February. Daylight is slowly stretching its way into the the early evening, frosty mornings are few and far between and the snowdrops and daffodils have come out to greet the warming sun. Spring is definitely in the air. But there is one other sign that makes us at BGGW feel as though spring has truly arrived; the sight of an osprey soaring above the Glaslyn valley.
It’s nearly that time of year again when we won’t be able to take our eyes off the skies as we hope to see these magnificent birds return for the sixteenth season at Glaslyn.
Last year saw our resident pair, Mrs G and Aran, raise three young, all of which successfully fledged and set off on their individual migratory journeys last September. Usually an early returning bird, arriving one year on 19th March, Mrs G kept us waiting until April 1st last year. She almost had us fooled! It will be interesting to see when, and indeed which osprey, we will see touch down on the Glaslyn nest first this year.
Both unringed, we have no knowledge of where Mrs G or Aran choose to spend the winter. But one osprey we can count on finding in her wintering grounds is Blue 5F, a Rutland born female who has made her summer home in the Glaslyn valley. We are lucky enough to see through the eyes of photographer Chris Wood as he keeps us up to date with his incredible captures. Here she is soaring above Tujereng Beach, Gambia this month. Could she already be on her way back to North Wales?
During February we have held coffee mornings as an appeal for new volunteers, and we have not been disappointed. It has been lovely to meet enthusiastic new faces and we are glad so many of you want to join this worthwhile cause. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with BGGW please do not hesitate to contact us.
While the Visitor Centre may not be open over the winter months, our wonderful volunteers have been busy preparing the Centre ready for opening on March 18. As well as the physical work of getting the site ready, we have been planning a programme of exciting events to bring you over the cause of the season. Do you fancy joining us on a bat walk, a fungi forage, or moth trapping session? Not forgetting our nature club for children, Clwb Gweilch Glaslyn, with weekly activities during school holidays.
One event we’re particularly excited about is Gŵyl y Gweilch, our annual osprey festival. This year we’re hoping to make it bigger and better than ever, held over three days during the bank holiday 25-27th May. Put the date in your diary now! And keep your eyes peeled for more information about all events on our website.
We’re glad to have enough work to keep us busy, it takes our minds of the agonising wait for the ospreys, if only for a second. If you hear a loud cheer erupt from the Glaslyn valley from mid-March onward, you can be sure it’s the volunteers and visitors at BGGW witnessing the first osprey land on the Glaslyn nest.
But what date will that be? Would anyone like to venture a guess?