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Fisherman’s Tales on the Dyfi

Posted: Thursday 20th June 2019 by Thom

Monty bringing dinner to the nestMonty provides dinner

This is the time of year when you go away for a couple of days, and by the time you come back the chicks are unrecognisable! A lot has happened over the last week or so, so here is a quick summary.

The Whoppers!

As predicted, Monty has really stepped up his game in regards to catching fish recently. After all, the number of mouths to feed has risen from two (Telyn still relies on Monty for food) to five.

Here are only a couple of monster catches he has brought in recently.
The most common fish Monty bringing in at the moment is mullet. 

Monty with an enormous grey mullet

Colleagues and visitors watched Monty struggle to carry this leviathan into the nest.

And a huuuge flounder

An equally enormous flounder. Monty will often catch this species during low tide, as they are a “benthic” (or bottom living) species.

Osprey struggle to catch fish lower than 1m below the surface. 

We have also noticed Monty opting for freshwater fish, such as this brown trout, during bad weather.

This is likely due to soil run off, murky waters and fast river flow disrupting his normal hunting behaviours in the Estuary. 

Record number of fish caught in one day for 2019

On the 8th of June, Monty caught a whopping five fish, consisting of three flounder, a mullet and a brown trout.

The effect of all this food has had an obvious result in the chicks. What a difference a few days makes!

6th of June
16th of June 

Development

The feathers are very obviously coming through now and every passing day they are looking more like ospreys. The feathers are now emerging from “the sheath”, a hard covering that protects the developing feather.

It however involves a lot of preening to remove and also looks pretty itchy!

First sign of wing feathers coming through

With the chicks being so large, they are less vulnerable to predators or the weather. Telyn can now afford to spend more time off the nest, however she still will not leave the vicinity or fish for herself untilJuly probably when the chicks are almost ready to fledge.

Beak Sharpening 

More than ever the chicks are learning how to be an “osprey”.

Big Bob has been practicing interior design, by moving sticks around the nest. Important skills to learn for when this chick is older.

Big bob chews a stick


The chicks have also been wearing down their beaks to promote healthy beak growth by "nibbling" on twigs on the nest.

Intruders

A ringed intruder was spotted taking interest in the nest on the 14th of June. It had dark underwings, which suggests female, and a missing secondary on its right wing, with partial regrowth of a new feather.

It was suggested by those who had seen it the ring was blue and on the left leg so possibly a Scottish bird.

And on the 20th, intruders were spotted twice, with a possibility of two intruders seen simultaneously.

Let’s hope they return soon, and this time in sight of the cameras!

Weather

So far this spring, it has been classic Welsh weather, i.e. a bit rubbish!

While we have not seen as much rain as other parts of the country this week, we have certainly had our fair share.

Telyn looking a bid bedraggled

Fortunately, this weather arriving has not put Monty off his fishing, or Telyn off her incubation, so the chicks are none the worse for it.

The chicks are now passed the small vulnerable stage of their lives and now they are bigger and more robust they can weather the worst of it. We have every reason to be cautiously optimistic about the second half of the season.

All is generally quiet on the nest, no dramas or excitement this week. But at the end of the day so long as the chicks are healthy, that is just how we like it.

However, this is likely to change in the next few weeks. The chicks are fast approaching fledging and as soon as their legs stop growing in a week or so, it will be ringing day.

  

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