When we visit Wales we are very lucky to be able to stay at our neighbours' mobile home which is up in the woodlands on a holiday park in the village of Prenteg.
As you can see from the photo above the caravan is overlooking a small waterfall and stream, apologies for the quality of the photos taken through glass.
We see all kinds of birds when sitting in the window or out on the decking when the weather is warmer. Grey wagtails by the stream and jays up in the trees. We were often visited by a thrush, a blackbird and a robin hopping along the rail of the decking. We've also seen squirrels and rabbits too.
Just down the road in the same village is Glaslyn Wildlife home to the Osprey Project. When we first started to visit the wildlife project it was administered by the RSPB but their stewardship came to an end in 2013. We had thought that the place had closed down completely as when we had visited the caravan over the last couple of years the site was all closed down and inaccessible but this year we spotted that the yellow AA signs were up again and we decided to go and take a look.
The car park is on one side of the Welsh Highland Railway just near the Pont Croesor halt and the hides and centre are on the other. The Welsh mountains in the distance. It is a lovely spot.
It was very cold on the afternoon we visited and weak sunshine rapidly gave way to sleet and hail. The project is now a community company and run with the help of local volunteers as such it is dependent on donations but it is, at the moment, free to visit. Its aim is to contine the work of protecting and recording the local Ospreys whilst also promoting and highlighting the other wildlife in the area of the Glaslyn Valley.
The first thing we noticed was the new visitor centre which was opened in July last year by wildlife presenter Iolo Williams. Inside the centre is full of fascinating facts and information about the history and natural history of the area as well as information about the wildlife including the ospreys. There are films and a live camera trained on the nest. Ospreys have been returning here for quite a few years now. I will put links at the botom of this post to both the website and blog where you can find a lot more information about the birds and watch them on the webcam. I didn't take photos inside as there were a lot of visitors sitting watching the films and drinking coffee, there are refreshments available, and it seemed intrusive.
Above is view from the entrance of the visitor centre down to the hide overlooking the water and mountains beyond. The nest you can see is a replica of what the actual osprey nest looks like. The ospreys first settled to breed here in 2004.
We took our turn looking through the specially provided telescopes which are trained onto the nest. When we arrived the female known as Mrs G was on the nest waiting for her mate Aran to bring her some fish to eat. She was low down in the nest so couldn't be seen through the telescopes. There was sudden excitement in the air as a large bird flew over, cameras were trained upwards - mine too. Was it Aran? I think you can safely say that my photo is 'duck on a millpond!'
No it wasn't Aran but a visiting Red Kite who'd caused all the excitement.
We had to be content with watching the live camera feed and the films from previous days.
There is some wonderful footage to watch on three or four screens.As we left it started to sleet again and then it turned into hail. Time to go back to the warmth of the caravan.