Bulletin: Blue 5F on the Pont Croesor Nest

At 01:18 this morning Blue 5F laid an egg on the Pont Croesor nest. While there has been some interest from other male ospreys on this platform, it is likely that this egg comes as a result of her mating with Aran.

As many of you will understand, our decision to adopt the Pont Croesor platform has been the cause of some debate. However, we maintain that we sought the best advice when making this decision and we feel that it is very important that you, our ever loyal followers, understand the current position.

Members of the Board of Trustees have therefore prepared the following communiqué, in order to keep you as well informed as possible.

We intend to be wholly transparent about the situation here at Pont Croesor and there is no intention to hide what is going on from the public eye. However, we will be continuing to focus our live streaming efforts on the primary Glaslyn nest. With coverage from the Pont Croesor platform (both film and stills) being delivered via our usual platforms.

As ever, a huge thanks to you all for your unwavering support. While we appreciate that a small minority may perceive this as a negative event, we are confident that the majority of our followers will see this is as a part and parcel of the exciting and overall positive outlook for the Glaslyn ospreys – we are now in a very privileged position to witness the process of re-colonisation of ospreys in Wales.

Bulletin: Blue 5F on the Pont Croesor Nest

The purpose of this communique is to help ensure that all our supporters and followers are well informed about the Pont Croesor nest.

In the Autumn of 2015, a nest platform was put up on land a few hundred metres to the south of the Pont Croesor Visitor Centre. It is one of a number that have been erected in the Glaslyn area by Friends of the Ospreys. This was in line with accepted methodology for encouraging the re-colonisation of suitable habitat by Ospreys. It’s also in line with BGGW’s conservation aims, namely to encourage Ospreys to return to our home here on the Glaslyn.

This nest, known as the Pont Croesor nest, has been favoured by Blue 5F, a female bird who fledged at Rutland Water in 2012. (Forgive us if you’ve been confused by the name of this nest. It has also been called the Traeth nest, and the 5F platform. They’re different names for the same nest, which we’ll call the Pont Croesor nest from now on).

She showed interest in a nearby platform in 2015. Nothing came of this as far as we know. After all, she was barely three years old that year.

Last year, in 2016, she settled on the Pont Croesor nest, where she was courted by Aran, our resident male bird, we believe, and later in the season another male, CX7. It’s difficult to be certain what happened, but almost certainly she laid eggs which she was seen to be incubating but which did not hatch.

This year something similar is happening. This time, with a camera on the nest, we can be more certain. Aran is courting Blue 5F again, and another young male bird, HR7, was also present briefly. Blue 5F appeared to be in two minds about him, not sure whether he was a suitor or an intruder. Perhaps this reflects her uncertainty and immaturity as a breeding female.

Although all reliable authorities agree on putting up nest platforms to promote re-colonisation, there is some debate about the placement of the Pont Croesor platform. We consulted with Dr. Tim Mackrill, formerly the head of the Rutland Osprey Project, now working with Roy Dennis. At our invitation he visited the Glaslyn to assess the position of the Pont Croesor nest in relation to the primary nest, which we now call the Glaslyn nest. He told us that he believed its position was not problematical. It stands about 2.2 kilometres from the primary nest. We decided to go with his view, and accordingly kept the Pont Croesor platform and equipped it with a camera.

At the start of the Osprey breeding season, there were two main possibilities: i) that Aran would try to service both nests; ii) that another male bird, possibly CX7, maybe another one, would claim 5F and the Pont Croesor nest as his own.

The former has happened. Now there are two further possibilities: i) that Aran will attempt to service both females; ii) that he will choose one, and abandon the other. He is more than likely to stick with Mrs. G in this case. It’s not impossible that he would attempt, and even succeed in servicing both nests. He’s a prolific provider. But the odds are against it.

It’s still possible at the time of writing that another male bird will arrive and successfully court 5F. However time is running short for this. Even so, without breeding they could form a bonded pair that would stand a good chance next year. Aran appears to be spending more time on the Glaslyn nest, including incubating the three eggs.