Satellite Tracking

We’ll be posting regular updates about satellite tracking projects here on the website. You can also track former projects using Google Earth. Check out our step-by-step instructions to find out how. Alternatively, click here to view the Osprey migration route with Google Maps. Google Maps also shows overhead high resolution satellite images, which is handy for finding places along the route.

She’s there!

30(05) has made it to her wintering grounds! The data took its time in coming through, but we now have it and we know that she arrived at her Senegalese beach at 10:00 on 11th September!

30-made-it-11th-sept

30’s final leg

 

30 was motoring on 10th September, travelling 244 miles / 393 km, and bypassing the lake we thought she might stop at! She made it to the coast at 7pm that evening, and roosted there. The next morning she set off at 07:00 and travelled the final 26 miles / 43 km to her spot on the beach!

30s-wintering-spot

 

Here is a breakdown of her autumn migration 2016. It took her 13 days, and she covered a total of 2893 miles / 4659 km.

Date Miles Km
30th Aug 323 520
31st Aug 298 480
1st Sept 298 480
2nd Sept 247 398
3rd Sept 275 442
4th Sept 247 398
5th Sept 177 284
6th Sept 269 433
7th Sept 161 259
8th Sept 212 342
9th Sept 116 187
10th Sept 244 393
11th Sept 26 43
Total 2893 4659

Here is a picture of 30’s entire journey this autumn. Look how direct her route is! What an amazing migration – ospreys are truly awe-inspiring creatures!

whole-journey-2016

 

Well done 30! We hope to see her on her beach sometime in January…

P1720387---30-for-blog

 

 

Almost there

We have received more data for 30(05)! Contrary to my optimistic estimation that she would be at her wintering grounds by now, she’s not! She’s currently still making steady progress over the Sahara. Over the past two days she has covered 328 miles / 529 km, and is now in Mauritania.

9th-september-roost

30’s roost site 9th September

 

Crossing the Sahara is always the toughest part of an osprey’s migration. It is one of the hottest regions in the world, and it’s also incredibly dry, dusty and windy. 30 always slows down here, and you can see that her path wavers a bit in the map above, which could be due to the wind. The strong desert winds have the ability not only to alter the flight path of migrating birds, but to change the landscape, creating sand and rock formations that, conveniently, 30 can use to navigate. These geographical features will also affect her speed and altitude. On 8th September, she was flying at an average altitude of 1400m, and her average speed was 28kph. However, she flew at a much lower altitude on 9th September, averaging 482m. Her speed remained quite constant at around 23kph.

landscape

Land formations in the desert

 

30 often stops at the lake just south of the Mauritania-Senegal border, near St Louis, to rest and refuel after her desert crossing. We’ll soon see if she does that this season!

lake-she-visits

The lake where 30 often stops

 

 

 

 

Final farewell

It has finally happened – Manton Bay is devoid of ospreys. After spending yesterday alone in the bay, 33 set off on his migration to his wintering grounds this morning at around 10:00. We are sad to see them go, as always, and it was great that the two adults stayed for as long as they did! We have had a fantastic season this year, with 33 and Maya being the stars of our show as always in Manton Bay. The three chicks they raised this year bring Maya’s total to 17 over the six years she has bred! The other successful nests around the area raised 12 young, which means this year’s total is a whopping 15 chicks from seven nests. This is the same number as last season, and so equals the best year we’ve ever had! This season we very nearly had an eighth nest – Lagoon Four – and there were also several unattached males in the area, so we are eager to see what happens next year!

33 and Maya on the camera perch

Farewell 33 and Maya

 

Unfortunately we can’t follow Maya and 33 on their journeys, but we can follow 30(05)! 30 has now been migrating for ten days, and has covered a total of 2295 miles / 3694 km since leaving Rutland. In the past two days since we received data, she has travelled 430 miles / 692 km through the Sahara. You can see her latest position in the image below.

position-7th-sept

30’s position at 7pm on 7th September

 

After passing through Morocco in three days, 30 travelled over the Guelmim-es-Semara region, which boasts a brilliant landscape of sculptured ridges, as you can see in the images below. She flew over the same area last season. 

guelmim

Guelmim-es-Semara

rocks

Zoomed in

 

30 roosted in the middle of the desert last night, and today will have continued on her southwards trajectory. She is now well on her way to Senegal – there are only 540 miles / 869 km left to go!

I wonder where she will be when we next receive data…? She might even be there, on her perch on the beach…

30 photographed on the beach by John Wright last winter

 

 

She’ll be coming round the mountain…

30(05), our satellite-tagged osprey, is now in Africa! She has been making excellent progress on her autumn migration this season, and is already three-quarters of the way to her wintering grounds! She has been travelling for eight days, and has covered a total distance of 1865 miles / 3002km! As of 5th September at 9pm, she was just north of the border between Morocco and Western Sahara.

Journey so far Sept 2016

30’s journey so far

 

When we last reported 30’s movements, she was in central Spain, heading towards Gibraltar. She made the crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar to the west of the main Strait, at quite a wide angle. Last season she crossed slightly east of Gibraltar. This time, she left Spain at Zahora at 7am on 3rd September, and two hours later made landfall in Morocco at Asilah – a crossing of 48 miles / 77km.

Gibraltar autumn 2016

30’s crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar

 

Perhaps the wind blew her west, away from her usual course over the Strait. Whatever the reason, 30 safely made it to the other side and continued strongly on her southward journey. She roosted just north of the Atlas mountains that evening, then on 4th September headed around them, taking her usual route around the end of the mountains towards Agadir.

Atlas mountains autumn 2016

Skirting the Atlas Mountains

 

She did fly across the very edge of the mountains though, at the western tip, as you can see in the image below!

Autumn 2016 Atlas mountains

Over the end of the mountains

 

30’s next challenge is the Sahara crossing. I wonder whether she will be the other side of it when we next receive data…

 

 

Step by step

Today we received the data for the last two days of 30’s migration – she’s now in central Spain! She continued flying directly south when she set off from her roost site in northwest France at 6am on Wednesday, and by 2pm was passing over Bordeaux. She then followed the coastline along the edge of the Bay of Biscay, and entered Spain in the northeast corner. After entering Spain, she continued to travel in a southwesterly direction, and last night she roosted near a small river, just 3km / 2 miles south of Burguillos de Toledo, 77km / 48 miles south of Madrid.

Over the past two days, 31st August and 1st September, 30 covered 960km / 596 miles, so since leaving Rutland on 30th August, she has travelled a total distance of 1480 km / 919 miles! It won’t take her long to get there at this rate! The images below show her position as of 8pm on 1st September.

1st Sept postion 1st Sept roost site

30 will now be on her way towards Morocco! Both last year and the year before she crossed the Strait of Gibraltar slightly east of Gibraltar itself, making landfall just south of Ceuta, so it’s very likely she will do the same thing again. We will see in a day or so!

Follow her on our interactive map!