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August - what happens now?

Posted: Monday 31st July 2017 by Karis MWT

MWT three chicksMWT three chicks

Looking ahead to the final few weeks of the season

Taking to the air come wind, rain or shine, our three chicks are getting in as much practice as possible before their epic journey to Africa.

Seeing them flying around the nest area, it is easy to forget that they have only been airborne for 2-3 weeks now. In this video from last week, however, it becomes apparent that the chicks still have much to learn when it comes to mid-air manoeuvres!

Menai misjudges her approach, having to swing round for another attempt. Glesni, meanwhile, flies effortlessly onto the nest, bringing in a freshly caught mullet. She has seven years’ experience under her belt, and it shows!

Plaice your bets! (I'll get my coat...)

Preparing for migration is hungry work, and both parents are now bringing a steady supply of fish to the nest to ensure everyone in the family is as fit as can be.

The fish that Glesni brought in on Saturday was a Dyfi first; a plaice! Thank you to everyone for their input to the discussion on Chat and Facebook.

With the exception of Dulas in 2011, no Dyfi chick has ever been seen to catch a fish prior to migration, choosing instead to take advantage of free food from Mum and Dad. Most young ospreys will catch their first fish en route to Africa, completely unaided and having received little or no 'tuition' from their parents.

This behaviour is genetically hard-wired into every osprey chick, something we know thanks to the returning ospreys from various translocation projects over the years. Osprey chicks taken from the nest prior to fledging, and released in new surroundings with no adults in sight; how else would they know?

Glesni: her grandfather (White 03) was one of the most successful chicks translocated from Scotland to Rutland in 1997 - we have a lot to thank him for!
MWT Glesni

The latest osprey translocation is well underway, with eight ospreys now settled in their pens before their release in early August. For the latest news on this fantastic Poole Harbour project, click here.

So, what’s next?

Glesni’s job is near enough done for this year. Now it’s time for our doting mum to have a bit of ‘me’ time, ensuring she is strong enough for her own migration. She is now catching one or two fish per day, bringing in more than a third of the total catch last week.

Here are the dates of Glesni's final appearance over the past three years:

  • 2014: 19th August 
  • 2015: 24th August 
  • 2016: 13th August 

Today is the first day of August, meaning we may only have another couple of weeks perhaps before we wave goodbye to Glesni for another year. A perilous 5,000km journey awaits, and we can only hope we see her again next spring.


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