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By Tim on April 19, 2014
We were hoping that things would get back to normal in Manton Bay today, but sadly it hasn’t happened. Apart from one possible sighting early this morning, 28(10) has been absent all day. It would seem that 33(11)’s unrelenting aggression on both Thursday and yesterday means 28 is extremely reluctant to return.
We have now had a chance to look back through the monitoring notes kept by project volunteers in Waderscrape hide and it makes for worrying reading. The eggs were uncovered for more than 90 minutes on Thursday and for over two-and-a-half hours yesterday. When you consider that under normal circumstances incubating Ospreys rarely leave their eggs exposed to the elements for more than a few minutes each day, this is a significant period of time. Sadly it will almost certainly result in the eggs failing to hatch.
Ironically, today has been much quieter than Thursday and Friday. Maya has left the eggs uncovered for a total of 45 minutes in order to see-off 33, but otherwise she has sat resolutely on the nest. However, having not fed since Thursday morning, she must be getting very hungry. If 28 fails to return then she will have no choice but to leave the eggs in order to go fishing. A few people have asked whether we could intervene by putting a fish close to the nest, but this is unlikely to help. Without a male to share incubation duties with, Maya would still have to leave the eggs uncovered in order to eat the fish. As hard as it is to watch, there is very little we can do to help.
With 28 clearly no match for 33, the most likely scenario now is that 33 will usurp the older male at the nest. How quickly this will happen is difficult to say. Incubating females have a very strong bond to both their mate and eggs, but if 28 continues to remain absent, then 33 may eventually be accepted by Maya. That said, 33 won’t incubate the existing eggs, and although females do occasionally lay further eggs if their first clutch is lost early in the season, we don’t think that this will happen in this case. It is far more likely that 33 and Maya will form a pair-bond and then return to breed together next spring. They should, however, remain in Manton Bay for the remainder of the summer.
Although 33 has been incredibly aggressive, we have been surprised at how easily 28 has been kept away from the bay. As Dave Cole’s latest film shows, prior to the arrival of 33, the two birds were very settled at the nest.
It is likely that 28′s damaged right wing hasn’t helped him. 33 seems much more powerful in the air, and that may be due to the injury that 28 sustained sometime between leaving Rutland Water as a juvenile in 2010 and returning as a sub-adult two years later.
We have no previous experience of seeing a breeding male driven away from his own nest; and so there is no way of knowing exactly what will happen. It could be that 28 will mount a fight-back, but at the moment that doesn’t seem likely. All we can say is that we’ll keep you up to date over the coming days.
By Tim on April 18, 2014
If you have been watching the webcam today you won’t be surprised to hear that 33(11) has been causing more trouble at the Manton Bay nest. Like yesterday the three year-old male has made frequent intrusions, forcing Maya to leave the nest unattended for long periods as she gives chase. Under normal circumastances it would be the breeding male’s role to do the majority of the chasing, but over the past two days it has become clear that 28(10) is no match for 33. Rather than driving 33 away from Manton Bay, 28 has been kept away from his own nest by the younger male. He hasn’t been at the nest since 10am this morning, meaning that Maya has not only gone without fish, but also left the eggs unattened on numerous occionals in an effort to keep 33 away.
33 isn’t the only male to have caused trouble in the bay. Yesterday another male, 06(09), took advantage of the nest being unattended by stealing a half-eaten trout from the edge of the nest!
The fact that the eggs have been uncovered for such prolonged periods, clearly has serious implications. If things continue in this vein – and 33 certainly shows no signs of letting-up – then, sadly, it is highly unlikely that they will hatch. It would seem that 33 is winnning the battle to usurp 28 from the nest, but only time will tell. We’ll be sure to keep you updated…
By Tim on April 16, 2014
33(11) was the latest Osprey to return to Rutland Water, and elsewhere in Europe and North America, many other Ospreys are returning to their nest sites. It is great to report that four more of the Ospreys we followed as part of World Osprey Week have now made it home.
Sadly, there is also some bad news to report. It seems that Ilmari -one of the two Finnish birds we are following - has failed to make a long crossing of the Mediterranean from Libya to Greece. Here is the latest update on the two Finnish Ospreys from Professor Pertti Saurola…
4 April 2014
At 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT, there is no summer time / daylight saving in Algieria), Ilmari was flying 22 km from his stopover place; the satellite measured his occasional speed at 38 km per hour and altitude at 1,650 m above sea level, though only 204 m above land at that point. Around 10:00 Ilmari crossed the border to Libya. The next fix was not received until midnight, from the sandy desert ‘in the middle of nowhere.’ He travelled 368 km this day.
