Well done Dyfi

I’m sure many of you will have been following the sad events at the Dyfi Osprey Project where the recent torrential rain has resulted in the death of two of the three chicks. We have been especially saddened given that we have a vested interest in the nest – the breeding female, Nora, is one of 24 chicks who have fledged from the Site B nest in Rutland since 2001.

Yesterday afternoon it seemed certain that, following more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours, the third chick would not survive either. It was too weak to be fed and appeared doomed. At this point the Dyfi team intervened – they went up to the nest, collected the chick and hand-fed it. It eventually accepted some food and, once it had done so, they put it back on the nest. Within minutes its mother was back on the nest and feeding the chick herself – the fish it had been hand-fed meant it now had the strength to hold its head up and beg for food. Without the team’s intervention it is clear that this would not have been the case and it would have died.

I think the Dyfi team should be applauded for their quick-response to a desperate situation. Too often in UK conservation people put forward the argument that we should ‘let nature take its course’. I personally, don’t agree. The fact is, if we had taken this approach – and not carried out the translocation project at Rutland Water – there wouldn’t be any breeding Ospreys in either Rutland or Wales. Millions of people wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching the stunning images from the Dyfi cameras each evening on Springwatch and, even more importantly, a species that has suffered badly at the hands of humans in centuries gone by would still be absent from an area where they should be common.

If Ospreys are to continue to spread through southern Britain, then we can take positive steps to help them do so. One such way is by erecting artificial nests; just as the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust did at Cors Dyfi. However, for these nests to be used by the birds there needs to be as large a pool of ‘southern UK Ospreys’ to colonise them. For this reason every chick is vitally important and this is why the guys at Dyfi should be congratulated for what they have done. Last year we artificially incubated a clutch of eggs after the breeding male 08(97) disappeared from Site N mid-way through the incubation period. One of the chicks hatched, allowing us to move it to a surrogate nest. Like the chick at Dyfi, this youngster would have had no chance of surviving without our intervention.

With the weather now improving, the remaining Dyfi chick should grow stronger every day and hopefully migrate in late August in excellent condition. Let’s hope that it returns in a few years’ time to raise chicks of its own. Now that really would be a success story. For the latest from the nest check out Dyfi’s Facebook page.

14 responses to “Well done Dyfi”

  1. Peter & Di Pritchard

    Tim,completely agree with your thoughts & report on the Dyfi situation,They did absolutely the right thing,as you did last year.We brought the ospreys into their position, we have to assist them when in need.

  2. Mike Simmonds

    Well said TIM. There has been much discussion on this on another Forum and it is great to see someone who is an expert ‘nailing his colours to the mast’. Great stuff and sound common sense.

  3. clare baker

    well said Tim!

  4. jayne edwards

    Brilliantly put!

  5. Monica & Tony

    Good support Tim.
    This was such a desperate occurrance that surely help was needed. Emyr and all the Dyfi team should be commended for their dedication and assistance during such an awful storm, we wish them and the Osprey family all the best in the next few days and look forward to a happy outcome for all concerned.

  6. Annie Honjo

    Well done all at DOP, and well done Tim for putting forward the case so well. A brilliant outcome.

  7. Laura Watson

    Thank you to all Osprey teams around the UK, you do a magnificent job in protecting these beautiful birds and bringing us all the up dates & information on a daily basis. We are now able to follow Ospreys all year round. This little Welsh chick has captured our hearts, I dont believe there was any other option but to briefly intervene. Nora didn’t seem to have a problem with it.. so I’m with her. Well done Dyfi team on a job well done

  8. Joy Mardon

    Hear Hear. Well done for saying what too many seem to be afraid to say. We people have destroyed too many wonderful species and if we can help in any way to aid their survival – then we should. Non-intervention – pah. We intervened and destroyed these birds in the first place – so now its right to intervene to save them. I say Well done to all of you

  9. Pauline Jacobs

    Well put – two lost through nature, but why make it three?

  10. jean

    Because of what Emyr & team did at Dyfi, there is one osprey chick there who now has a chance. Brilliant job – and congrats Tim on puttng forward the case so well.

  11. Shirley

    I agree entirely with what has already been said. We humans have to intervene sometimes, if we let nature take its course everytime something drastic happened we wouldn’t have many of the species around today.

  12. Karen

    Well said Tim, completely agree. Unfortunately, their actions have prompted much debate but the overwhelming majority are in favour of the intervention.

  13. Valerie Webber

    Well said Tim thank you

  14. karen

    I applaud them too. Mankind does nothing but interfere with nature and mostly in a negative way whether intentional or not. To step in to save a precious rarity can only be right. Well done to all concerned.