Posted: Thursday 22nd March 2018 by Emyr MWT

Wales has its first osprey back

So I'm on all-fours grappling around on the floor, bum in the air, behind a plethora of dusty PCs in the DOP office, trying in vain to sort the Live Streaming audio out.

At 11:07 precisely there is an almighty scream coming from the visitor centre. Twelve volunteers that were happily cleaning, dusting and generally getting the centre ready for another season suddenly down tools and are screaming wildly - so wildly I can hear them 10 metres away through two steel walls.

I've heard this scream before, the only question on my mind was - which one?

So I quickly got to my chair, zoomed in, and this is what I saw....

(the blood is from a fish, not Blue 24)

This is a new earliest arrival record for the Dyfi nest. Blue 24 beat her own record she shared with Nora of 24th March as the earliest osprey seen as returned from migration.

She didn't stay long though. Less than half an hour later our friend John Williams at Natural Resources Wales let us know that Blue 24 was at the Clywedog nest - ON5. No doubt she will have visited a few of the Welsh nests today, just seeing what's on offer and if any other birds are back.

Blue 24 at Clywedog, taken earlier today by John Williams

Live Streaming Update

You'll know that our work at the nest earlier this month has been successful and we're aiming to get the Live Streaming going for when DOP opens - 26th March; Monday next week.

Thankfully, however, we'd managed to get the streaming going yesterday afternoon for the first time and had stabilised it this morning just before Blue 24 returned. Some lucky folks did see her return live!

Testing, testing - raven's feet. You'll take anything you're given at this time of year!


1. Pictures: These are now stable and should be good to go for the season.

2. Audio: Our audio module in the encoder PC gave up the ghost sometime over the weekend. We've ordered another one and it should be with us, installed and tested, during the next two days. We should have audio by 26th March if not earlier. (EDIT: Audio now working, 24th March)

3. Live Chat: It's proper broke!

The problem is, the chat has to talk to a chain of other software bits and operating systems, all of which have had a firmware update since we last used the Chat. Trying to get it to talk to all of these correctly is a huge task as you never know exactly where the problem area lies.

Our DOP Chat is bespoke to us and is now a six-year-old bit of software. Over the 2018/19 winter we'll have another think about the Chat and whether its financially prudent to keep patching up the old system or simply start again and integrate a new Chat to the new website we're building for 2019. We'll let you know nearer the time. We'll keep with it however, 35% of all our osprey followers use the Live Chat facility.

Meantime, please bear with us, we're trying to fix the current Live Chat but can't be specific about timescales. It could be next week or it could next month. Fingers crossed.

Camera Appeal

We've just scraped over the £10,000 barrier - hurray!

We're half way to our target, so thank you so much to the 250 or so of you that have donated already - much appreciated.

If you can help with our camera fundraising, please donate using the buttons on the Live Streaming page here. It's already costing more than we thought!

Ahem, are you ready...?

Key Jangling

Do you ever get to this side of the season, see your first osprey in seven months and think to yourself... I'd simply forgotten how beautiful these birds are?

I do it every year.

Let's hope our old friend finds a mate to settle down with this season, she's almost eight years old. After several promising but ultimately unsuccessful false starts, I honestly cannot think of another osprey that deserves it more.

Already a few birds are returning early this year and it's only 22nd March. Does that mean Monty and Glesni will be back early too?

There's only one place to find out and you're right here. I can hear the keys jangling, get ready... 

Blue 24 - stunningly beautiful


Blue 24 was pjhotographed at LLyn Brenig the following day, 23rd March and Glaslyn the day after.

As predicted, she is touring round all the Welsh nests in search of opportunities.

Blue 24 at the Glaslyn ©BGGW

Let's hope her mate from last year turns up soon. They've done the flowers and chocolates bit, just need him to get a move-on now...

Blue 24 at the Llyn Brenig nest ©Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water

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