'Monty' - 2pm, 9th April, 2011
Well, what an absolutely magic day - the kind of day that you remember for a lifetime. At 7.45am this morning our male osprey 'Monty' was standing in the nest - nothing unusual there, only this time he had a female in the nest with him just inches away!
By 8am they were mating and by 9am Monty had brought seven trips worth of nesting material back to the nest. By 9.30 both birds were high in the air displaying and calling to eachother and by mid morning the female was sitting in the nest calling and calling repeatedly for food. By 11am Monty had caught a fish and duly brought it back to the nest, he eat the head, then gave the remainder of the Mullet to the female.
Absolute classic, archetypal osprey breeding behaviour. Monty must be at least five years old so he's caught at least 4,000 fish in that time, both on the Dyfi and in Africa. This is probably one of the first times that he's had to go against his protective 'selfish' instinct and give food away - many male ospreys fail to breed at all because they never gets past this seemingly altruistic behavioural stage.
We can't get too excited yet though. Despite this breeding activity continuing throughout the day, it is certainly not unusual for female ospreys to move on fairly quickly despite the initial pair-bonding that can last for days. The story is different for established breeding pairs of course.
Nevertheless, a superb day and a promising one. It's a start.
Everything crossed for tomorrow...