30 Keeps us Guessing

We knew it was going to be difficult to predict what 30(05) would do after she returned to Rutland Water, and so it is proving. As you will know if you have checked the webcam today, there has been no Osprey activity in Manton Bay, other than a brief fly-by by an unidentified female – probably 25(10). Without a male in Manton Bay it is unlikely that 30 will settle there and so she is likely to keep us guessing over the next few days. Last year 33(11) arrived on 13th April, but given that he will be eager to breed for the first time this spring, he could arrive any day. As for Maya, we are now becoming increasingly concerned that she may not return. She is over two weeks late compared to last spring. Although spring migration has been very slow this year – and numerous other Ospreys are yet to return – it is extremely worrying that she is so late.

We’re still waiting to find out 30’s exact flight path from Cambridge to Rutland Water yesterday morning (the latest batch of satellite data hasn’t come through yet) but we do have two photographs of her that John Wright took at Eyebrook Reservoir yesterday as she headed back to Rutland Water.

30(05) flew over Eyebrook Reservoir on her way back to Rutland Water

30(05) flew over Eyebrook Reservoir on her way back to Rutland Water

The aerial on 30's satellite transmitter is clearly visible in this photo

The aerial on 30’s satellite transmitter is clearly visible in this photo

30 is the first of the nine satellite-tagged Ospreys that we have been following as part of World Osprey Week to have made it home. Of the four Finnish WOW birds, only Helena has made it to Europe so far; the latest data shows that she was flying through Serbia on Wednesday. The other three birds, Ilpo, Tero and Seija are all still in Africa. You can read more about their journeys on the  Finnish Museum of Natural History website. 

In contrast to the Finns, over the other side of the Atlantic, two of the American WOW Ospreys are getting very close to home. Iain MacLeod from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center takes up the story…

Donovan made a big push over the last couple days. He was on his way by 10am on March 31 and by 11am was well into Virginia. He crossed the Potomac in early afternoon and reached Philadelphia by 5pm. He roosted just north of the city near Fort Washington having covered 319 miles (514km) in the day. At 10am on the 1st, he was perched next to Loch Ash Reservoir near Ambler, but by 11am he was cruising north-east again. He passed right over Newark, Jersey City and Manhattan in the mid-afternoon and kept going until 7pm when he was near Old Lyme on the Connecticut coast (an Osprey haven). He spent the night near Dunk’s Island having moved another 171 miles (275km). Now what? Most of New Hampshire is still frozen, so will he hang out on the coast for a while or try to head back to his nest? He’s 157 miles (252km) from his nest, so he could do that in a day, but I suspect he might wait until the weekend. Belle, meanwhile, is also nearing home. The latest data shows that by Wednesday evening she had reached New Jersey on her way back to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Donovan and Belle are getting closer to home

Donovan and Belle are getting closer to home

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The third American bird, North Folk Bob is much further behind. The latest data shows that yesterday he was preparing to set-off across the Caribbean Sea from Venezuela.  Thanks to Iain and Rob Bierregaard for the updates.

You can check out the latest locations of all of the WOW Ospreys on our interactive map. Make sure you use the controls at the bottom of the screen to watch an animation of the birds’ spring migrations – it makes for fascinating viewing.

One response to “30 Keeps us Guessing”

  1. Suzie

    Thank you so much for the update Tim! Its extremely moving to see 30 back home … I for one have followed her every flight and wished her well as she has battled through storms to reach us … may I ask how many other birds we are expecting .. seems it not just Maya who is so very late!