking a few questions over the last few weeks about the ospreys, and so I’ve managed to get the grey cells working a bit more and thought I’d share my knowledge with you…
I don’t think we can specifically say that our chicks here in Glaslyn were the first to hatch this year in the UK. Its unclear whether other ospreys in projects / nests across the country have hatched, but we were very early – the chicks on our reserve in Abernethy in Loch Garten are due to hatch at the end of this week, you can keep up to date with their activities on their blog – although we can safely say we were the first and only ones in Wales to hatch!
We don’t think there is any link between the Glaslyn osprey nest and the osprey nest that was near the Dyfi Estuary being located next to railway lines – this is a mere coincidence. The railway line near the Dyfi Estuary is a mainland railway however the railway near the Porthmadog site is the Welsh Highland railway – this track wasn’t completed until 2007 and therefore didn’t exist when the ospreys arrived in 2004.
Glaslyn is an excellent breeding ground for ospreys, and the success of the breeding pair is because of various factors. The pine trees at this site grow high at around 100 ft. The tree which is home to the Glaslyn ospreys was one of the highest trees in the valley in 2004, however due to the collapse of the nest in that year, (it was found that the tree top was rotten), it was cut back to around 80ft – the new platform was then secured at the top of the tree, and the ospreys returned again in 2005 to a new home.
The three rivers which run close to the site – Glalsyn, Dylif and Nanmor – are an excellent food source for the birds, and with the estuary also a short distance away there is an abundance of food available for the birds themselves and their chicks.
Keep your interesting comments coming; we’re always keen to know more about the birds from our visitors.
The Glaslyn Ospreys are now proud parents to three chicks, the second chick was born on Thursday 14 May at 6.10am and the third chick was seen at 5.42am Sunday 17 May.
The recent stormy weather is a cause of concern with some twigs been blown off the nest early this morning (Monday 18 May), however the chicks are safe and well and the mother is doing an excellent job of mantling the chicks to protect them from the elements.
Mantling is one of the vital roles of the mother, if the chicks get wet and cold their body temperature will drop and they become vulnerable, they will need to keep dry and warm at this stage to ensure their successful growth.
The father is also doing his bit and working hard to catch local trout from the estuary down in Porthmadog to feed the chicks. He has been seen bringing between four and five fish to the nest every day, this will help the growth and development of the chicks and in six weeks they will start to learn the basics of flying.
Good news today - the Glaslyn osprey pair’s first chick hatched this morning (Wednesday 13 May). The youngster was seen fully emerged when the mother moved off the eggs at around 9.11am.
The remaining two eggs continue to be incubated by the adult birds, and we hope they will hatch over the next few days, so if you’re visiting the site today you’ll be the first to see the chick. At the moment, the new arrival is completely bald, still wet and absolutely tiny, as you would expect from a chick that is just a few hours old. Later today, we will see its eyes open properly and it will have its first feed.
We’ll keep you posted of any more developments as soon as we see them.
It was a relatively quiet week last week, with the pair spending most of their time incubating and tidying the nest – the male occasionally brought fish back to the nest.
Over the weekend the large female osprey was seen again, and was mobbing the nest – on both occasions the pair chased her off with the eggs kept safe and well away from the outsider.
Another pair of ospreys have been regularly seen circling high above the valley, and then moving off to the north towards Beddgeleret. Where they’ve come from and where they go to is not know, and although there is a nesting platform nearby they do not appear to be taking any interest in that.
We’ll keep you posted on their whereabouts and update you on any news about the eggs as soon as anything happens.