Wind Farm saves Dulas the Migrating Osprey chick and makes hater a lover!

Posted by Chris on September 14th, 2011

As we all know wind farms are a controversial subject, like many of the alternatives for producing electricity, but one Wind Farm ( Gunfleet Sands, off the Essex coast – owned by Dong Energy and Marubeni Corporation ) has just saved a migrating Osprey called Dulas who was caught out in the hurricane force winds of the last couple of days and decided to rest on a wind turbine – which probably saved his life.

When news emerged that Dulas was probably floating around in the Dover Straights hearts started fluttering and the tears started flowing amongst the followers of the Dyfi Osprey Project – except for the fact that he appeared to be floating around 10 meters above the surface of the sea!  Some mental agility on the part of the Dyfi Project team offered the faint hope that he was sheltering part way up a wind turbine although the thought of a young Osprey sitting inches from the whirling blades of a wind turbine was not a very comforting thought for many people.

Dulas was born around 13 weeks ago in a nest on the Cors Dyfi Reserve near Machynlleth, Mid Wales in the U.K.

  • He was one of 3 Osprey chicks born to proud parents Monty and Nora.

    I don’t know how many lives an Osprey has but Dulas had already lost one of his when his big sister, Leri, fought with him over a fish and got her talons into him. He got out of that one by playing dead – which everyone thought he was !

    All 3 Osprey chicks were fitted with satellite tracking devices so that they could be followed on their migration from Wales to West Africa. This migration occurs around this time of year. Nora left the chicks with their Dad, Monty, some weeks ago and he has been bringing them fish ever since they were born. The chicks answer a call of nature to head South and they do so alone and when the voice in their head reaches a level they can no longer ignore. Dulas’s brother, Einion, left a few days ago and is already near Casablanca. Dulas was next to leave and it appears that Leri has just gone too.

    Around 2000 people have been following Einion and Dulas via posts on the Dyfi Osprey Project’s Facebook page.

    The team at the Dyfi Osprey Project have done a fantastic job telling people about the project and keeping them informed on the progress of the chicks.

    People can track the migrating Ospreys via Google Earth or wait for the project team to post updates on the website or Facebook page.

    Einion’s journey South was relatively straight forward apart from his journey across the Bay of Biscay which had everyone slightly concerned because it was blowing quite hard – fortunately it blew him towards land rather than away from it. Typically, on average, one in three chicks will survive the migration so the chances of Einion, Dulas and Leri making it to West Africa are slim.

    When Dulas’s tracking signal stopped in the middle of the English Channel it looked like he might be one of the ones who would not make it.

    However, following his rest on the wind turbines, he is now well into France ( Last night was a beautiful, moonlit night and with the wind dropping he probably left the wind farm early this morning ) .

    The people that follow the Dyfi Osprey Project are by definition interested in nature and conservation so it is likely that, in general,  they are against  things that harm the environment.

    The Osprey chicks were threatened by low flying R.A.F. jets a few weeks ago but after the project wrote to the R.A.F. they kindly diverted the training flights elsewhere.

    When the possibility arose that Dulas was not floating dead in the sea but was alive and perched on a wind turbine there was relief and concern in equal measure. Relief that he had found a refuge in the storm but concerned at the whirling blades of the wind turbines ( One person just commented that ” at their tips they reach 60 m.p.h. ” ).

    Earlier someone who ” hated wind farms ” had admitted that whilst they still hated land based wind farms they now had a slightly different view of sea based ones. It was likely that the turbines were ” feathered ” ( stopped ) in the recent high winds so there never was a danger from ” whirling blades ” and as one person pointed out, Ospreys have pretty good eyesight so maybe they could spot the blades and avoid them even if they were turning.

    I myself  have a rather mixed view about wind turbines. In general I think they are a ” drop in the ocean ” in terms of electricity supply and probably environmentalists will be horrified to know that I support nuclear power as the way forward.

    However, a pub I own in North Wales ( the Glan yr Afon Inn, Holywell ) has benefited from the growth in the wind farm industry based out of Mostyn Docks on the North Wales coast and when you look out of The Glan over the River Dee and the approaches to Liverpool sometimes the glinting of the sun on the blades of the turbines actually looks quite beautiful.

