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Gwynant returns Home to Wales

Posted: Saturday 28th April 2018 by Emyr MWT

Gwynant has returned home to Wales as a four-year-old.

I distinctly remember back in July 2014 getting an all-fours to photograph Gwynant and his sister Deri when they were being ringed.

If you're new to the Dyfi ospreys or just plain want to see it again - here is the 2014 ringing video:

As the Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita concert was wrapping up yesterday evening in the 360 Observatory (more on this tomorrow), Heather from the Glaslyn (BGGW) rang me.

"You better sit doewn" she said, "I think I have some great news".

Gail Edgeley, a long-standing BGGW volunteer, had expertly captured and recorded an intruding osprey on the Pont Croesor platform, close-by to the Glaslyn visitor centre at just after 7pm. The intruding osprey was male with a blue ring on its right leg; Gail was 99% sure that in the quick flourish of feathers she witnessed the ring number was Blue 3R.


Glesni's first egg (of two) in 2014 was particularly white, showing very little of the red and crimson splodges we usually see on osprey eggs. We decided to call this bird Gwynant (Gwyn = white in Welsh) after the lake, Llyn Gwynant.

2014 rings: 5R (Deri) and Blue 3R (Gwynant)
Glesni inspects Gwynant's egg - almost devoid of pigmentation


Returning Ospreys

Young ospreys tend to return home in their second year, sometimes their third. Male ospreys are especially philopatric, meaning they tend to return to breed to a nest site that is close to their natal ancestral nest.

Did Gwynant return to Wales in 2016 and/or 2017? Very possibly. Unless returning birds perch somewhere near or are photographed at close-quarters flying by, it's impossible to read any leg rings. We've actually been aware of a right-legged ringed male for the last week or so here at Dyfi, Clywedog and elsewhere. We now know who it was.

Here's a video of Gwynant intruding at the Pont Croesor, Glaslyn nest platform last night. The female he was trying to mate with is Rutland's Blue 5F and the male defending the nest and his territory is Aran, the male from the main breeding Glaslyn nest.

Look at Gwynant's amber eyes!

A massive thanks to Heather, Gail and BGGW for the information and video files.

Gwynant has not positively been identified today, he is no doubt prospecting for suitable nest sites. If he can 'inherit' a nest he will do, but male ospreys can also build their own of course. More than half of the Scottish nests these days are osprey-built, not man-made platforms.

Blue 3J

In amongst all the excitement today, Blue 3J laid her third egg this morning, bang on time. She is proving to be a great partner for Monty.

It's getting late on Saturday evening and there's a lot to get through this weekend. Look out tomorrow for a blog about naming Blue 3J, an update on Clarach and Blue 24, some words about Glesni and anything else that crops up in the meantime.


Just a Feeling...

But for now, this is Gwynant's day.

It's also a day for all the volunteers that worked so hard to protect his egg from harm and also Tony Cross and Chris Townsend that expertly ringed him at five-weeks-old.

Shortly after I made eye-contact with Gwynant for the briefest of moments on that warm sunny day back in 2014, he stood upright and started wandering around on the wet grass next to me, taking a keen interest in the camera and everything around him.

It made me smile and I instantly thought to myself "I bet we'll see you again one day".

Overjoyed :-)

Gwynant with his Dad in 2014, just before he migrated.


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