Ospreys have made us their home since 2013 and may be seen here from mid March until August.
This spectacular fish-eating bird of prey is incredibly rare because of its historical decline and low breeding numbers. We feel very humbled that they choose us for their home. We built the first nests in 2013 using wood recovered from the visitor centre when the café was redeveloped in the previous winter. We hope to see them again soon and excitedly await their return this spring.
Last year, with the benefit of the new nest cam, we were able to see that 3 eggs were laid. Sadly, one egg was taken by a crow. Two of the eggs did hatch, but the youngest did not survive. The one remaining chick did well and was named Dwynwen. It fledged in July 2020. Sadly, it was killed after being struck by a wind turbine blade a few weeks later. We hope to see the parents back in north Wales sometime in late March 2021.
Large screens in the visitor centre stream live from the Llyn Brenig osprey nest-cam and perch-cam.
They will enable you to follow all the drama throughout the season, from first arrival, squabbles, interlopers and feeding. Maybe you will even be the first so see this year’s chicks hatch.
With scopes available to use for free from the North Wales Wildlife Trust, you can see the pair nesting from a safe distance from Sailing Club Bay from April to the end of August. Or for a closer up experience, the RSPB are helping to staff our osprey hide.
Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect, two of our Llyn Brenig Ospreys enjoying a pike!
For photographers that want a more exclusive experience we have a specially constructed hide that gets you within 150m of the nest.
Sharing with just one other photographer, the hide is kitted out with 1 way glass, snoods, gimbals and even comfy seats.
We will be taking bookings for two hour sessions in the afternoons from mid April onwards. Each session is priced at £55 per person with a limit of 2 people per session.
Alternatively, you can book a place in the photography hide for a shorter period as part of a group, with the RSPB. Reservations can be taken for this through the Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre.
The Llyn Brenig Osprey project began in 2013.
We built the first nests using wood recovered from the visitor centre when the café was redeveloped in the previous winter. These were used to put together the basic structure of 3 nesting platforms. They were mounted on telegraph poles around the site, that were felt to be sufficiently quiet, yet also accessible for maintenance by cherry pickers.
A year later, Welsh Water undertook a 4 metre drain down of the reservoir. We took this opportunity to put up one nesting platform on “Duck Island” which had temporarily reconnected to the mainland, and the other on foreshore, knowing that both would be re-surrounded by water, once the reservoir was refilled.
By 2015, the first signs of success were beginning to emerge. A young male known as CU2 “Jimmy” decided to call the area its home.
Sadly, CU2 was electrocuted on electricity pylons the same year, setting the project back. Sightings continued over the following years of ospreys using the area. But in 2017, there was a breakthrough. A pair of birds stayed in the area for the whole of the nesting season, showing a strong preference for the Brenig platform that had been put in the water.
In 2018, the team decided to focus all preparation effort on the nest they had shown such interest in during 2017. Trail cameras were mounted and extra perches were added, both on the nest and in nearby woodland.
A matter of days after it was prepared for the year ahead, a female osprey arrived, ringed Blue 24. Shortly afterwards, after a few tours of north Wales, she settled back on the nest, along with her new partner HR7. By late April it was clear that a serious nesting attempt was underway, and although problems with the camera made it difficult to verify, it was concluded that there were chicks on the nest by early June. It was the first hatched ospreys verified in the area in over 100 years.