    When the Osprey Project contacted Dong Energy and asked them to look out for Dulas they dutifully conducted a search of the platforms and support vessels but concluded that he had already left for France and eventually West Africa.

    How can you hate people like that ???

    You can follow the Dyfi Ospreys here:

    and on facebook here

    Dong Energy’s Gunfleet Wind Farm is here

    and Marubeni Corp is here

    HubSpot webinar to U.K. sparks location,location,location analogy

    Posted by Chris on January 25th, 2011

    I was listening to  a HubSpot Inbound Marketing webinar, that was being transmitted to the U.K. and other countries around the world, the other day when the statement was made ” people spend loads of money and time on the look and design of their website when what they should be spending money on  is being found AND converting people that find the website into leads “.

    As I was driving from North Wales to the Midlands today I was thinking how true that was and how pointless it was to have a great looking website that nobody found!

    It was, I thought, a bit like having a great looking house in a very undesirable neighbourhood.

    Which led me to that well known saying of Estate Agents and property developers ” Location, location, location “.

    A definition of which might be :

    ” identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to location “

    which I found here

    and we might translate that into:

    ” identical websites may be more or less valuable ( productive ? ) depending on their location ( position ) in search engine searches ”  .

    Yes, if two websites were designed or looked exactly the same but one got found and converted visitors into leads whilst the other did not get found or even got found but did not convert visitors into leads then that would make the same website much more valuable.

    Furthermore if we add this property view:

    ” Generally, buyers will get the best return for their money if they buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. ”

    We might even say that if there were two websites and one had a much ” worse ” design/look than the other but that website got found in ( relevant ) searches and converted customers into leads it too would be more valuable than the other.

    One of the reasons I had been thinking about an analogy was because I have to give my first HubSpot presentation shortly to people who are not Internet Marketing aware or probably not even very Internet aware.

    There are probably more aspects of the property analogy that I could develop. e.g. that once you have got the right location for a property ( the right search position for a website ) one of the next most important things is that the key rooms are there and are right e.g. the kitchen, bathrooms etc etc.

    more later ….

    Great for sales – being one of the most connected pubs in North Wales and the North West

    Posted by Chris on January 5th, 2010

    Yesterday I was at my pub,  The Glan yr Afon Inn in North Wales, for the review of our sales over the Christmas and New Year period.

    I was online using the BT OpenZone connection that we have in the pub when I heard the manager Ian guiding in some visitors ( if you follow your Satnav rigidly to CH8 8HE you just end up going up and down the A55 forever ! ). A couple eventually arrived with a young black labrador ( who was equally welcomed in ) and explained that they were travelling from Holyhead to London had been delayed between Holywell and Holyhead ( it looked as though there was an accident or something ) and had phoned thier son and asked him to find them a place to eat using the Internet somewhere near Holywell. He had found The Glan.

    This was not a surprise as we come up on many different, relevant Internet searches eg

    and we do so via Google maps and various other natural listings e.g. via our website itself ( which has been SEO’d to some extent ) and pub directories and social networks.

    Also we now have about 40 reviews online some of which are fantastic like this one 

    Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By Young couple11 Aug 2009
    Positive: Wonderful reception when we finally arrived (not until midnight!!), friendly and helpful staff. Lovely location and peaceful. One of the best places that we have stayed.


    so in many ways we expect to be found by people searching the .net but there is still great satisfaction in doing so.

    When people register to stay with us we ask then how they heard of us so we know that we get a lot of people from the Internet.

    The website is a particularly useful source of customers for us;tab=4

    and we registered with this booking site after a global review of what websites came up when people tried to find eg bed and breakfast in Holywell from a foreign country like the USA.

    We do use more traditional forms of marketing like advertising ( in local papers and magazines ) and we have particular success with postcards that we give away in the pub and are sent to people all over the world. We put up posters regarding events that we hold.

    We also have a database of customers that we have collected over the years and we use this to send email and snailmail shots out. Here’s our latest newsletter which we send out by mail, post and have available in the pub:

    We also have video’s on the Internet

    an online historical society

    a blogsite

    a Twitter page ( with 494 followers )

    and a Facebook page ( with 152 members )

    The historical society page, blogsite, Twitter page and Facebook page all need regularly updating with fresh news and pictures.

    All of this is certainly great for sales and surely makes us one of the most connected pubs in North Wales, the North West and the U.K. !!

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