5 April 2014
At 09:00, local time (07:00 GMT – like Algeria, there is no summer time / daylight saving in Libya), Ilmari was at his stopover location, but two hours later he was in flight 19 km away, which means that he had set out at around 10:15-10:30. A fairly inexact Doppler fix indicates that Ilmari probably spent the night in the desert after covering some 314 km this day.
6 April 2014
Most of the fixes for this night and day are still missing. The first GPS fix is from 13:00 local time, some 184 km from the estimated stopover location of the previous night. His new stopover place was situated 56 km due south of the city of Misrata and 33 km from the Mediterranean coast. At an estimate, he flew 278 kilometres this day.
7 April 2014
At 09:00 local time, Ilmari was on the ground near Tawergha, 10 km from his overnight location. At noon, local time, Ilmari passed by Misrata and set out to cross the Mediterranean immediately, some 200 kilometres west of where he set out last spring.
This day, the last fix on Ilmari was received at 17:00 local Libyan time. At that time, Ilmari was flying in a north-easterly direction 167 km from the Libyan coast. Three GPS fixes received from the sea at 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00 showed that Ilmari flew at an altitude of 200 m above sea level, and that his average speed was 34 kilometres per hour.
8 April 2014
We did not receive a single GPS fix this day. However, we did receive four Doppler fixes of accuracy level “2”, at 18:41, 19:27, 23:03, and 23:47 Greece summer time, along with four more inaccurate Doppler fixes. They all showed evidence of the same thing, that Ilmari was some 24 km to the south-southwest of the Schiza island outside the southwest horn of the Peloponnese peninsula. Unfortunately, it looks very likely that Ilmari has lost his life in the waves of the Mediterranean, since all these fixes during 11 hours (including all the inexact ones) have come from the sea. According to the fixes from 19:27 and 23:03, Ilmari floated 5.7 kilometres to the east-southeast in that time.
In total, Ilmari flew 771 km during his last day, and 751 of those kilometres were travelled at sea.
Why did Ilmari pass away? Did he fall victim to the illegal hunting common in Greece, as in other Mediterranean countries? Or did the hard weather conditions put a stop to Ilmari’s travels, just some twenty kilometres from land – already in sight – and rest? We can only guess at the answers to these questions for now. A quick analysis of the weather, made by Professor Juhani Rinne, did not reveal anything dramatic. It is possible that Ilmari has had to fly against the wind and rain in the last stages. We cannot completely shut out the possibility of a thunderstorm, either. A future, more detailed analysis may shed more light on what part the weather conditions have played in Ilmari’s death.
05 April 2014
At 9:00 local time (06:00 GMT), Heikki was flying to the west of Lake Turkana, 15 km from his stopover place. After flying 276 km along the western coast of Lake Turkana, Heikki stopped for the night near the northern end of the lake.
6 April 2014
At 9, local time, Heikki seems to have been feeding at the shores of Lake Turkana. During the following four hours, Heikki first flew 33 km northwest, and then 28 km due east to the delta of the Omo River, where he turned due north. After 15:00, Heikki crossed over to Ethiopia. He found his overnight location near the border to southern Sudan, after travelling 165 km this day.
7 April 2014
The first two fixes of this day, at 9:00 and 11:00 local time (06:00 and 08:00 GMT – Ethiopia does not have summer time / daylight saving), showed that Heikki had flown 16 km to the east-southeast from his roost, apparently to fish at River Omo. The following fixes were not received until 19 and 21 o’clock, 110 km from the previous one. The night’s fixes indicated that Heikki had had to relocate a few times during the night.
8 April 2014
At 9, local time, Heikki was flying some 7 kilometres from his restless stopover location, and proceeded 232 km northwards during the day.
9 April 2014
After flying 227 km Heikki settled down for the night three kilometres from the Blue Nile.
10–12 April 2014
Heikki spent three days refuelling at the Blue Nile.
13 April 2014
After resting and refuelling for three days, Heikki left the Blue Nile and continued northwards. At 11:00 local time (08:00 GMT), Heikki was still at his fishing location, but two hours later he was in flight 46 km north of the place where he had been refuelling. During this day, Heikki travelled 253 km, and the settled down for the night 33 km from the Sudanese border.
14 April 2014
Heikki did not have a quiet night’s rest, because some disturbance made him move 2.6 km between 01:00 and 03:00 (22:00-00:00 GMT). By 09:00, Heikki had flown 11 km, and soon after that he crossed the border into Sudan. His next night was spent by a river again – after a day trip of 176 km.
