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.

Osprey Tracking

Down in Manton Bay things are exceedingly quiet, we still have the two adult birds but no sign of any of the chicks. Elsewhere it looks as though Rutland birds are starting to leave the UK on their own migrations back to their wintering grounds. We will soon be updating you on 30s’ progress as she starts her fifth migration with a satellite tag! What an incredible bird!

On the subject of migration and satellite tags we have some very exciting news, a couple of weeks ago two of the finest osprey experts in the country, Roy Dennis and Tim Mackrill, both from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation came down to Rutland to fit satellite trackers onto two birds. With the help of our own Lloyd Park, two male ospreys were selected: 4K(13) and S1(15), both of which have been holding territory but were unable to attract females this year. 

The tags fitted are the same as the one fitted to female 30, they weigh about 30g and will give detailed information on location, altitude and speed. The units are fitted to the birds like a small rucksack, allowing them to continue their normal activities.

This is very exciting news as it will allow us to follow these birds on their migration and also discover where they are overwintering, we will be sharing the information from the tags in the same way we share 30’s, on our interactive map and also in this blog. Aside from the scientific and conservation value of the tagging, the data provides an incredible educational resource and helps us to continue to link young people along the Osprey migration flyway. These latest tagged birds will form a key part of that work.

The two birds selected for tags this year were S1(15) you should recognise him, as he is a Manton Bay chick, who first returned in 2017, and 4K(13) who is from a site on private land and first returned to Rutland in 2015.

S1

S1

4K

4K

In fact S1 the youngest bird has already set off on his migration! At 14:00 on the 25th of August he left the UK crossing the English Channel between Brighton and Newhaven. By 17:00 he was in France. After what must have been a tiring crossing he stopped off overnight in woodland just east of Le Havre, in just one day he managed to clock up an amazing 377.98 km.

S1 25th August

On the 26th S1 continued his travels south, not stopping until he found another large piece of woodland east of Tours, and rested there overnight. The next morning he was back in skies, by now he must have been getting hungry, he only covered just less than 100 km before he found himself a nice lake north of Le Blanc to catch some dinner and rest up.

S1 26th- 27th August

S1 27th – 28th


 

Fishing spot north of Le Blanc

The break and food did its trick, as the next day he was off like a rocket, he made his way south-west towards the coastline and the Gironde estuary, a popular spot for migrating birds. S1 then continued on towards Arcachon Bay, stopping only when he found a large spot of woodland to the south-east of the bay.

S1 28th-29th August

Arcachon Bay S1

The next day S1 headed back towards the coastline, it looks as though he could have then used the coastline as a guide, as he follows it straight down until he reached the Pyrenees. From here he headed south east, and on the 30th of August passed over Madrid. Our last update from S1 showed him just south Madrid, over the past 5 days he has covered an amazing 1535.78 km. It’s really intriguing to see where he will end up; at this point in time it doesn’t look as though he is heading for Portugal, where some Rutland birds have been spotted over wintering, so most likely he is heading down to West Africa, just like 30.

S1 29th-30th August

The data from 4K and 30 show that both birds are still in Rutland, we hope to update you on their movements and add S1s’ migration onto the interactive map in the next few days.

 

 

Fours a Crowd

This morning started out beautifully, the sunrise was something of a masterpiece with bright yellow light, slashing through the deep purple cloud; Maya used this sunrise setting to feed her three chicks, ensuring they all got at least a little bit of fish.  

However, this morning’s spell was soon broken by an unfortunate incident with a fish; as always 33 had been supplying the fish, one of which still had a little life left in it, even as Maya fed it to the chicks. The result was a rather large fish in the nest cup, on top of the three chicks, all of which were looking a little uncomfortable.

