UKH

Brenig Ospreys

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 toad 01 May 2021

So it seems at twenty to ten last night, somebody took a chainsaw and cut down the osprey nest there, including recently laid eggs. Vermin. Absolutely disgusting

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-56955084.amp&ved=2ahUKEwjVkMTjq6jwAhWbi1wKHT9HDeUQFjACegQIAxAC&usg=AOvVaw2K1QokKWFiqfEMmKyqXveR&cf=1

 Matt Podd 01 May 2021
In reply to toad:

Thats appalling news. My wife and I have been following the Welsh Ospreys for years.

 Welsh Kate 01 May 2021
In reply to toad:

Just unbelievable.

 Sl@te Head 01 May 2021
In reply to toad:

That's really sad

 Eric9Points 01 May 2021
In reply to toad:

I'm struggling to think of a reason.

Are there any fish farms nearby?

In reply to Eric9Points:

Fish farm is the only reason I can think off. Shocking. Not sure if I would call it an act of vandalism - it’s a wildlife crime.

In reply to Eric9Points:

> I'm struggling to think of a reason.

> Are there any fish farms nearby?

I have a friend of a shooting and fishing type who moans about Ospreys eating hundred of pounds worth of trout from stocked lochs, so I imagine hardliners would happily persecute them for that reason.

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I'm struggling to think of a reason.

> Are there any fish farms nearby?

Fishing on the reservoir itself, but local anglers seem OK with the Ospreys.

One local rumour is that a production company want to film there, but have been told 'no' due to the previous problems with the ospreys and drones/filming. No ospreys, no reason to say no to filming...

 Martin W 01 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I have a friend of a shooting and fishing type who moans about Ospreys eating hundred of pounds worth of trout from stocked lochs, so I imagine hardliners would happily persecute them for that reason.

Some people have no imagination, or simply can't see beyond their own immediate interests or desires.   The fishery at Rothiemurchus happily charges for osprey watching & photography sessions on its stocked fishing lochs in the early mornings, and evenings after they have closed to anglers: https://rothiemurchus.net/outdoor-activities-at-aviemore/wildlife-watching-photography/osprey-photography/

But too many folks seem to see persecution as the simplest answer, even though it's against the law.  A few years back a large grey (I think) seal took up residence in the upper reaches of the River Forth.  This annoyed some anglers who had bought a fishing permit for the Stirling Council Fishery that season, as they regarded the seal as taking "their" salmon*.  The fishery management agreed to seek a licence to cull the seal from Marine Scotland but this was obviously taking too long for some permit holders, as the seal turned up shot long before the wheels of officialdom had got into gear.  Apparently "everyone" knew who'd done it, but no-one was saying anything...

* AFAICS the fishery operates a strict catch and release policy on the Forth, and a limit of one fish to be retained per season from the River Teith.

 gethin_allen 01 May 2021
In reply to Martin W:

There should be a rule that where such crimes are committed all fishing/hunting will be banned for the entire season.

 Siward 01 May 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

And round up the usual suspects and line them up against the wall... 

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

> There should be a rule that where such crimes are committed all fishing/hunting will be banned for the entire season.

Because illegal egg-collecting doesn't exist and possibly couldn't be a motive here?

 mondite 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

> Because illegal egg-collecting doesn't exist and possibly couldn't be a motive here?


To cut down the nest? Somewhat unlikely I suspect.  From my extensive expertise in dropping eggs from a far lower height unless those egg collectors are also major fans of jigsaws it doesnt seem like a good plan.

 Lankyman 01 May 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

> There should be a rule that where such crimes are committed all fishing/hunting will be banned for the entire season.

No. Just smear the scumbag with fish paste and strap them to the osprey tree

 Dave the Rave 01 May 2021
In reply to toad:

Awful news. What’s become of the Ospreys?

In reply to richprideaux:

Seals aren’t known for their egg laying so it does seem a pretty unlikely motive in that instance. 

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to mondite:

Water landing. Have you seen the site photos? It's accessible from the shore, but deep enough to potentially save an egg.

New, highly-publicised egg in an accessible location - might be worth the risk for an obsessed collector.

If the motive was to get rid of the ospreys then they would probably have been poisoned or otherwise knobbled.

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

Fair point. The thread-truncation on mobile made it look like it was a reply to the thread, rather than the unrelated Scottish fishery incidents.

 mondite 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

> Water landing. Have you seen the site photos? It's accessible from the shore, but deep enough to potentially save an egg.

So now you have to find the egg. I think you are going into the realms of fantasy here. Why not just climb and get it?  This person also has to have found out the egg has been laid and be ready to execute their cunning plan the very next night.

Personally I would be sticking with the obvious candidates to begin with.

> If the motive was to get rid of the ospreys then they would probably have been poisoned or otherwise knobbled.

