First Dyfi osprey chicks in more than 400 years

Tuesday 7th June 2011

The Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust is pleased to announce that the Dyfi ospreys have sired their first ever chicks.

The first new-born osprey pipped its way out of its egg at 3.35pm on Sunday 5 June, followed by a second at 6.35am on Monday 6 June.

‘Monty’ the male osprey has gone two years without attracting a female in time to breed but this year he has been successful.

The Dyfi Osprey Project manager, Emyr Evans said:

“This is a wondrous event for us, and for the ospreys. It was in 1604 that ospreys were last recorded breeding on the Dyfi and now we are witnessing history in the making. The osprey is Wales’ rarest bird of prey and today we are delighted to be able to say that Wales has two breeding pairs. It’s incredible to think that the last time an osprey chick hatched in the Dyfi estuary, James I had just succeeded Elizabeth I to the throne!

“Monty returned from his African wintering grounds on 6 April and, three days later, he had attracted a female. This new osprey had been ringed as a chick so we know exactly where she is from just by focusing the nest cameras on her ring and reading the numbers off it; it is a white ring with the digits 03. She was born at another Wildlife Trust reserve - Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust- in 2008 and her father is a 1997 born bird who is still breeding at Rutland Water and has fathered 23 chicks to date!”

After centuries of persecution, ospreys had become completely extinct in the UK by the early 20th century. A pair re-colonised at Loch Garten near Avimore in the 1950s and the population in Scotland is now recovering; in England however there are only three osprey breeding sites and Wales has just two breeding pairs. The first ospreys to successfully breed in Wales after many centuries were also in Montgomeryshire in 2004 and the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust believe that the Dyfi male osprey ‘Monty’ might well be the single offspring that this pair had in that year. This pair failed to return the following year.

It’s incredible to think that the last time an osprey chick hatched in the Dyfi estuary, James I had just succeeded Elizabeth I to the throne!

Emyr went on to say:

“I’m absolutely delighted about ospreys breeding on the Dyfi once again. We run our project as a community initiative and the look on the volunteers’ and visitors’ faces when they witnessed that first tiny chick popping out of its shell was priceless. It’s amazing how wildlife can have such a positive effect on people. I’ve seen grown men cry today. I’m so pleased for local people and communities that have put so much into the Dyfi Osprey Project over the last three years, this is the perfect reward for their hard work. More than 60 volunteers donate their time to the Dyfi Osprey Project and over 15,000 people have visited this year so far.”

The Dyfi Osprey Project is supported by Communities and Nature (CAN) which is a strategic project led and managed by Countryside Council for Wales and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government. The Dyfi Osprey Project is also funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. The osprey cameras are powered by Network Rail.

The Dyfi Osprey Project is open between 10am - 6pm until 12 September. It is based at Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s Cors Dyfi nature reserve in Derwenlas just south of Machynlleth, SY20 8SR.

Story by Montgomeryshire WT
More Information

More information on Facebook Twitter!/dyfiospreys and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust website For more information and images contact Emyr Evans 07595 932 573