The Dyfi Osprey Project started in January 2009. We had two overarching objectives:
1. To support and conserve the osprey population in Wales (just one nest in 2009 in Wales, at the Glaslyn valley, 30 miles north of the Dyfi).
2. To deliver an osprey project with communities at its heart.
In 2007 we erected an osprey platform on our Cors Dyfi reserve in response to an increasing number of osprey sightings each spring and autumn. By the following summer there was a male osprey and sightings of many other birds, but no breeding took place.
In 2009 we managed to 'borrow' £40,000 to start Dyfi Osprey Project (DOP). We built a small visitor centre (portacabin!) and placed two cheapo cameras on the nest after Network Rail helped us with supplying electricity to the nest to run them (which they still do today - thank you).
On 22nd April we opened our doors for the first time and Wales had its second osprey project. In year order, here are the main points from each year since 2009.
Iolo Williams officially opens the Dyfi Osprey Project on 22nd April, 2009
Although no breeding took place in 2009, we had our first chance to have a really good look at what was happening on the Dyfi nest and try and identify them as individuals - an extremely difficult task.
We had an un-ringed male who seemed to regard the platform nest we erected two years previously as his own. We named this bird 'Monty' after Montgomeryshire.
He was a little unusual looking. He was quite dark for a male, especially the chest and underwing brown feathering, so much so, and without any behavioural cues to go from, we weren't quite sure to start with whether he was a male or not!
Monty in 2009 on a favourite electricity pole - male or female lol!
30,000 people visited us in 2009, a phenomenal amount; probably 10% of them saw an osprey! We had no website, no social media and no live streaming, but we had a platform to work on...
Monty returned in 2010 and so did we with some grant funding from Communities and Nature (ERDF) which would keep DOP going for three years.
Janine and Alwyn returned as DOP People Engagement Officers and we finally had a pair of ospreys in 2010 - a pair of males!
Monty and another male, an unringed bird we named Scraggly, co-inhabited the nest quite peacefully with just rare scuffles over the odd flounder. They didn't breed, obviously, but Monty looked more in control of the nest in 2010 - maybe he was a young, unexperienced bird in 2008 and 2009?