All May to June 2021 Updates

All May to June 2021 Updates

©Helen Carter-Emsell NWWT

All 2021 updates

Osprey Updates May1st- June 16th 2021

All this years updates.

Update 01/05/2021

Brenig Osprey Project partners woke up this morning to the worst possible news. Last night 30/4/21 , at 21.42, someone took a chainsaw to the osprey nest and felled it. This is a fast-moving situation and we’ll issue more news of the birds when we can – please, please be kind to staff this weekend as we work out how to respond to this horrific act of vandalism.

For a start – if you have any information that can help us identifying the individuals responsible, please let us know or contact the police with crime reference Z059734.

Hello everyone / P’nawn da, pawb

From all of us at Welsh Water and North Wales Wildlife Trust, thank you so much for your support today. It’s been a long morning! Some thoughts and news to share:

1. Thank you again to everyone who has been offering to help – whether it’s financial, volunteering or anything else. At the moment, our priority has been to protect the birds (see below) – we may need to ask you for practical support in due course, but please bear with us whilst we get appropriate measures in place.

2. This morning, Welsh Water staff have cleared one of the nearby, ‘closed’ platforms – which our nesting pair had already been scouting out. Our hope is that they will relocate to it within days – the female may well even be ready to lay, and we think we’ve given her a good option. Until we know whether they’ll use it, our protection measures will be mostly reactive and there may be limitations on what can be delivered at the new platform. Again, please bear with us whilst we get things in place – we’ll update everyone as soon as we possibly can.

3. Once again, the biggest thing that anyone can do is to help North Wales Police catch those who perpetrated this horrific wildlife crime. If you have any information at all, please contact them – the crime reference number is Z059732. All those on site have given statements this morning, and we offer the police our unconditional support.

We might be signing off now for a little while, and may take longer to get back to enquiries than normal. Please rest assured that this is because we are concentrating on the birds themselves – but we’ll do everything we can to keep you informed.

All the very best for now,

Nick, Natalia, Mark, Graeme, Kim and all from the Brenig Osprey Project

Update 02/05/2021

Once again, thank you for your support over the past 36+ hours. Today has been another long and busy day – below is an update. Please forgive us if there is no further update for a little while, and accept our apologies that we aren’t able to respond to all the messages we’re getting at the moment – once again, our priority has been taking on-the-ground conservation measures for the birds. So …

1. Our nesting pair (and a guest, welcome or otherwise!) are still around – see our update of earlier this morning! This is good news, and gives us hope that we may yet have a breeding season here.

2. Yesterday, we cleared a second nest platform in the hope that the birds would choose to make it their home. At the time, our absolute priority was ensuring that something was available to them, causing the minimum disturbance possible. However …

3. After obtaining a range of expert advice throughout yesterday and this morning, a decision has today been made to also place a new nest and amended platform in the original location. The aim is to give the birds a choice of two nest sites, including something as close as possible to their original. Wildlife Trust staff have spent this afternoon building a new nest from scratch and, if all goes to plan, Welsh Water will erect it tomorrow morning.

4. Once it becomes clear which, if either, nest site the birds choose, we will establish what security measures can be put in place to protect them. We cannot emphasise strongly enough how out-of-the-ordinary Friday evening’s attack on the nest was – most UK nesting sites are not monitored 24/7 because there has been (thankfully) little need to, particularly in recent years. We will do what we can, and will be in touch further about what support might be needed. Thank you for all the offers received so far.

5. We are conscious that there is a view that publishing information about the birds is unwise – or even irresponsible. However, we firmly believe that the risks of doing so are outweighed by the benefits, and that those determined to harm the birds would find out all relevant information even if not in the public domain.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of these decisions are straightforward, and that there is rarely absolute consensus on the best way forward. There are alternatives, which can have some advantages, but no position (and no decision-maker) is perfect. Staff are making decisions under huge pressure and based on the best science and evidence available – please be kind to those involved at this difficult time, even if you disagree. In all decisions, the welfare of the ospreys is of paramount concern – and let’s not forget that none of us would be having these discussions were it not for the actions of the perpetrator. If you know anything – anything at all – about who did this, please contact North Wales Police, using crime reference Z059734.

We’ll be in touch with more news in the week, as and when we’re able to provide it.

Team BOP

Update 05/05/2021

Thanks for bearing with us whilst we prepared another update for you.  Here goes!

1. Our ospreys are still around – pair-bonded, fishing, showing territorial behaviour and generally indicating that they’d like to stay at Llyn Brenig.  They have been investigating the two nests, and the one at the original location in particular – see below!  This is good news – though it’s very much a case of waiting and seeing, and absolutely minimising any disturbance.

2. As per our last update, we had a clear plan re. nests which we won’t summarise again here, and which would have been enacted on Monday morning.  However, as many of you will have already read on Llyn Brenig’s own facebook page, a further unauthorised nest was erected by an unidentified party on the remnants of the original nest pole on Sunday night.  (Please don’t speculate further about this.)  Although, to an extent, this pre-empted what was planned for the following morning, it has caused no end of further complications which we needn’t go into here.  Once again, we respectfully ask everybody to refrain from taking matters into their own hands on site – it isn’t good for the birds, and isn’t good for those trying hard to do their work whilst under a lot of pressure.  We are also left with the now-‘spare’ osprey nest, built by Wildlife Trust staff on Sunday afternoon – but we’ll put that to good use 😊

3. Significantly enhanced on-site protection measures have now been implemented, with more to follow in the coming days and weeks.  We hope you’ll understand that we aren’t able to go into any further detail about what’s in place, and would ask that everyone avoids public speculation (for obvious reasons).  We are also conscious of the huge number of offers of time, expertise and/or equipment from individual supporters, and we are actively looking at how best to utilise this support – we will be in touch once a plan is in place, but our absolute priority in terms of security has been the immediate days ahead.

