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Full house for September?

Posted: Thursday 30th August 2018 by Karis MWT

MWT Alys

For the first time in modern Dyfi history, will we have the whole family present in September?

Telyn’s first breeding season is almost over and I think it’s safe to say that we are all very proud of her. She has successfully raised three healthy chicks on her first attempt, and they are all still doing incredibly well.

Taking after her mother, Maya, we had a feeling she may well stay on a bit later than our previous females, Glesni and Nora. However, as we near the start of September, I don’t think anyone expected all five of our ospreys to still be around! We have only seen Monty and Alys so far today (edit: and possibly Dinas early evening), but we all know they can easily reappear after a couple of hours, or even days, so I’m definitely not calling it just yet!

Dinas eyeing up the flounder whilst Helyg pulls Monty’s leg!
MWT Monty and Helyg

This year our oldest chick, Alys, has been very aggressive towards her siblings, and has been relentlessly driving them away from the nest. We barely feel the need to check her leg ring now; if there is a chick sat happily on the nest, we are fairly safe to assume it’s Alys!

We have seen this to some degree in previous years, but never quite to this extent (we reckon Leri was a close second in 2011). Alys was the heaviest chick to have been ringed on the Dyfi, and as we are almost two months down the line from ringing, she will definitely have more weight to throw around and assert her dominance.

Alys flies in to take a swipe at Dinas. She won't even tolerate him sitting on the nest now, fish or no fish!
MWT Alys

As much as Alys’ aggression has been off-putting for Helyg and Dinas, their hunger has driven changes in their character and they have both managed to fight their way to the nest for food; in some cases taking the fish from right under her beak. One of the chicks even took a fish from Monty on the feeding perch yesterday - it looked very precarious but we should certainly have some good photos from the trail camera this month!

Dinas swooped in, took the fish from Monty and flew off like a rocket before Alys had the chance to intercept!
MWT Dinas

It has been fascinating to watch the dynamics of the nest change with each passing day. Monty and Telyn continue to keep out of any squabbles between their offspring. They won’t intervene or referee; this is completely natural behaviour and will enhance their ability to defend and hold a territory of their own in years to come. There is still plenty of food coming in and we are not at all worried about any of our birds going hungry.

Ospreys mantle when they are under threat in order to defend and protect their assets (eggs, chicks, food etc.) from approaching danger. With Alys never far away it is not surprising that Helyg is mantling!
MWT Helyg

With the ospreys spending less time by the nest, we have seen an increase in other species this week. We have seen a jay, a great spotted woodpecker, kestrels and this beautiful female stonechat.
MWT Stonechat

We have also noticed an increase in crow activity. Alys is joined by a number of crows each day as she sits picking at her fish, and it is apparent that she already sees them as a threat.

Alys is not sharing!
MWT Alys with crows

Now we just have to wait - there is simply ‘no Telyn’ when our leading lady will depart (I won’t point the finger of blame for this one, but you know who you are!). We are open until Friday 7th September, so if you haven’t come to visit us yet this year, you have just over a week left. At this rate you may even see the whole family! Who will be first to go…

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