What a journey!

I would fly 500 miles

The latest data for 30 shows where she settled to roost last night, after completing day 9 of her migration. She had almost crossed the Western Sahara and was about to fly over the border into Mauritania – she now has a mere 500 miles to go until she reaches her wintering grounds in Senegal!

What a journey!

What a journey!


We know that 30 should be able to cover 500 miles in 2 days quite easily, so it is looking like she may match her record of completing migration in 11 days, as long as the weather conditions are in her favour. We know that Maya left at a similar time to 30, I wonder if she is travelling at a similar pace?
30 was almost over the Western Sahara when she settled to roost last night

30 was almost over the Western Sahara when she settled to roost last night


Meanwhile in Manton Bay, plenty of local residents are making the most of the empty nest. A cormorant has regularly been spending the night on the nest, and black headed gulls, crows and pied wagtails have been spending time there during the day!
A cormorant has been spending the night on the nest

A cormorant has been spending the night on the nest

1891 miles down...

1891 miles down…

On Friday morning, 30(05) was just south of Madrid and was about to start another days flying on her journey south. We thought she might be crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in a couple of days at the rate she was going. In fact, she really got a move on, and ended up making the crossing on the 31st, travelling an unbelievable 400 miles in one day!
2nd Sept
30 was still making the sea crossing at 8pm at night which is quite unusual, but looking at the map it looks like she may have been blown off course a little and that may be the reason she was out at sea so late. Being an experienced bird though, she was able to adjust the direction of her flight and roost for the night on the Moroccan coast.

The 2 dots in the sea are 30's location at 7pm and 8pm

The 2 dots in the sea are 30’s location at 7pm and 8pm


At 11am this morning 30 was just south of Marrakesh and just north of the Atlas mountains. Hopefully tonight she will be able to fish by the coast before crossing the Western Sahara. She is now more than halfway on her journey, having travelled a total of 1891 miles since she set off on the 27th of August – if she continues at her current rate she will complete her migration in record time!
33 has now also set of on migration, finally following his family after hanging around in Manton Bay for a few days, rounding off an excellent osprey season at Lyndon. We haven’t been completely osprey-less in Manton Bay though, as today a juvenile male osprey from an off-site nest paid a visit! Thank you to volunteers Gill and Peter who spotted the bird. As well as the juvenile male osprey, we have also had a cuckoo passing through, and green sandpiper, water rail, snipe, greenshank and little grebe have all been seen on the reserve today too – Lyndon is still well worth a visit before we close for the season on September 10th!

30(05) has travelled 954 miles in 4 days - incredible!

Keep on moving

We are happy to report that we have had more data come through from 30(05)’s satellite tag, and she seems to be having a straightforward journey so far. Since setting off on the morning of August 27th, 30 has travelled 965 miles and has now made it to just south of Madrid.

30(05) has travelled 954 miles in 4 days - incredible!

30(05) has travelled 954 miles in 4 days – incredible!


30 bypassed the Bay of Biscay and chose to travel over land through France, which means she missed our friends at the Urdaibai Bird Centre by around 35 miles! She spent last night roosting by the River Guadarrama near Toledo, hopefully a spot where she was able to catch a fish to fuel her journey.
URDAIBAI
30 is averaging around 241 miles a day at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if she keeps this rate up. The weather conditions in Spain look perfect today for migration, so hopefully in a couple of days time she may be crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.
Meanwhile in Manton Bay, the soggy weather stopped 33 from setting off yesterday – we expect he may be on his way today and will keep you updated. In other news, you may remember that S2(15) (offspring of Maya and 33) was spotted in the Netherlands earlier this year on May 26th. Well S2 has been spotted again, this time on August 27th in Belgium!
An earlier photo of S2

An earlier photo of S2


This suggests that S2 spent the summer in the Netherlands and has now started his migration south again. It will be interesting to see where S2 turns up next spring – hopefully we’ll see him at Rutland! Thank you to Wim Janssen, who spotted S2 in Belgium and reported his sighting to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation.

A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church

Final cruise

Last night was our final cruise of the season, and what a lovely night it was! Knowing that a few of the juvenile birds (as well as some of the non-breeding adults) were already well on their way on migration, we were a little nervous – with fewer mouths to feed, would we still see our adult birds fishing? However we didn’t need to worry – as we were all standing around waiting to board the boat an osprey was fishing over the reservoir basin! The osprey caught a fish almost immediately – a very successful outing – the only downside was that we hadn’t yet got on the boat by the time it flew away over Normanton with the fish in it’s talons!

A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church

A photo from a previous cruise taken by Tim Merrison of an osprey with a fish at Normanton church


Once we were on the boat we headed straight down the south arm towards Manton Bay. We got some nice views of Maya flying around near Egleton, before she settled back down on the nest near 33.
We have been lucky to see flying ospreys on every single cruise this year, and on the whole the weather has been pretty excellent too! Thank you to everyone who booked a ticket, and if you missed out this year keep an eye out for cruise dates for 2018.
For now, Maya and 33 can still be seen from Manton Bay and there are plenty of intruding birds to spot too! Here are our couple on the nest together very early this morning.
Sunday morning
And here is a clip of both birds on the nest yesterday – Maya is food begging but 33 does not deliver. According to our volunteers in Waderscrape Maya spent a lot of time food begging yesterday, even though she can easily catch food for herself now that the chicks have gone!

2AM in his final moments on the nest

And he’s off!

It has finally happened – 2AM has started his journey south! We are not certain when he left exactly, but he was last seen on the nest at 6.38 yesterday morning. Paul Stammers then saw him in a poplar tree behind the nest on yesterdays Birdfair Dawn Cruise sometime after 7am, and he is last recorded in our hide logbook at 7.15am by volunteer Chris, who wrote – ‘2AM leaves the bay… migrating?’.

2AM in his final moments on the nest

2AM in his final moments on the nest


2AM picked a brilliant day to set off as the weather was perfect yesterday, so hopefully his journey should be off to a strong start. Here are his final moments on the nest.

Here he is landing on the nest a few minutes earlier, the sun rising in the background and black headed gulls flying all around him – what a scene!

What a brilliant summer it has been watching our 2 chicks grow up, and how fortunate that 2AM hung around for all the visitors who came to visit Lyndon during BirdFair. Whilst this nest was the first out of our 8 breeding pairs to hatch chicks, 2AM has been one of the later leavers amongst the juvenile birds – hopefully all that hanging around on the nest eating fish means he will be in great travelling condition. As for 2AN – she could well be in West Africa by now! Let’s hope we see both our chicks again in 2 years time. For now, Maya and 33 remain in the bay and can still be seen most of the time from Waderscrape hide. 33 has spent some time on the nest since 2AM left, along with some other visitors!
Pied Wagtails

Pied Wagtails


scavengers!
Maya and 33 may well be here for a little while longer, as they need to make sure they are in great condition before they set off – if you haven’t been for a visit to Lyndon yet this season, now is the time!