From Wildlife Extra:
Late arrivals as osprey pair become parents
Cors Dyfi ospreys hatch latecomer chicks
July 2013. Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust‘s Dyfi Osprey Project is celebrating this week after one of only two pairs of breeding ospreys in Wales became parents.
Two chicks have successfully hatched at Cors Dyfi nature reserve near Machynlleth. Staff and volunteers were kept on edge during the hatching process which took an incredible 32 hours from Friday afternoon (28th) for the start of movement in the first egg to 8.40pm on Sunday evening (30th) for the second chick to fully emerge.
New parent couple
The parent ospreys, named Monty and Glesni, became a breeding pair for the first time this year after Monty’s previous partner of two years, Nora, did not return from her African migration. As a result of this late pairing, the two eggs were laid very late in the season (22nd and 25th May), approximately 6 weeks later than average. Ospreys return from migration in late March or April and have usually laid eggs 2 or 3 weeks later. This led to concern over whether the chicks would actually hatch, as young from osprey nests in other areas of the UK have almost fledged before these chicks had arrived.
Alwyn Evens, People Engagement Officer for the Trust said, “By the time Monty finally paired off with his new partner Glesni, a three year old bird from Rutland Water, it was getting late in the season. At that stage none of us knew if they would lay eggs, yet alone whether they would hatch.”
He continued, “It’s been an emotional weekend to say the least. On Friday afternoon we finally saw movement in the first egg and by 9pm a tiny osprey chick had hatched. We kept the visitor centre open so that local people who had been following the updates on Facebook and Twitter could see the event unfolding live. On Saturday afternoon we saw the first crack in the second egg and people in the visitor centre erupted into loud applause and shouting.”
See the ospreys
More than 15,000 people have visited the Dyfi Osprey Project so far this season to watch the exploits of Monty and Glesni, and a further 15,000 people are expected before the end of season when the birds will migrate in September. The purpose built osprey hide on the reserve has telescopes and binoculars for people to use and the visitor centre has screens showing live footage and audio from the nest. Staff and volunteers are also on hand to ensure that people get the most out of their visit.
Estelle Bailey, Chief Executive at Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, said, “More than 50 volunteers have donated 1,300 hours to egg protection work around the clock this year and we are delighted for them that their efforts have paid off. We are lucky enough to have an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers supporting the osprey project and as well as undertaking practical conservation work, they also share their knowledge and passion with visitors to reserve”.
There are only two pairs of ospreys breeding in Wales and these two chicks will hopefully migrate to Africa in September and return in three or four years’ time to breed for themselves. Staff and volunteers at Cors Dyfi reserve are on hand between 10am – 6pm until 25th September, with telescopes and binoculars to help visitors see Wales’ rarest breeding birds.
For the latest information and progress on the chicks and when they will fledge, please visit the blog on the osprey project website (www.dyfiospreyproject.com) or follow Dyfi Osprey Project on Facebook or Twitter.
12 young ospreys travel to Spain as part of a breeding programme: here.
Osprey photos: here.
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