It’s that time of year again where Mrs G has her beak in the air waiting for those favourable winds to help her along her journey South.
So I’ve been crunching some numbers and looking at the average number of days between various key events through each season and the dates that Mrs G was last seen in past years. Now, I’m the first to admit that this isn’t a particularly scientific way of looking at things – we’ve had plenty of confounding variables this year! – but if you look at the average duration of Mrs G’s stay from date of arrival, duration of stay from laying the first egg, first hatch etc., we’re looking at a predicted “departure date” of the 7th of September. Yes, yesterday! So, if I was a betting man and willing to place my money on the basis of some napkin statistics, my money would have been on yesterday morning’s fishy tussle with W8 being this year’s last sighting of the famous Mrs G…
And I would have lost, because she’s still around today! Clearly these ospreys don’t adhere to stringent timelines, rather they intuitively consider all kinds of factors before taking to the wing. Perhaps W7’s struggle with injury has slowed things down a little? Or maybe they’re just waiting for that small high pressure to develop over the Bay of Biscay late next week? Who knows?
What we can say with a relative degree of certainty is that once Mrs G heads off we’ll soon expect to see the back of our two chicks; W7 and W8. And they’ll be followed shortly after by Aran – as is the case with osprey families all over the country; the Dad is often the last to be seen.
So, what are our plans here at Glaslyn? Well, we’re going to be closing the doors to the visitor centre on Sunday the 11th of September. But don’t worry, if we still have ospreys in the valley we’ll keep the live streaming video running so you can follow them from home. We’ve also got plenty to be getting on with this winter and we’ll do our best to keep you updated through the website and via Facebook and Twitter.
One of the things I’m most excited about this winter is the Tesco Bags of Help project. With the £12k that we won earlier this year we’re going to build an outdoor classroom at Pont Croesor. We’ve been working with Dafydd Davies-Hughes from Felin Uchaf who’s come up with a brilliant design to inspire our younger visitors to learn more about the local wildlife (see below). Dafydd specialises in using local materials and helping young people develop the skills and knowledge needed to work on environmentally sustainable building projects. So we’re all really excited to work with a local group who share our principles of connecting young people with their environment.
And finally, we may be closing the doors to the visitor centre on Sunday, but we’ve got some fantastic events planned this Autumn. The first is coming up this Sunday with a Moth trapping and identification morning with Julian Thompson from the Pensychnant conservation centre. Last year we found the rare ‘Death’s Head Hawk-moth’, so if you fancy yourself as a budding lepidopterist, please come along! We’ll be starting at out visitor centre at Pont Croesor at 9.30 on Sunday.
The next event we have planned is called “Hydref Gwyllt” (Wild Autumn) on Saturday the 8th of October when we’ll be mixing our love of birds with our love of food! The morning will involve a bird walk with some of the area’s most knowledgeable bird experts. We’ll be exploring the cob area of Porthmadog to search for the exciting autumn birdlife of the Glaslyn estuary. In the afternoon we’ll be joining Cynan Jones from The Mushroom Garden who’ll take us on a guided fungal foray through the ancient woodland of Hafod Carregog. If we’re lucky he may even cook something up for us at the end of the day!
We’re still hashing out the details of Hydref Gwyllt, but please keep an eye on the blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages and we’ll let you know where and when each walk starts closer to the time.
Look forward to seeing you there!