So far eleven of the young Ospreys who have fledged from nests in the Rutland Water area since 2001, have made it back. We now know that a twelfth is on his way home too.
This morning Roy Dennis received an email from Adolfo Villaverde. He monitors the Villaviciosa estuary in northern Spain and often sees Ospreys passing through in spring and autumn. One of Roy’s satellite-tagged Ospreys, Morven, regularly stops off at the estuary on her annual migrations between Scotland and the Atlantic coast of Mauritania. Morven is now back in Scotland, but yesterday Adolfo identified another colour-ringed Osprey. Excitingly, it turned out to be one from Rutland Water.
11(10) was one of two chicks to fledge from the Site N nest in 2010 and left Rutland Water in late August that year. We don’t know where he wintered, but thanks to Adolfo’s sighting, we now know that he was at Villaviciosa yesterday. The estuary is a superb place for Ospreys to stop-off during migration, with plenty of grey mullet and flatfish for 11 to feed on.
It will be really interesting to see how long he stays there for. Two year-old Ospreys often don’t return to the UK until June or July, and so 11 may spend several weeks at the estuary before heading north. When he resumes his migration 11 will have a long flight over the Bay of Biscay to contend with – it is 300 miles to the Brittany coast – but stopping-off at the estuary does at least mean he will be in good condition for the flight. Let’s just hope he chooses to make the crossing in good conditions – and not when there are strong easterly winds that may blow him out into the Atlantic.
Adolfo reports that 11 was still there this morning and has said he’ll keep an eye on him while he is at Villaviciosa. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Very many thanks to Adolfo for this great news.