The Llyn Brenig Osprey project began in 2013 when Dŵr Cymru built the first nests using wood recovered when the café was redeveloped in the previous winter. These were used to put together the basic structure of three nesting platforms mounted on telegraph poles around the site.
By 2015, the first signs of success were beginning to emerge. A young male known as CU2, or “Jimmy”, decided to call the area its home – before, sadly, being electrocuted on electricity pylons the same year. Occasional sightings continued through 2016 but, in 2017, there was a breakthrough. A pair of birds stayed in the area for the whole of the nesting season, showing a strong preference for a platform that had been put in the water.
In 2018, it was decided to focus all preparation effort on the nest they had shown such interest in during 2017. Dŵr Cymru, under the expert guidance of their Area Manager, Nick Kite, arranged for trail cameras to be mounted and extra perches added, both on the nest and in nearby woodland.
A matter of days after it was prepared for the year ahead, a female osprey arrived, ringed Blue 24. Shortly afterwards, after a few tours of North Wales, she settled back on the nest, along with her new partner, HR7. By late April it was clear that a serious nesting attempt was underway, and it was concluded that there were chicks on the nest by early June. It was the first hatched ospreys verified in the area in over 100 years.
The female, Blue 24, is a bird that fledged from Rutland Water. She shares the same ancestry as Blue 3J, the female bird that bred at the Dyfi Osprey Project in 2018, and has some history in Wales before coming to Llyn Brenig. She’s quite old to have a first successful nest at the age of 8, having previously attempted to nest elsewhere – sadly ending in failure each time. Her new nesting location is a much better choice, being close to an abundant food source with minimal energy expenditure required to hunt, protected from ground predators like pine marten, and away from other nests.
The male osprey, HR7, exchanged his homelands of Aberfoyle in Scotland for the lakes and hills of Wales. Beyond this, he’s a bit of a mysterious character!
HR7 and Blue 24 raised a single female chick in 2018. The chick, ringed Blue Z9, was named Luned, after a character in the Mabinogion. We hope to see Luned again in 2020 when she should return to the Wales for the first time from Africa.
On the 27th of June 2019 another male chick was ringed as KA5 and named Roli, we will keep you updated with all the birds progress.
Watching Ospreys at Llyn Brenig
North Wales Wildlife Trust’s main role in the Llyn Brenig Osprey Project is to help visitors understand the local wildlife, including these magnificent birds. Why not come and see them up close for yourself? With a telescope, you can see the pair from a safe distance from April to the end of August – just ask at the Dŵr Cymru visitor centre for directions to our setup (an easy 5-minute walk away).
Our staff and telescopes will be on hand throughout the nesting – please come and say hello!
Gors Maen Llwyd
“Visiting the Llyn Brenig Osprey Project? Why not take some time to explore North Wales Wildlife Trust’s Gors Maen Llwyd Nature Reserve? At the north end of the lake, it’s most easily accessed via separate car parking. Find out more.