Finally, we have a complete data set for the past five days of 30(05)’s migration! In the latest update, the last data point we had for 30 was her roost site on 16th March, just north of the Atlas mountains in Morocco. On 17th March, 30 continued on her northwards flight path and crossed the Strait of Gibraltar on Thursday afternoon – a crossing of 14 miles.
That evening she roosted somewhere in the Sierra Morena mountains. The next day, she made her way steadily through Spain, and by that evening (18th March) she was already north of Madrid.
The next day she continued determinedly on and was on the north coast of Spain by 21:00, where she spent the night. On 20th March, 30 set off around 06:00 and undertook an 11 hour crossing of the Bay of Biscay! 30 usually skirts around the bay and hugs the coast, avoiding a long crossing. Only once before has she flown directly across the bay, and this was on last year’s autumn migration. Based on satellite-tracking data analysis, ospreys generally only cross the Bay of Biscay on their autumn journeys. However, this spring 30 decided to fly directly across, making landfall in France at 5pm on 20th March. This is almost certainly because she felt the need to make up time this year, having been held up by strong easterly winds over Spain, which would slow her progress and also make it difficult for her to stick to her usual course.
You can see from the following map how all except one of 30’s previous migrations have skirted the bay and avoided going directly across it.
30 roosted 10 miles inland that evening, at a large lake which we posted a photograph of yesterday.
On 21st March 30 travelled 95 miles (153km) through France, and last night she was 162 miles (262km) south-west of Paris.
Here is a picture of 30’s journey so far.
It may only take her a couple more days to get home! We will keep you updated.
Click here to follow 30’s journey on our special map.
Alternatively, click here to follow 30 using Google Earth.