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10 Things You Need To Know About DOP 2019

Posted: Saturday 9th March 2019 by Emyr MWT

Here's (almost) everything you need to know about your favourite osprey project...

1. Opening Times

We’ll open our DOP doors at Cors Dyfi Reserve at 10am on Monday, 25th March, that's two weeks Monday.

We will remain open every single day, including weekends and all Bank Holidays until the first week of September, 10am – 5:30pm every day. Alwyn will be back in a few weeks to join Janine, Kim and myself (see also No 10), as well as around 100 volunteers of course.

If you're planning a trip and want to know what events we are holding, here they are


2. Entrance - Suggested Donations

These will stay the same, no increases.

All-day Pass - £4

Week Pass - £8

Season Pass - £15

Children and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust members - Free


3. Camera Systems

We are starting our work upgrading our camera system next week.

The old microphones have been fantastic since we installed them seven years ago, however half way through the 2018 season they gave up. We will replace the audio system with professional-grade microphones.

Alwyn with the 2012 Sennheiser nest microphone, this will be replaced

One of the nest cameras has broken down too - we will either fix this or replace it, depending on how our testing goes this week.

Finally we will upgrade the PCs in the control room in order to provide a more fluid watching experience as well as - see below...

4. Live Streaming - Camera Switching

For the first time, we will live stream two nest cameras at the same time, all the time.

We'll test this function this week so I can't say it will definitely work yet, but I'm hoping we'll have the infrastructure to provide this service by the time we open.

Live camera switching will give you control of your own personalised viewing options. You'll be able to toggle between one camera and another so, for example, if Monty is on the nest and Telyn on the birch perch eating a flounder, you will be able to flick between both cameras and chose the camera view you prefer.

Example of camera switching from America

The Live Streaming - as well as Live Chat - will be hosted on our DOP Youtube channel like last year, but we'll also put it on this website in a more traditional way.

We open DOP on 25th March and we're aiming to get live pictures to you by then, hopefully a bit before.

5. Live Streaming Appeal

Our usual £20,000 appeal will start tomorrow - more info Sunday.

6. Citizen Science

Some of you may remember a flagship research project we've done in the past on male:female incubation investment. In a nutshell, Monty incubates for around 15% of the time and Glesni incubated for the remaining 85%. Will it be different with a new female? Is it the female that dictates who is incubating the eggs at any given time?

The kind folks on the Friends of Dyfi Osprey Project Facebook essentially do this research for us by noting down changeover times on a specific live post on their page. We'll restart this research again this year and let you know what we see; should be interesting.

Remarkable consistency between years

Talking of osprey research, our swab-DNA analyses are still going and we're hoping this year to start on osprey poop testing!

While Tony is ringing the chicks we'll see if we can find any osprey poo under the nest we can shove into a sample pot. This has the potential to tell us a lot about osprey anatomy and nutrition, but before I quickly get out of my depth, I'll ask Dr. Helen to write a couple of Poop Blogs nearer the time and explain a lot better. It's dirty work.


7. International Women's Day Competition

Talking of Telyn, yesterday was International Women's Day and to celebrate we started a competition on our DOP Facebook page.

We're giving away a free £30 book - Ospreys in Wales: The First Ten Years - to the person that guesses Telyn's arrival day and time back from migration.
The closest guess wins, competition rules are simple: Women only!

It's free to enter - what's your best guess? Competition here.

Ospreys In Wales: The First Ten Years


8. Dyfi Wildlife Centre

From a project development aspect, we're now up to architectural RIBA Stage 4, or in layperson's terms, we'll actually start building the thing in less than six months.

We've got a great activity plan - events and stuff to do - as well as a really interesting interpretation plan: the information, signs, displays, learning materials etc

For those of you that visit DOP this year, 2019 will look exactly the same as 2018. The fun starts the day after we close.

We're still on schedule to start work in early September and have you walking into the new Dyfi Wildlife Centre in April 2020. I'll write more on the new centre later in the spring/summer.

The DOP winds are a-changing...


9. Ospreys

2018 was a mercurial year for ospreys in Wales. Blue 24 finally found a (Scottish) mate at a Welsh Water nest platform in Llyn Brenig in north Wales, Glesni was replaced by Telyn at the Dyfi and both birds at the Snowdonia nest abandoned their eggs and nest due to disturbance. The net result was one nest gained and one lost meaning we are still on four nests in Wales for the sixth consecutive year.,

That's slow progress and slower than what would be expected, especially when you look at other comparable osprey colonies such as those in Rutland, Cumbria and Northumberland.

There are reasons to be optimistic though.

Both Tegid and Gwynant were spotted back in Wales last year for the first time as adults - two Dyfi males looking for a prospective nest site; let's hope both return back and are successful.

Then we've got the class of 2017 due back from May onwards. Aeron, Menai and Eitha (remember her?!!) are due to return along with seven other Welsh offspring from that year.

As always, we'll do our best to keep you up-to-date with all the important stuff.

Tegid returns to the Dyfi nest last year

10. New Face

Many of you will know Karis from the last two years and before that as a volunteer. Well, Karis has recently relocated back to her native Yorkshire and is currently working in the Peak District National Park as a park ranger. We wish her all the best with her new job oop-north.

The good news is that one of Karis' friends will be talking her place... please welcome as our new People Engagement Officer this year... drumroll.... Thomas!

Our new people-engagement officer - volunteering on Cors Dyfi back in 2016

Just like Karis, Thom has recently graduated from Aberystwyth University and is currently doing a Masters degree on... osprey behaviour!

Thom has been a volunteer for many years and we're delighted that he is joining the DOP team as a member of staff this year - croeso mawr Tomos.

And Finally

As you probably know, we like to keep our staff 'long-term' so that the knowledge and continuity of osprey and wildlife knowledge is there year after year. Many people still talk to us about Nora, Einion, Ceulan etc and it's great to be able to speak with those visitors first-hand with first-hand knowledge; Thom is one of those.

He actually started volunteering in 2009 with his Dad when he was around four days old. There's a picture somewhere. If he's not nice to us, we'll post it.

Seriously, Thom has a wealth of osprey experience and it's great to be able to replace one 20-something year-old (I won't tell em Karis) with another young person in their 20s. That means we have five members of DOP staff with a 50+ year age difference. We have one in their 60s, one in their 50s, one in their 40s, one in their 30s (me) and now Thom in his 20s.

Two males, three females and four of the five are bilingual, plus Janine with a much better grasp of Wenglish than she lets on. She uses it for special occasions.

Appeal starting tomorrow, find the car keys, it really isn't long to go now.... 

Kim and Janine's professional reaction to hearing who is Karis' replacement..

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