The situation was worsened by the fish continuing to flap around whilst on top of the chicks. Maya didn’t seem particularly bothered and continued to move some stick around the nest, she even departed from the nest for a minute or two.  In the end it was 33 who saved the day, dropping down onto the nest and lifting the fish off the chicks, releasing them from their slippery prison. Fortunately, all chicks are happy and healthy and Maya has been busy feeding them periodically throughout the day.

33 (11) the hero

We also have some exciting news for Rutland osprey fans everywhere! We have a new osprey t-shirt, sweatshirt and tote bag! All of which feature a beautiful image of 30(10). Click here for more information and to order yours today!

Unusual Visitor

 It was an interesting weekend down at Manton Bay, with freezing temperatures and a very unusual visitor. Information Officer Paul Stammers was brought to the attention of this  visitor by a thump on the side door of the visitor centre, when he went to investigate he found a sparrowhawk! 

Luckily the bird was unharmed and after been bough inside for a rest and a warm up it was released as good as new, back to being the top predator of the bird feeder. Birds flying into glass is a common occurrence, to prevent this happening you can place something in the window, like a sticker or a blind. This will make the window pane more obvious to birds, allowing them to avoid collisions.  

 

Manton Bay 

It was extremely cold for the pair in the bay this weekend and please spare a thought for our amazing volunteers who were sat in our waderscrape hide watching the ospreys and helping any adventurous visitors who managed to make it that far! 

Despite the cold and wind both the Maya and 33(11) were busy, fishing and nest building all weekend. Hopefully the weather will warm up before they decide to lay any eggs. 

Nest scraping

In the Snow!

 

Here is the pair soaking up the sun before the next storm. 

 

Rutland ospreys 

30 our tracked osprey has the right idea, she’s staying warm in Western Africa. Our latest update shows she has made her way back into Mauritania, she should be reaching Morocco any day now!  

Unlike 30 some of the ospreys have been a lot quicker and are enjoying the freezing temperatures in Rutland. We now have a total of six birds back, some of which have already been spotted fishing at the local fish farm. 

It wasn’t just an exciting weekend for ospreys but also our osprey ambassadors check out the education teams blog here

 

Waiting for Spring

For me the arrival of migratory birds marks the beginning of spring and today has almost felt like is could be just that, with a pair of ospreys in Manton Bay and reports of another one in the area. Furthermore, today we have had the first reports of chiffchaff singing at Lyndon. However, looking at the weather report for the weekend, I think the team here and the ospreys are going to be in for a bit of a shock, lets hope its not as bad as the beginning of the month.

Even with  the miserable weather this morning, we were eventually treated to the sunshine. This helped to provide views of the great northern diver, tree sparrows and water rail. Down in Manton Bay we were treated to four different birds of prey: short-eared owl, buzzard, red kite and of course ospreys! 

 

33 and Maya seem to be settling in very well to Manton Bay, today 33 decided it was time to add some accessories to the nests in the shape of some teasel, not the best nesting material around, but he seemed quite pleased with it! Maya was busy nest scraping and getting the nest ready. Hopefully, it won’t be long until we see some eggs in the nest.  

 

We have also had an update from 30 our tracked osprey, Geoff Harries has provided a beautiful picture showing her tag. She is currently in Western Sahara, amazingly she manged to fly 30.05 KM in just one hour! At this rate it won’t be long until she back in the U.K.  

Photo Credit to Geoff Harries.

 

Place of the Winds- 30’s Migration

Today we have had another update from 30’s tag, from her last position on the 11th March she has headed  North West, towards the coastline. Incredibly on the 12th March she flies straight across the capital city of Mauritania, Nouakchott also known as the “place of the winds”. This might explain why 30 decided to take this route, as wind speed can have a significant effect on osprey migration. Furthermore, she passed over this city on her migration last spring meaning it could be a useful landmark ensuring she stays on track during her migration. 

30’s route then heads up the coast, with a slight detour inland to  roost, before heading up the coast again, on average she is traveling 223.3 KM a day, which is very impressive! She should soon be heading into Western Sahara, then hopefully on to Southern Europe.