Sad news first; during December 2015 while storm and tempest hit the Lake District and surrounds our young bird VO disappeared from our view in Senegal. Our tracker stopped sending a signal either due to the loss of the bird or the failure of the technology.
Number 14 meanwhile seems to be having a peaceful time around his favourite location in Bioko. In previous years he has taken a short holiday flight over to the Niger Delta during January or February. Maybe this year he’s saving his energy for a longer flight north. If he’s off soon it could be to find a mate.
Talking of holidays, one of our volunteers, Jane, seemed not satisfied with watching Ospreys for most of the summer from Dodd and decided to go for a mid-winter holiday to southern Spain. Of course while there, she could not resist the temptation of looking out for the said bird. The picture above is the result, taken from a phone camera, no less. You may notice the strange tracker on the bird’s back. This bird, like Number 14, was provided with a tracker, also in 2013. Unlike Number 14’s it has now stopped working. The Osprey in the picture comes from Corsica and has been part of a research project run by Flavio Monti from the Ferrara and Montpellier Universities. Some Ospreys in Corsica breed on the cliffs and seem to migrate west to Spain – proving just how flexible these birds can be. For more interest Google ‘Flavio Monti. The Ospreys of the Mediterranean Basin’ and read more about these fascinating birds.
If like Jane, you can’t get enough of Ospreys why not become a volunteer? If you are near Keswick on Friday 18th the volunteers are gathering for the first time this season at the Crosthwaite Hall near the Co-op, at 6.30pm or you could give Whinlatter a call on 017687-78469 and ask for Nathan or Barbara. The season starts a week later on the 26th March.
Many, many, thanks to Jane Wise for the story and photographs.
Number 14 crossed into Africa from Europe on the 23rd September, on 12th October he dipped his toes into the Gulf of Guinea. Yesterday morning at 6.00 am he was sitting in a tree on the south coast of Bioko, a tree that he last saw on the 21st April of this year before his 2015 European tour.
He is likely to remain here until the Spring of next year.
It seems that even the students on University Challenge know the whereabouts of Bioko (formerly Fernando Poo – Ha!) but do they know the number of the bird heading in that direction? Having been there before Number 14 seems to have a liking for the place. But, before we get ahead of ourselves he hasn’t reached that far south yet. Before the weekend he seemed to be enjoying the rivers of northern Togo, a well deserved interlude after crossing the Sahara. If you can put a name to the river concerned you are doing better than we have done so far – definitely universally challenged!
By Tuesday evening ,having used his tactic of flying high and fast, Number 14 was able to roost close to the Niger River as it crosses from west to east through Mali. A good part of Wednesday morning was also spent in that area. With Giraffes and various other animals from the African collection of wildlife below him he then continued south towards the border with Burkina Faso. By entering Burkina Faso he will not only get closer to his favourite island of Bioko but will also add a new country to his list.
He’s certainly not on a nice beach enjoying the sun. Our most recent download has put him in the middle of the Sahara Desert approaching the border between Algeria and Mali. He has travelled approximately 780 miles since the North African coast crossing the Atlas Mountains on the way. On Thursday he passed over what was probably his last chance for water, an Algerian river, Friday night meant a roost in the desert, but by 9.00am this morning he was on his way once again. If he keeps to the course south that he has set himself and continues with his tactic of flying high and fast he should meet the Niger River in southern Mali within two days. For those with a wish for detail he has been flying between 1400 and 1500 metres at a speed of 60 to 70 kph.
Strange things sometime happen on the Lake District Osprey Project, the above image was captured one day towards the end of the season when our cameras on the nest had a small malfunction – an interesting combination of nature and technology.
At the end of our second week without ospreys we can report on the following. V1 (we believe) our youngest osprey was seen in the diamond field on Tuesday the 8th September by one of our sharp eyed volunteers on squirrel feeding duty. V0 has been tracked over the last few weeks to Senegal so unlike our 2013 birds has taken the western route much loved by mum. Number 14 meanwhile has taken a more sedate course to France, via Portsmouth/Southampton, and was last reported just south of Paris. Could he be on his way to Bioko once again?
Regular reports on our birds will appear on this site during the Autumn and Winter. Enjoy!
On Monday, as the Lake District Osprey Project came to the end of another season, we left three very healthy ospreys around the shores of Bassenthwaite preparing no doubt for their very individual flights south. Meanwhile, in the south of the county, Number 14 still seems to be in exploration mode. He is now taking a good look at the area between Windermere, Coniston and Ulverston. Will Grizedale Forest one day have it’s own set of ospreys? At the week end he was over Brantwood and Sattersthwaite. No doubt a trip south will also enter his mind all too soon.
With at least six nesting pairs of ospreys in Cumbria this year the future does look rather interesting!
A week ago having traveled over twelve thousand miles and over thirty countries Number 14 decided to add a few lakes to his collection. On Saturday 15th at 8.00 he was on Ullswater, 9.00 to 10.00 Haweswater, crossed Windermere by 1200 and then visited the Duddon Valley at 1300.
The afternoon was spent on the sands near Ulverston before crossing near to his cousins at Foulshaw Moss before heading for the Eden once again near Penrith.
Meanwhile this afternoon on the nest we had sibling rivalry caused by a rather small fish.
V0 and V1 along with Dad are still to be seen around Bassenthwaite while Number 14 could appear, it seems, anywhere.
We are now entering the last week of the 2015 season so come along to Dodd Wood or Whinlatter to gather a few memories for the long winter.
Many thanks to Jonathan Pruskin on loan from Leighton Moss for capturing the above image.
It may not be a brilliant picture of an osprey!
But this is a picture of an osprey that has flown 10,000 miles +
Has crossed the Sahara desert twice
Has visited over thirty countries in the last two years.
Was hatched at Bassenthwaite on June 12 2013.
Was ringed and radio tagged in July 2013.
Was photographed over the River Eamont,near Brougham Castle this morning at 8.05am.
No, not a brilliant photograph but what a brilliant bird!
Having crossed Cumbria at the start of the month near Kirkby Stephen and Warcop Number 14 continued towards the north-east of England to just south of Kielder Forest – visiting his cousins maybe? – he then crossed the Scottish border and flew west, returning to Cumbria once again via the Solway. From the 5th to the 9th he was in the Cockermouth area, taking out a few hours to visit mum and dad on the marsh – Sunday evening 20.00 in the ‘diamond field’- he then continued his Cumbrian tour to Millom and Grange on the 9th roosting for a night or two in Lancashire. Over the last few days he has had the good sense to return to Cumbria and signals have suggested he was in the Langdale area before moving to the north-west of the county.
Any sharp eyed fishermen, photographers etc who see him or can even get a photograph do let us know – the giveaway is a small aerial on his back and/or the ring with Number 14 on it!