A reward of £3000 has been offered for information leading to the conviction of anyone for the destruction of the Osprey nest at Llyn Brenig last Friday. People across the UK reacted angrily to the appalling photograph of the nest platform lying in the shallows of the reservoir, and the sad image of two Ospreys looking at where their nest had been, just days after the female laid their first egg. It reminded me of the Loch Garten Osprey nest platform being attacked with a chainsaw in 1986, but that was while the birds were away in Africa.
While most were horrified, I can’t imagine how the staff and volunteers felt on Saturday morning. Monitoring a rare bird such as Ospreys is an emotional investment, and the news must have been devastating. Full credit to Welsh Water and the North Wales Wildlife Trust for acting so rapidly to open up a second nest platform and to build and erect a replacement. They will be watching the birds’ behaviour closely to see whether the pair will continue their breeding season.
Most people find it incomprehensible why someone would do this, but it highlights the challenges faced by birds against a tiny minority with a grudge against nature. Ospreys are, thankfully, rarely targeted but persecution and intentional disturbance remains a problem for other birds of prey in parts of the UK.
In happier news, the first Lesser Whitethroats, Spotted Flycatchers, Garden Warblers and Hobbies of spring were reported in North Wales over the weekend, and a White-tailed Eagle was tracked by its satellite-transmitter across North Wales for two days early last week. One of several young eagles released on the Isle of Wight, it spent a morning exploring the Arenig mountains south of Ysbyty Ifan.