To find out more about the Finnish Ospreys, check out the Finnish Museum of Natural History website.
Roy Dennis’s two Scottish birds are now home…well, just about. Roy takes up the story…
Blue XD crossed the English Channel on the afternoon of 7th April and arrived over Hayling Island at 17:40. He flew 272 km during the day, and roosted in woods north of Emsworth in Hampshire. Next morning he probably caught a fish off Hayling Island, before eating it just north of the Northney Marina. He then resumed his migration at 10.03. That night he roosted at Grebe Lake, Calvert east of Bicester.
On 9th April he made a strong flight north via Coventry and Manchester. He stopped off at Wetsleddale Dam near Shap for a fish(?) and then roosted overnight beside River Eden at Armthwaite.
After only a short flight on 10th April, he headed more purposefully north via Kielder Forest next morning. He crossed into Scotland at 11.30am and then over the Firth of Forth from Port Seton to West Wemyss.
By 6am on 12th April he was back at his nest near Aviemore.
Having spent several days in Perthshire, Yellow HA flew north over the Angus hills to Deeside on 10th April. He then continued north, passing Rhynie and Huntly before finally roosting near Elgin. Next day he flew to the Lossie estuary in the afternoon and was still there at 7pm. He was now very close to home – but showing no desire to return to his nest.
Unexpectedly, Yellow HA has remained in the Elgin area since then – visiting various nest sites. I called in at his nest today and saw that his mate, Morven, has attracted a new 6 year-old mate. Maybe Yellow HA decided last year to get a new mate and nest, and may be an easier fishing area? Whatever the case, it is great that he and Blue XD have both made it safely home to Scotland.
To find out more about Roy’s work with Ospreys in Scotland, check out his website.
Over on the other side of the Atlantic, two more of the WOW Ospreys have also made it home. Rob Bierregaard takes up the story…
Belle got home on the 10th after a trip of 28 days and 4,622 miles. She arrived a full month earlier than she did last year. She has now figured out the path that adults take each spring, staying over land as much as possible, even if it makes for a slightly longer trip.
She has been back to Deep Bottom Cove in Tisbury Great Pond and over to Cape Cod, where she spends a lot of time. We hope this is the year she will hook up with a male.
This is the third trip home for Belle-a record for our birds tagged as juveniles. She’s also tied with North-Fork Bob for the longest a bird has made it with a functioning radio (four years).
Belle was in a hurry as she got close to home. Her last GPS fix on the 9th April was at 18:00 just across the Chesapeake Bay in the Virginia portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. She clearly kept flying after that, but we can’t tell where she spent the night. The first location in New Jersey on the 10th was at 06:00, so she probably roosted close to that spot on the Jersey Shore. The first location on the 10th was 167 miles from the last on the 9th. That would have taken her about seven hours, so my guess is that she flew to about 01:00 before settling down for a few hours’ sleep before making the big push to get home.
On the 10th, she covered 267 miles in 12 hours, with a one-hour stopover in New Jersey probably for some fishing. Crossing Connecticut, she was flying over 30 mph, which is fast for an Osprey.
Much earlier in her migration Belle had an interesting turn when she got to Haiti. Just like in her previous two migrations she went out of her way to spend some time fishing at Lake Azuei, a very interesting spot. Turns out there’s a rift valley on Hispaniola and two below-sea-level lakes, which are known, among other things for hosting healthy populations of crocodiles. She’s the only Osprey I’ve tracked that has such a regular stop on the spring migration.
North-Fork Bob, meanwhile, had a pleasantly uneventful trip home this spring, leaving his wintering site in Venezuela a bit later than normal on 23rd March, and arriving back on the North Fork on the 11th April; a week later than his arrival last year. Bob is somewhat of a celebrity in eastern Long Island. His arrival is much anticipated in the local press.
To read more about Rob’s Osprey studies in America, check out his website.
WOW at Provo Primary
Finally, it has been great to hear how many different schools around the world got involved in WOW. Sian Jones the Principal of Provo Primary School in the Turks and Caicos Island, has sent us a great report explaining what went on at her school…
There was a lot of excitement in the air at Provo Primary during the week of March 24th to March 28th because of their participation in the inaugural “World Osprey Week” (WOW). Provo Primary joined in with other schools around the world, to celebrate WOW, with a full week of activities that had the entire school body involved.
