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Janet Baxter shares the story of Ceulan and our cover image

Thirty six hours of non-stop torrential rain in June 2012 brought flooding on a large scale to north Ceredigion and the Dyfi Valley. The Dyfi Osprey Project (DOP) has been overseeing the successful breeding of ospreys in the Dyfi valley for the first time in 400 years. But in 2012 the rains came at a time when the newly hatched chicks were at their most vulnerable. The only chick to survive – thanks to the timely provision of a fish supper by DOP – was called Ceulan. The Dyfi chicks are named after tributaries of the Dyfi, and the Ceulan was the river that flooded Talybont that June. His story made the national news, spreading the word of osprey conservation world wide. At 12 weeks, like all young ospreys, he set off on his journey to Africa, alone; a migration across oceans, deserts and mountains, learning to fish for himself along the way. He was fitted with a tracker so thousands of people continued to follow his progress as he arrived safely at his destination. But in December the tracker stopped transmitting and his body was found trapped in a fishing net. In his short life he had touched the hearts of thousands of people, highlighting the problems faced by these birds and forging links between Africa and Wales.

A few days after the sad news came out of Africa I went up to Cwm Ceulan and there, soaring into a bright December sky, was a heart shaped cloud. Ceulan sends his love.


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