Not sure how easy it would be to poison ospreys given their diets and it also has other downsides. Whereas destroying nests is also a time honoured tradition for raptor persecution. Generally gets even less bad press than normal unless you time it badly like this one.

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to mondite:

Other than wading into this thread, do you have any knowledge or experience of:

- that location/surrounding and what the land/water is used for

- the history of that project, and the relationship it has with the neighbouring landowners and other stakeholders 

- the lengths some people will go to to 'get an egg', and the very recent history of egg-collection prosecution (and who provided the evidence)

- the efforts that go into prosecuting wildlife crime in this corner of Wales?

Because I do. First hand. 

 daWalt 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

> Water landing.... deep enough to potentially save an egg.

eggs don't float.

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to daWalt:

It's shallow water at the edge of the lake, in a period of semi-drought. It's shallow enough to get a chainsaw out to.

 gethin_allen 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

I was speaking in regards to the seal that was shot.

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

Aye, I see that now - apologies. Retraction made in a post above.

 gethin_allen 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

> Aye, I see that now - apologies. Retraction made in a post above.

No worries, 

 Tringa 01 May 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

It could be an egg collector, but the Facebook page for Llyn Brenig Ospreys (https://www.facebook.com/brenigospreyproject/) says it happened at 9:42 last night. As this was about an hour after sunset I think the chances of grabbing the egg from the water would be slim, though I have read some egg collectors go to extreme length to get an egg.

Perhaps a angler - Llyn Brenig is, it seems, and important stocked lake.

Or, some idiot - bit like those who have destroyed wildlife hides.
 

Whatever the reason it is appalling that anyone thinks their particular wants are so important that they would do something like this.

Dave 

 mondite 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

> Other than wading into this thread, do you have any knowledge or experience of:

Sorry I didnt realise the thread was restricted only to experts like yourself.

So yes it clearly was a egg collector who found out about it within a day and then decided to launch a expedition chainsawing the pole down risking both not being able to find the egg and smashing it.

I mean its the only logical explanation. Its not like other groups have a long history of destroying nest sites.

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to mondite:

I would bet on it being either an angler or a collector ( in that order of likelihood), and would be very surprised if it was anything related to shooting/keepers/the usual raptor persecution suspects.

I just wanted to point out that this is not a Peak District grouse moor or a Scottish salmon farm - it's a unique situation.

 gravy 01 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

The is no way this was an egg collector - any notion of this can be dismissed upon watching the video of the event!

 tagscuderia 01 May 2021
In reply to toad:

Appalling, and absolutely incredulous − I was there last year when Channel 4 was recording and feared that the noise and activity would drive the birds off (which it did, well done Welsh Water!). Great that they returned, but that was the least of my worries it seems, delinquent scum are everywhere 

 richprideaux 01 May 2021
In reply to gravy:

> The is no way this was an egg collector - any notion of this can be dismissed upon watching the video of the event!

This one, from the livestream?

https://twitter.com/ChrisGPackham/status/1388455594953220099?s=19

It doesn't show much that isn't already known TBH.

 Martin W 02 May 2021
In reply to richprideaux:

According to some of the early replies to Chris' tweet, the lake is owned by Welsh Water who stock it with fish, and are responsible for the management of the osprey project.  That was new information for me.  This is borne out by the project's own web page, which makes it clear that Dŵr Cymru actually built the nesting platforms:

https://www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/days-out/ospreys-llyn-brenig

Fairly clearly, then, the illegal act is vanishingly unlikely to been anything to do with the owners of the fishery.  It also seems pretty unlikely that a random angler who uses the fishery would have done it because the ospreys were taking "their" fish - but not impossible, given the bizarre and irrational ways that some people seem to manage to view the world.  That might appear to make egg collecting somewhat more likely.  At least that would be a "reason" for doing it, rather than it being nothing more than a vicious, boneheaded act of pointless vandalism by an imbecile with a boat, a chainsaw, and no meaningful purpose to their pathetic waste of a life.

In reply to gravy:

You’re assuming they are intelligent enough to be a successful egg collector. 

 Eric9Points 02 May 2021
In reply to toad:

Hmmm.

What an odd arrangement. The lake is advertised as a fishing venue, there's a sailing club and also Ospreys are encouraged to best there.

http://www.llyn-brenig.co.uk/fishing 

I can imagine people being put out if they pay to fish there and then see Ospreys eating the fish they paid to catch. It's wrong of course to discourage the Ospreys but predictable and avoidable.

Another example of the problems that occur in parts of the world that are over populated.

 Sl@te Head 02 May 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

It's worth noting that there's a continuous cycle of stocking tank/cage bred rainbow trout into Llyn Brenig, so stocks would be maintained to accommodate both fishermen and the Ospreys, most anglers would understand this. (There are also wild brown trout and pike in the reservoir, but I would imagine that most anglers up there are after the Rainbow trout.)

I'm not trying to defend anyone here as whoever did it should be publicly shamed and locked away as a minimum punishment.