The stage at Provo Primary was transformed into an Osprey information booth, with posters, books, pictures and video clips. Parents, teachers and students were encouraged to learn about this majestic bird that can be seen in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
The Department of Environment and Marine Affairs (DEMA) were invited to make presentations and share their knowledge about Ospreys to the students during the week, along with a local photographer. DEMA also partnered with FORTIS TCI to erect an Osprey nesting platform in the Children’s Park in the Bight, which was attended by the students of the Year Two class (known as the Osprey class). The students also went on a tour of the Environmental Centre and ended the field trip outing at another osprey nesting platform in the Turtle Cove area, where they did some cleaning up around the nesting area.
A special WOW assembly was held on Friday March 28th and attendees were treated to performances and visual displays by the students. There were songs, poems, and a skit performed by students and teachers, which focused on sharing the information learnt about Ospreys with others. Students participated in an art competition and the winners were awarded prizes and certificates from DEMA.
The week ended with a beach clean-up at Smith’s Beach where another Osprey nesting platform is located.
Thank you to everyone at the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust for organising this wonderful WOW celebration and encouraging us to learn more about the ospreys that live here in our islands. It has been a great success and the interest of the children and the support community has been amazing. A true example of learning at its best!
Here are some photos of our week…
Thanks very much to Sian for sending such a great report – we are delighted that you had such an excellent week!
If your school would like to find out more about WOW and the Osprey Flyways Project, click here.
By Tim on April 9, 2014
As many of you will have already seen, we were in for a surprise this morning. Soon after first light, the Manton Bay female – Maya as we are now calling her – stood up to reveal a newly-laid egg in the nest.
This came a quite a surprise; we weren’t expecting an egg until next week. So what’s going on? Having read up on the biology of egg-laying, fertilisation normally occurs 24 hours prior to the egg being laid. 28(10) and Maya have been copulating regularly since Sunday – more than enough time for the egg to have been fertilised. What is more surprising is that eggs have developed in the female’s ovary. Normally it is the arrival of the male and the first copulations that trigger this. In this case, however, it would seem that simply being back at the nest where she has reaered young each summer since 2010 was enough for Maya to get into breeding mode; and thus trigger the development of eggs. Last year she laid the first egg 20 days after arriving and this year it has taken 23 days. Here’s our first view of the egg this morning.
Our only worry now is that 28(10) has no experience of incubating. He’s going to have to learn the ropes very quickly, but the fact that he is breeding with an experienced female will certainly help. We’ll have another update later in the day.
By Tim on April 8, 2014
Last week we reported that one of the WOW Ospreys was nearing home. Sure enough Donovan arrived back at his nest in New Hampshire in the United States on Friday. Iain MacLeod takes up the story…
Donovan left a small pond just north of Allentown just after 10am on Wednesday and pushed on another 175 miles before roosting in a wooded area near Shelburne Falls in Massachusetts. At 9am on the 3rd he was perched next to the Bridge of Flowers (Rt. 2) bridge in Shelburne Falls, 82 miles from home. By 10am he was well on his way west. I suspect the strong north-west wind slowed him down and he didn’t make the big push home. At 1 pm he was fishing along a small pond near West Townsend, MA. By 3pm he was perched again on a pond just west of Milford, NH and by 4pm was just south of Goffstown. By 5pm he was perched next to a little pond right next to I-93 in Concord. At 9pm he was roosting on a tree just below the Loudon Road Bridge on the Merrimack River in Concord. By 9am on the 4th he had doubled back south and was 8.5 miles away near Dunbarton and by 10am had returned to the small pond in Milford where he stayed for a couple hours. I’m guessing he caught a fish there the day before and returned for breakfast. At noon he was hunting along a wetland next to Rt. 3 just south of New Boston. He was at his nest at 2pm. After fishing along the Winnipesaukee River (obviously where he caught the fish that I saw him eating at 5pm), he headed over to Franklin and roosted next to the Merrimack River a little over 4 miles from his nest. At 10am on Saturday, he was fishing along the Winnipesaukee River just behind Staples in Tilton.
To find out more about the New Hampshire Ospreys, log on to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center website.
Like Donovan, Yellow HA – one of two Scottish birds we are following as part of WOW – is also nearing home. He’s having to contend with poor weather, though as Roy Dennis reports…
On April 4th Yellow HA roosted in woodlands to the north of Pen-y-Gent in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. He set off at 07:48 and flew north passing over Carlisle at 09:24 and reached the Peebles area at 11.26 where he seemed to be checking out the Ospreys there. Next day he continued north to Perthshire before spending the night beside Loch of Craiglush, just north of Loch of Lowes. The latest data shows that he was still there yesterday morning, waiting to complete the final leg of his journey.
