Filming The Dyfi Osprey Project

As a freelance director currently working for the ITV Wales’ Coast & Country team, I do feel pretty smug with the fantastic filming opportunities I am given. Travelling to some of the most inspiring locations around Wales isn’t too much of a chore. But one of the highlights for me, and my film crew has to be the day we paid a visit to Cors Dyfi.

Our production team at the Dyfi Osprey Project
Our production team at the Dyfi Osprey Project

It’s a stunning nature reserve on the Dyfi Estuary near Machynlleth, run by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. But, what’s most fascinating about this reserve, is it’s become the nesting ground to two of the most magnificent birds I’ve ever seen.

Ospreys, Monty and Glesni, have recently flown 3,000 miles back from Western Africa where they spent the winter. It’s their second summer here together and the Dyfi Osprey Project at Cors Dyfi was waiting with baited breath for their return – along with hundreds of people glued to their online live streaming feed and Facebook page.

As a crew we stayed overnight in Machynlleth the night before, visiting a local pub to debate, over steak and chips, what it is that makes these birds so fascinating. The next day the sun was out, despite the rain warnings. It had to be a sign for a good day’s filming, and we weren’t disappointed.

The nature reserve was a dream to film at – everywhere you turned there was a beautiful shot – and that was even before we reached the nest.

For the last few weeks I had been secretly glued to the Dyfi Osprey Project live streaming website – telling myself it was work and the boss wouldn’t mind! But seeing the birds in real life was a dream come true. It’s their eyes that get me – the mesmerising bright yellow hue (or orange in the case of Monty!). Always alert, watching, unaware of the huge number of eyes on them.

A brand new 360 degree observatory has been built this year and it means the nest is just 200 metres away. But even that short distance demanded a change of lens. Our cameraman switched to the “long lens” and the double up function on the camera. This means the camera becomes very sensitive to movement but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell the small children to stop jumping around with glee!

We were treated to three different interviewees from the Wildlife Trust, Janine, Alwyn and Kim, whose passion for the ospreys and the reserve was infectious. You could see why they loved their jobs so much. They told us all about the, somewhat dramatic, return of Monty and Glesni this year. It sounded like a soap opera to us, and being ITV we should know!

Our presenter, Andrew Price, was enthralled and kept it coming with the questions. I just wish we had the space to feature them all. Monty and Glesni could fill their own hour long special.

As a programme we wanted to share this amazing journey with our viewers who might not have had a chance to hear about Monty and Glesni yet. We hope you catch the bug too!

You can watch the programme featuring the Dyfi Osprey Project by clicking here.