Finally, we have been absolutely overwhelmed with people’s offers of support of all kinds.  We are genuinely sorry that we aren’t currently able to respond to each one individually, but we will be once we’ve had a chance to catch our breath!  One of the most frequent requests has been to donate money, which we’re truly humbled by – in fact, the Wildlife Trust have already received over £10,000 in just four days, which the BOP team will be putting to good use in the days ahead.  Thank you so much!  For those wishing to make further BOP-related donations, it would help us if you could use this dedicated form:  Of course, we really appreciate your support however it’s given – and thank you for the kindness expressed alongside it.

All the best for now – another update to follow as and when we can,

Team Brenig Osprey Project

Update 14/05/2021

Hello everyone / Helo, pawb!

We would like to update you on the situation at Llyn Brenig since the destruction of our osprey nest almost a fortnight ago.

As you’ll see from the picture, we now have a greylag goose nesting on our osprey platform, which has subsequently laid eggs. This could effectively, perhaps temporarily, displace our ospreys, who had been showing considerable interest in it.  (The ospreys’ behaviour shows LM6 and LJ2 to be well bonded with each other; that they had chosen to remain at this nest site; and want to breed there this season – there are still sightings of them around Llyn Brenig.)  This situation has presented us with something of a dilemma.  For a start, there are ethical considerations – certainly, not everyone would agree that transferring the goose clutch to another nest site (in order to encourage the ospreys to return to ‘their’ nesting site) might be appropriate, especially when the ospreys’ return after being displaced is far from guaranteed.  Crucially, it is also illegal to do so without an appropriate licence.

After careful consideration, we have therefore decided to create another nest on a MEWP [= mobile elevating work platform – see one of the other pictures!] for the ospreys in hope that they will take up residence there – using the nest built by Wildlife Trust staff over a week ago. This nest is in a similar position to the original one – and, whilst there is still no guarantee that the ospreys will relocate once again, we feel it is the best solution at this time.  As ever, unfortunately, there is no ‘right’ or ‘simple’ answer, and it’s important to remember that we’re only in this situation because somebody felled the original platform under a fortnight ago.

In the meantime, we still need your help. We have staff and volunteers on the ground looking for LM6 and LJ2; trying to track them and monitor their behaviour – information which may impact any future actions – but it’s a huge area to cover and we can’t be everywhere all the time. Therefore, if you have any sightings to report – particularly of any behaviour indicating nesting in another site – please send them to us via a private message (NOT public post) to this Facebook page.  Thank you in advance for anything you’re able to share with us!

All the very best,

Team BOP

Update 24/05/2021

Another update for you all.

Thank you to everyone who has been sending us information about LJ2 and LM6 – it has really helped us to build an understanding of where they are and what they’re doing. It is clear that they are still in the local area – they continue to be seen visiting Llyn Brenig and even the various nests and perches available to them here – but the general consensus now is that they are unlikely to breed at Llyn Brenig this year. Whilst this is obviously not what we had hoped for, the birds’ wellbeing is ultimately far more important than how/whether they choose to use our site, and we’ll be moving ahead to plan for 2022 as soon as we’re able to – watch this space for updates!

Even though the ospreys will probably be less visible at Llyn Brenig than we had hoped, please do continue to visit us this summer. The birds will still be spottable (just a bit more mobile!); you can still visit the osprey exhibition; we’re hoping to have ‘goose cam’ up and running as soon as we can restore some fried circuitry (thanks, lighting storm …); Wildlife Trust staff will continue to be on site for several days a week to chat through all things osprey and more besides; and Welsh Water’s Visitor Centre and café are really looking forward to welcoming back guests after such a long, enforced break. There’s still plenty of wildlife to see and things to do, and we’d love to see and talk to you.

All the very best,

Team BOP


From the Osprey Lookout we are regularly seeing two ospreys flying over Gors Maen Llwyd, the NWWT reserve adjoining Llyn Brenig.

Many thanks to those of you who have taken the fantastic photographs of LM6 and LJ2 with their ring numbers, this is such a huge help to us with our monitoring of them.

We have not seen the greylag geese on or near the nest for some days now so we assume the eggs have hatched and the goslings are with the adults in a family group. The timing coincides with the incubation period.

Our resident robins brought their young to see us at the porta cabin yesterday, so they have fledged.

 From the Osprey Lookout there are plenty of birds to watch on our feeders, on the lake as well as those flying over including the ospreys. At the visitor you can watch the footage of the otters at Brenig on the TV screen and over the next few weeks we will have some more events. Including the 30 days Wild BIG wild weekend on sat 19th and 20th and on Friday the 25th the first of Helen Carter-Emsells (NWWTs) monthly Health and Wellbeing walks.

Keep up to date by following the Llyn Brenig Facebook page for the latest events.