Like Yellow HA, Blue XD has also been held up by the weather. His latest data shows that having been held up in northern France for several days, he got going again yesterday morning. However he only managed to fly 30km north before being grounded again by rain – see map of weather and his position (yellow circle). Hopefully it will clear and he can cross the Channel. It shows how Ospreys can have a good migration north from Africa and then run into poor weather and get grounded on the last leg.
To read more about Roy’s Osprey studies in Scotland, check out his website.
The two Finnish birds, meanwhile, are still flying north through Africa. Here is the latest update from Pertti Saurola…
3 April 2014
At 07:00, local time (04:00 GMT), Heikki was still on the ground near his stop-over location west of Kilimanjaro. Two hours later, he was in flight, and so he continued for the next six fixes, i.e. for twelve hours. During this time, Heikki flew 450 km, averaging 38 kilometres an hour, which is quite a normal speed for an Osprey in calm weather. After 10 o’clock, Heikki entered the airspace of Kenya. At 13:00, he passed west of Nairobi, and at 17:00, east of the Nakuru national park, famous for its flamingos.
4 April 2014
Heikki was in flight again at 10:00 local time. This time his day trip already ended after four hours and 173 kilometres at the south end of Lake Turkana, famous for the institute for research into human evolution. On his autumn migration, Heikki followed the eastern edge of Lake Turkana southwards. It looks like he will follow the western edge northwards now.
2 April 2014
At 6 o’clock, local time (05 GMT), Ilmari was still at his stopover place right by the side of the road leading north from Agadez. The following fix did not arrive until six hours later, when Ilmari had migrated another 67 km. This time, Ilmari took a route following the western side of the Air mountain range. In spring 2013, Ilmari crossed the eastern side of Air Mountain. The distance between the two spring routes was some 140 km at this point. Ilmari found his overnight location at the northern end of the Air mountains, after flying 277 km this day.
3 April 2014
According to the fixes, Ilmari was continuously in flight for eight hours, 10:00-18:00, local time (09:00-17:00 GMT); during this time, he flew 486 km, averaging 60 km per hour! At his highest, Ilmari flew at an altitude of 2,410 metres over sea level and 1,781 metres over land level. Shortly before noon, Ilmari crossed the border between Niger and Algiers. During this day, he travelled a total of 535 km to his stopover location in the Tassili N’Ajjer national park. (If you have the time, it will not be wasted if you have a look at the photographs of Tassili N’Ajjer landscapes and rock paintings on the internet.)
Ilmari is now crossing the Sahara for the fourth time under the supervision of the satellite. At its broadest, the ‘migration corridor’ used by Ilmari has been around 800 km broad. The autumn 2012 migration was furthest to the east, and the autumn 2013 one furthest to the west. The spring migrations have run between the autumn ones, and fairly close to each other.
To find out more about Ospreys in Finland, check out the excellent website of the Finnish Museum of Natural History.
Don’t forget that you can check out the latest locations of all the WOW Ospreys on the interactive map.
By Tim on April 5, 2014
There has been a great deal of excitement in Manton Bay this morning. The female has been joined by 28(10), a young four-year-old male who returned to Rutland last week. If 5R fails to return – and he is now more than a week later than last year – then 28 may well take his place this year. It will be fascinating to see what happens over the weekend. Make sure you keep a close eye on the webcam, or even better, why not come and visit us at Lyndon?
Of course there is still a chance that 5R has simply been held up by poor weather; and that has certainly been the case for two of the World Osprey Week satellite-tagged Ospreys. Yellow HA and Blue XD are both heading north to nests in Scotland, but over the past few days, both birds have been delayed by the weather. Roy Dennis takes up the story…
Yellow HA was still at Santona estuary at 09:33GMT but not long after set off NNE straight over the Bay of Biscay. At 13:44 he flew over Ile d’Yeu and then over St Nazaire before settling for the night close to Etang de Comper, near Mauron. A day’s flight of 531 km, 428 km over the ocean.
April 2nd and 3rd
On 2nd April, Yellow HA departed the French coast at 11:13GMT and made a straight line for the Channel Islands, passing west side of Jersey at 12:05 at 897 metres above the sea. He passed over the Casquets at 12:51 and rose to cross the channel at 1500 m. The new transmitters giving data at minute intervals. At 13:58 (2:58pm BST) he was west of Portland Bill, coming ashore near Chideock. He headed for Bridgewater Bay and crossed to Barry in South Wales at 4:51pm. He headed NNW and roosted the nigh just north of the Dyfi estuary at Pennal-Isaf after a flight of 530km.
