Sad news from two of Wales’ Osprey nests, just weeks after the outrageous destruction of another Osprey nest at Llyn Brenig. All three chicks died in the nest by the Afon Glaslyn last week, following several days with no food provided by the adult male, which had suffered a wing injury. One of three chicks at Cors Dyfi also died last week, having been accidentally suffocated just hours after hatching.
The history of Ospreys nesting in Wales is one of 451 species documented in a new book, The Birds of Wales, published by the Welsh Ornithological Society and Liverpool University Press next month. As one of the editors, I’ll confess some relief at signing off the final proofs last week, two years and two days after our first meeting to plan the venture. Four of the editors are based in North Wales, as were many of the expert authors of species accounts and photographers whose wonderful images illustrate the book. The front cover and frontispiece paintings are by Anglesey-based artist, Philip Snow.
Wales is significant for its populations of Chough, Hawfinch and Pied Flycatcher, our Manx Shearwaters are of global importance, and the bird observatories on Skokholm and Bardsey have played an important role in the study of migration. Only a quarter of breeding species have experienced an improvement in status since 1900 and one-third of Welsh breeding species are projected to lose some or all of their geographic range here by the end of the century.
The Birds of Wales will cost £45, but you can pre-order it for £25 (plus p&p) until 30 June. Visit liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/id/54476 and use the code WALES50 at the checkout.
It was a quiet week for migrants, but Spoonbills were seen on the Dee Estuary and Anglesey’s Inland Sea, Hooded Crows at RSPB South Stack, Cemlyn Bay and Ynys Llanddwyn, and Great Northern Divers off Cemlyn and Beddmanarch Bay.