However I think it's unfair to point the finger of blame in any direction at this stage.

 toad 02 May 2021
In reply to Sl@te Head:

From what I had read previously, there have been some odd conflicts with ( and I don't know quite how to describe them) webcam watching osprey obsessives who think the management was wrong. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to hear the culprit was from this group

 deepsoup 02 May 2021
In reply to Sl@te Head:

>  most anglers would understand this.

As a paddler I have to overcome a certain amount of confirmation bias to remind myself that anglers are not all belligerent nobheads.  But even I have no difficulty in assuming that most anglers would consider it an absolute privilege to be able to watch an osprey catching a fish.

Lets hope we don't have to speculate as to who might have done this for long.

Perhaps any remaining platforms of this kind need a few bits of steel adding in to the supports.  With a bit of luck the next time someone attacks one with a chainsaw it'll kick back and cut their f*cking head off.

 Martin W 02 May 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> What an odd arrangement. The lake is advertised as a fishing venue, there's a sailing club and also Ospreys are encouraged to best there.

It's by no means unique in being a fishing lake that encourages ospreys - see my post timed at 18:00 yesterday: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/off_belay/brenig_ospreys-734307?v=1#x9454694 (though admittedly they don't provide nesting platforms on the lake, relying on the local Speyside osprey population to come to them).

I would expect that the sailors are instructed to keep clear of the fishing areas.  It's a fairly big old lake - 4kn north to south and 2km east to west at its widest - so there's a good amount of room for both pastimes to be practised without interfering with each other.  I suspect the ospreys just head off to fish elsewhere if there's too much human activity on the lake for their liking at any particular time (reference again the Rothiemurcus fishing lake, which runs its osprey watching sessions before and after its hours of operation for anglers).

In reply to Sl@te Head:

I’m both a keen fisherman and birder. My brother spent a good few seasons protecting raptors in Bowland and Yorkshire Dales and he lives near to Brenig. Between us we don’t have a bloody clue about this.   

 sjminfife 02 May 2021
In reply to Martin W:

we have seen osprey around Llangedla and they have been spotted around Chirk. Neither fishery owner complains at all. The Brenig rainbows are reknowned for their wild nature so maybe the pickings are easier elsewhere.

 Billhook 02 May 2021
In reply to toad:

Egg collectors do not collect the one or two eggs which may have been laid.  They want, and collect the whole clutch. Ospreys  normally lay 3 eggs.    I can't possibly see an egg collector risk cutting a tree down  at the risk of the eggs getting broken.  Most egg collectors are quite capable of getting onto remote rock faces and certainly would find reaching   the top of a tree or pole no real problem.

Egg collectors even enjoy collecting the 2nd clutch a bird lays if its 1st clutch is taken early enough for them to produce another.  (I don't think Ospreys lay a 2nd clutch)

When Ospreys 1st started returning to Loch Garten, I recall that one of their early nesting trees was also cut down - and not for the eggs.  It is believed this was some disgruntled person who resented the attention the birds were getting.

 Sl@te Head 02 May 2021
In reply to Billhook:

The police are now looking at a motive that hadn't previously been considered....

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/springwatchs-iolo-williams-mystified-over-20512794

 Siward 03 May 2021
In reply to Billhook:

> When Ospreys 1st started returning to Loch Garten, I recall that one of their early nesting trees was also cut down - and not for the eggs.  It is believed this was some disgruntled person who resented the attention the birds were getting.

Hard to understand what would be in the mind of such a disgruntled person. Resented as in jealous? The mind boggles. 

 Martin W 03 May 2021
In reply to Sl@te Head:

Have to say I love the photo in that tweet from the Rural Crime unit - that fish just looks so pissed off: https://twitter.com/NWPRuralCrime/status/1388857582316658693

 kipper12 03 May 2021
In reply to Martin W:

What would the fish have to look happy about.  It’s been impaled, and is slowly suffocating.  If it was sufficiently aware that if it doesn’t suffocate by the time the bird lands, it’s got an unpleasant ending to endure.  Not sure I’d be happy with life at that point.

 NathanP 03 May 2021
In reply to kipper12:

I'm sure you wouldn't but then you aren't made out of delicious fresh fish. Oh, sorry, just realised...

In reply to kipper12:

> What would the fish have to look happy about.  

 

Having its picture posted across the world? (it ain’t a UK fish, it’s a Foreign Invader). 

In reply to toad:

This reminds me of that nobber, who went around cutting down trees.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/21/surrey-tree-cutter-residents-horrified-by-mindless-vandalism

If you cut down trees for the thrill of pissing off lots of people, is this the next step?

 deepsoup 04 May 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

>  it ain’t a UK fish

Well obviously!  Our famously patriotic British fish all have big smiles on their fishy faces since Brexit.  Who cares about a piffling little thing like being eaten by an eagle when you've taken back control?

Post edited at 10:19

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