Next morning he fished on the Dyfi estuary and then rested in trees just 500 metres from the Dyfi Osprey nest between 09:25 and 10:42am – obviously just checking out the birds on site – before heading NNW. He only travelled 75 km before settling on Llyn Brenig, where he spent the rest of the day, presumably because the weather was too poor to continue his journey.
Yellow HA left Llyn Brenig at 11:00 and set off north and the NE to Prestatyn, where he flew out to sea on a NE course. His last signal this batch showed that he was heading for Blundell Sands at Crosby. The weather is still poor for migrating and in Scotland it is cloudy and raining; his mate Morven was looking ‘very drookit’ this morning on her perch.
Blue XD, meanwhile, has been held up by poor weather in northern France.The latest data shows that he has spent the past two days 40-50km east of Rennes. Check out the interactive WOW map for the latest positions of the two birds. You can read more about Roy’s Osprey studies in Scotland, on his website.
Much further south, the two Finnish WOW Ospreys are heading north through Africa. Pertti Saurola has sent the lastest update…
The first fix after the night was not received until 14:00 Tanzanian time (11:00 GMT), so we do not know exactly when Heikki resumed his journey. At that time, Heikki was flying at an altitude of 450 m above sea level, i.e. only about 220 m above land according to the Google Earth map. The satellite measured his speed at 33 km per hour at that time. Heikki was on a determined northward course some 80-100 km from the coast. Heikki progressed 174 km this day.
At 10:00, local time, Heikki was flying 30 km from his stopover location, so he had apparently started out around 9 o’clock. His altitude above land was about 260 m. During the following six hours, Heikki travelled 192 km, so his average speed was 32 km per hour. This day, he covered a total of 264 km.
Heikki flew a total of 306 km this day, and ended up on the southern slopes of the famous volcano, Kilimanjaro, for the night. In autumn 2013, Heikki passed Mount Kilimanjaro to the east. So far, Heikki’s route has not deviated more than a few dozen kilometres from his autumn 2013 route. At first, his spring migration kept to the west of his autumn route, then to the east, and now he is back to the west. The largest difference was recorded today at noon local time (09:00 GMT), when Heikki was flying in an area 107 km west of his stopover location on 29-30 October 2013.
The route Ilmari has taken the past few days has veered as much as 170 km east of the route he took in spring 2013. That may be why Ilmari headed towards the northwest this morning, ending up some twenty kilometres from his route of last spring for the night, after covering 161 km.
The first fix after Ilmari left his stopover place was not received until 15:00 Nigerian time (13:00 GMT). It showed that Ilmari had continued to the northwest and gone west of his spring 2013 route. After that, Ilmari first turned northwards, and finally to the north-northeast. This somewhat strange-looking day trip measured a total of 400 km. Now he settled down for the night 140 km west of his spring 2013 route. He needs to cross Sahara in a way that expends as little energy as possible. Why has such an expert at navigating had to make so many twists and turns? We cannot explain the reasons for Ilmari’s strange route with wind conditions, at least not on the basis of the reports from the weather station at the Zinder airport.
To see the latest locations of all the WOW Ospreys, check out the interactive map.
To find out more about WOW and the Osprey Flyways Project, click here.
By Tim on April 3, 2014
As I reported yesterday, several of the WOW Ospreys are still heading north. One of them is Donovan, a male Osprey from New Hampshire in the United States. Having spent the winter in Venezuela he set-off north on 10th March. As Iain MacLeod from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center reports, he is now almost home; in fact he should be back today, and Iain will be there to greet him!
April 3, 2014
Donovan is on the home stretch. He’s made good progress in the last couple days. On Tuesday, he made a big push of 285 miles and breezed through Virginia and Maryland and into Pennsylvania. By yesterday morning he had 259 miles to home. At 10am he was perched next to a small pond 20 miles north-east of Allentown, PA, so I suspect he was having breakfast. He should be back today and I’ll be there to welcome him home.
Don;t forget that you can also check out Donovan’s latest location, on our interactive WOW map.
By Tim on April 2, 2014
As you’ll know if you’ve been following the website recently, last week we organised the first-ever World Osprey Week. This was an exciting opportunity for schools to follow the amazing migratory journeys of several different satellite-tagged Ospreys as they flew north to nests in Europe and North America.
