The osprey, Wales’ rarest bird of prey, looks set to make a comeback after a female laid her first ever egg on Easter Monday as part of the Dyfi Osprey Project.
The Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust said the egg was laid on Easter Monday at 2.03pm, describing it as ‘the best Easter egg we’ve ever had’.
The father is Monty the male osprey, who has gone two years without attracting a female in time to breed. This year, however, he returned from his African wintering grounds on April 6 and three days later attracted a female.
Dyfi Osprey Project manager Emyr Evans said: “This is a wondrous event for us, and for the ospreys. It was in 1604 that ospreys were last recorded breeding on the Dyfi and now we are witnessing history in the making.
“The osprey is Wales’ rarest bird of prey and today we are delighted to be able to say that Wales has two breeding pairs – probably the first time this has happened in several centuries.”
Plenty of information is known about Monty’s female companion, as she was ringed as a chick with the identifying number 03. She was born at another Wildlife Trust reserve, Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust, in 2008 and her father is a 1997-born bird who is still breeding at Rutland Water and who has fathered an impressive 23 chicks to date.
Emyr added: “I’m absolutely delighted about ospreys breeding on the Dyfi once again.
“We run our project as a community initiative and the look on the volunteers’ and visitors’ faces when they witnessed our female laying her first ever egg was priceless – as somebody once said, some things money can’t buy.
“I’m so pleased for local people and communities that have put so much into the Dyfi Osprey Project – this is the best Easter egg we’ve ever had!”
Tim Mackrill from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust said: “The long-term aim of the Rutland Osprey Project is to restore this magnificent bird to the whole of the southern part of the UK, and so we are thrilled that 03 is breeding at Cors Dyfi.
“It is a really significant milestone for ospreys in the UK and re-emphasises the very positive impact the Rutland project has had on the distribution of ospreys south of Scotland.”
The Dyfi Osprey Project is supported by Communities and Nature (CAN), a strategic project led and managed by Countryside Council for Wales, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government. The Dyfi Osprey Project is also funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Dyfi Osprey Project is open between 10am and 6pm until September 1st. It is based at Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trusts’ Cors Dyfi nature reserve in Derwenlas, just south of Machynlleth.