There is nothing more exciting, or nerve wrecking, than watching the first fledging of the season. From the day the eldest chick, KS3, turned 49 days old, we were afraid to take our eyes away from the nest. We needn’t have worried however. The chicks were happy to keep us waiting.
Although the window for fledging officially opens when chicks are 49 days old, the average age for fledging at Glaslyn is currently 52.9 days, with females tending to leave the nest a little later than the males. Our eldest chick was clearly in no hurry; she seemed far more interested in eating as much fish as she possibly could and left most of the wing flapping to her younger siblings.
Her sister, KS1 became restless.
On the 18th July at 12:03, we thought we were about to witness middle chick, KS1 leave the nest for the first time. But what she did in fact, was helicopter sideways across the nest and onto the perch. To many this may have looked like a fledge, but we do not class it as a fledge because she did not leave the perimeters of the nest in a controlled flight.She remained there for almost five hours and we were given quite the show as intruding ospreys were seen off by Mrs G and Aran with Mrs G almost knocking her chick off the perch in the process.
The following day on 19th July, KS1, now 53 days old, successfully fledged at 06:00.
After a successful short first flight she took off again for a longer one. She made a few attempts at landing on the perch but couldn’t quite manage it. Instead she settled for a tree the other side of the nest.
On the 20th of July, both KS3 and youngest chick KS2, hopped onto the perch. Who was about to leave next?
At 18:14, eldest chick KS3, now 56 days old, finally made her first successful flight. She made a second confident flight around the nest territory at 19:02. With both his older sisters having now left the nest, we were sure it wouldn’t be long until KS2 joined them.
As anticipated, KS2 fledged from the perch on 21st July, 08:07 at 53 days old. He lost his footing whilst jumping on the perch and then took a short flight of 38 seconds around the nest territory.
With all chicks now fledged and making regular flights around the Glaslyn valley, it has become a game of ‘spot the osprey’ as we search high and low for any sightings. Although the nest may be empty at times, we still have at least another month of watching these magnificent birds before they make their first migratory journey. That’s plenty of time for you to pop down to see us at the Glaslyn Visitor Centre!