Participating schools got free access to a range of teaching resources for both primary and secondary schools, and also had the opportunity to set-up their own school page on the WOW website. This enabled them to get in touch with each other – and to learn about other countries on the migratory flyways in a new and exciting way. It is great to report that over 100 schools from nine different countries and three continents registered for the site and that 48 have set-up their own page. Each school that has set-up their own page is shown on the interactive WOW map which also displays the current location of each of the WOW Ospreys.
One of the schools that followed the migration of the WOW Ospreys was Tenterden Junior School in Kent. Year 5 class teacher Ben Vincer has been in touch to say how much his class enjoyed being involved in WOW.
“Can I start by saying a big thank you to you for arranging the World Osprey Week last week. As a teacher, it was great to explore a different area which created so many different links across the curriculum.
In our class we produced Osprey factbooks across the week which included descriptions of ospreys in general and factfiles on each of the WOW ospreys. We were also able to practice our mapwork skills and learnt how to sketch an osprey! All whilst watching the ospreys live on the webcam which really grabbed the children’s imagination.”
Ben’s has sent some examples of the children’s work; we think it is all great! Here is a selection:
The culmination of WOW at Rutland Water was a four-way Skype call between pupils at Brooke Priory School from Oakham, Montorre and Urretxindorra Schools from the Basque Country, Istituto Comprensivo Grosseto 1 from Tuscany in Italy and Iain MacLeod from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in New Hampshire in the United States. Children from the three schools each gave a short presentation and then Iain gave a talk about Ospreys in New Hampshire, with the aid of his very-own real-life Osprey! It was wonderful to see the students linking up; and demonstrates how the incredible migrations of the Ospreys can link people all over the world.
The Skype call finished with a performance of Arrano Arrantzaleare Kanta (The Osprey Song) by the very talented pupils of Montorre and Urretxindorra Schools. Here’s a video which they made last year.
For non-Basque speakers, here are the lyrics:
Arrano Arrantzalea (Osprey)
From England to the Basque Country
From The Basque Country to Senegal
From the top everything seems better
Have a good journey, my friend
There is in Urdaibai´s water fishing,
to its destination, doing the way
from the clouds to under the water
This is the osprey
Three eggs dancing in the nest
Mum and Dad are nervous
Waiting for the chicks to be born
Willing to give them love
There is in Urdaibai´s water fishing,
to its destination, doing the way
from the clouds to under the water
this is the osprey
Although WOW has now finished, we will continue to follow the progress of our WOW Ospreys as they head north to their nests. The teaching resources, interactive map and individual school pages will all remain online as part of the Osprey Flyways Project, so if your school would like to sign-up, click here.
By Tim on April 1, 2014
Apart from one brief visit to the nest by 5N, it has been quiet day in Manton Bay as we wait for the return of 5R. In the meantime, we have an update on the progress on several of the World Osprey Week Ospreys.
The latest data shows that the two Scottish males, Yellow HA and Blue XD, have both reached northern Spain where they have been held up by poor weather. Roy Dennis takes up the story…
The previous data had shown that on 26th March Yellow HA flew north for over 280 km in Morocco and roosted north of a reservoir near Sidi Slimane. He set-off early the next morning and at 8.06am was flying north at 52km/h direct towards Tangier. The weather was cloudy with south-west winds and he should have made a good crossing to southern Spain. The data doesn’t show the exact location of his crossing to Europe, but that night he roosted next to a river to the west of Toledo after a flight of 650km from Morocco. By 4pm next day (28th March) he was over the Cantabrian mountains heading for the Bay of Biscay and had altered course to NE. He had already flown 360 km and was flying at 50 km/h at an altitude of 1575 metres. That evening he reached the north coast of Spain and roosted near the estuary at Santander. The weather was clearly poor next morning because he flew only a short way east to Santona estuary where he spent the day. This is a favourite migratory stop off for ospreys in spring and autumn, so a great place for Yellow HA to stop-over.
Blue XD meanwhile,is 165km south-east of his compatriot in the south of the Navarre region. On 27th March he flew 530 km from Morocco and crossed the Mediterranean Sea to the east of Gibraltar, under cloudy skies and a SW wind. At 5.28pm he was flying north at 65 km/h NE of Cordoba heading for the mountains. After roosting near Montoro, he set off at about 9am next morning to fly north over Spain. Four-and-a-half hours later had flown 210 km and was near Toledo. He flew over Madrid at 1436GMT and by evening had flown 475 km and was roosting near Covaleda, just south of Rioja region. He was making great progress north, but like Yellow HA, he was then delayed by the weather. He flew just a short distance east on 29th March to a large reservoir, Embalse de la Cuerda del Pozo and then on 30th he flew just 86km north to the Rio Ebro, where he spent the day.
