Note from Spin Doctor Column in today's Wales on Sunday that two of the 'grandest' Assembly Members, "Lord President King Dafydd Elis Thomas and Professor Nicholas Bourne are at daggers drawn over an inaccurate press statement released by the latter's office. The subject was the 2010 presence in Wales of 'breeding' Ospreys (as opposed to 'nesting' Ospreys). It seems that the Professor had publicly welcomed the presence of this year's 'nesting' Ospreys on the Dyfi Estuary, describing them as 'breeding'. Reality was that the male had been a bit late arriving from Africa, and her 'mood for love' had passed - so the pair just put in a bit of nesting practice for next year. His Lordship, speaking from his eyrie in Eryri is said to be "fuming". The only 'breeding' pair in Wales this year is in his constituency, he "fumed" - near Porthmadog. This war of words will surely be on the agenda at next week's meeting of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust (of which I remain a trustee). We cannot have two of Wales' foremost peacocks squaring up to each other like this. And its not even the mating season!
I should add that his Lordship should not be so certain anyway. I recall the first season that Ospreys returned to Wales after a century's absence (or thereabouts) to nest at Porthmadog in 2005. The whole of Wales was held in thrall for weeks as these magnificent birds nested and bred, only for the chicks to perish in inclement weather - possibly combined with inexperienced parenting. While the whole of Wales was looking the other way, a second pair nested and bred successfully about a mile from where I live. The RSPB thought it was some great secret, and that no-one knew. But of course all the locals knew. Its not really possible to miss an Osprey in flight.
So there you have it. In Professor Bourne's patch we have a pair who are 'all talk and no action'; In His Lordship's patch we have a pair who demand the undivided attention of the nation; And in my patch we have a pair who, with no fuss and bother, just did the business and flew away.