In the last World Osprey Week update, Pertti Saurola reported that Finnish Osprey Ilmari had set-off on his spring migration to southern Finland. Excitingly, we are now also following another Finish bird, Haikki. Haikki breeds in Lapland making him one of the northernmost Ospreys in the world. He left his nest on 22nd September and flew over 10,000km south to the coast of Mozambique. He now has also set-off on the long return migration and we’ll be reporting on his progress.
Here is the update on the two birds.
28 March 2014
On the evening of 27 March, another 44 km were added to Ilmari’s trip, so he travelled a total of 222 kilometres this day. Ilmari stopped for the night 118 kilometres due east from the city of Makurdi.
At 7 o’clock, GMT, i.e. 8 o’clock local time, Ilmari had landed west of Riti, 18 kilometres from his overnight location. After that, Ilmari proceeded with determination and settled down for the night around 17 o’clock after covering 345 kilometres during this day.
29 March 2014
According to a fix received at 8, local time, Ilmari was in flight 23 kilometres from his stopover place, at an occasional speed of 34 km per hour, but two hours later he was on the ground only a kilometre from the previous positioning. Maybe Ilmari had managed to catch a snack-sized fish on the way? It looks like Ilmari did not continue his flight until it was almost noon, and then he hurried on to his stopover location southwest of Bukarti, where he arrived around 17 o’clock after travelling 246 kilometres this day.
30 March 2014
At 8 o’clock local time, Ilmari had landed less than one kilometre from his overnight location. It would seem that he had nabbed an early morning fish in the nearby river. Around noon, Ilmari crossed the border between Nigeria and Niger. After that, Ilmari continued flying for six hours, then settled down for the night in the fairly rough environment south of Kelle. During this day, Ilmari travelled 191 kilometres. We are expecting new fixes in three days’ time.
28 March 2014
At 07:00 (05:00 GMT), local Mozambique time, Heikki was still by the river, some three kilometres from his roost at the shoreline. At 09:00, the satellite discovered Heikki right by the shore; it seems he was partaking of the last breakfast fish he would get at his wintering range before setting out on his long and hard journey to the north of Finland. At 11:00, Heikki was flying at an elevation of some 450 metres above land, and 48 kilometres from his stopover location. At 15:00 Heikki was flying west of the city of Nampula, and settled down for the night in a location some 66 kilometres north-northeast of Nampula. He travelled some 294 kilometres during this day.
29 March 2014
On this morning, Heikki was already in flight at 7 o’clock, and 23 kilometres from his stopover location. During the four hours between 09:00 and 13:00, Heikki progressed some 180 kilometres, i.e. his average speed was 45 kilometres per hour. Heikki’s route took him almost straight northwards along the coast, some 150 kilometres from the shoreline. Heikki already stopped for the night by 15 o’clock, but still he covered 353 kilometres during this day.
30 March 2014
Heikki flew over the Ravuma, the river on the border between Mozambique and Tanzania at 07:00 (GMT), i.e. at 9:00 Mozambican time and 10:00 Tanzanian time. (Neither country implements summer or daylight saving time, which Europe switches to the previous night). After a somewhat meandering flight for some eight hours, covering 199 kilometres, Heikki stopped in a seemingly uninhabited area between Nahungo and Nakiu, at 16 o’clock, local Tanzanian time. The last fix we have received so far is from 18 o’clock. We are expecting new fixes in three days’ time.
You can check-out the current locations of all the WOW Ospreys on our interactive map. Although World Osprey Week has now passed, you can still register your school on the website. This gives you access to a range of completely free resources for primary and secondary schools. To register, click here.
We’ll have more on a very successful World Osprey Week on the website tomorrow. Meanwhile to read more about the WOW Ospreys, click here.
By Tim on March 29, 2014
As Lucy reported yesterday, there was much excitment in Manton Bay on Friday morning when our World Osprey Week satellite-tagged Osprey, 30(05), landed on the Manton Bay nest while the resident female was away. Moments later she was joined by a second bird, 28(10) – the first time we had seen the four year-old male this year. John Wright was in Shallow Water hide to see the action unfold. Here are his brilliant phots from a dramatic morning.
Shallow Water and Waderscrape hides both offer great views of the Manton Bay nest, so why not pay us a visit this weekend? There is bound to be more drama to come. For directions to the Lyndon Visitor Centre, click here.