Still finding his way across Algeria – it will be a sigh of relief all round when he reaches the coast.
Through the driving rain sweeping over the Bassenthwaite valley the grey shadow that we suspected was KL has been positively identified by her leg ring to be just that. She has been joined by another osprey that we assume is Unring as they are mating. However, we haven’t been able to get a good closeup of him yet to see his markings.
No 14 has been flying North through Algeria – again veering towards the West so we anticipate a Mediterranean crossing soon.
Welcome, one and all!
The Project opens on Saturday April 1st. At Dodd the viewpoints will be open with Staff, Information Volunteers and telescopes at the ready. However, as every year, if it is raining hard the optics have to be put under cover to prevent damage.
No 14 roosted in the East of Mali on the night of the 27th.Unlike his previous 2 years he seems to be veering towards the West rather than the East – following more closely to his south bound migration perhaps. Either way there is a lot of desert yet – in Mali alone there are 480,000 square miles.
Back at the Bassenthwaite nest an osprey has been seen 2 days running now – but today the sun yellowed haze was so great it was only possible to see a grey shadow amongst the branches.
At 13.56 today 14 had passed into Niger, the Tahoua region. This is an arid dusty area of small trees and scrub bordering the desert, but it supports agriculture and Tahoua City is a market town where Tuareg merchants from the North and Fulani traders from the South meet up. It is also an area that mines gypsum, a versatile mineral existing as alabaster for carving, plaster of Paris for splints, dough conditioner for bread, an ingredient for foot cream and in one of its natural forms creating the beautiful desert rose. Interesting – but its link to ospreys lies in the fact that In ancient times it proves this area to have been much wetter as the mineral is formed in layers by the evaporation of water from great lakes. A much better place for an osprey to be flying over.
If he makes it to England he may well fly over other ancient Lake beds – these are in Blue Anchor, Somerset.
Ashley Dace Wikipedia commons
At last No 14 has started his return journey heading nearly due North from Bioko into Nigeria, as he has done before. There are some areas of water there for him to fuel up before the Sahara crossing. He started on March 23rd and reached the area near Abuja on the 25th, so he should be flying over sand by now. All fingers and toes crossed for him!
First osprey arrivals were noted at Loch of Lowes and Rutland Water last week and around the Bassenthwaite valley people have been keeping their eyes peeled for a first sighting here. Today, basking in the Spring sunshine there is a bird eating a fish on the nest tree. Not sure if it is one of ours or a passage bird – but lovely to see! Along with the chiff-chaffs that are now falling in from the sky and making the spinneys and copses and willow car resound.
With the extensive trim that the Lower Viewpoint at Dodd has had views over the South end of Bassenthwaite Lake and the SSSI wetland area are now visible. Here’s hoping that KL and Unring, our male and female from last year have started their migration and will return to their nest by end of March/beginning of April. Sightings of both tree and nest should be possible from all the telescopes now.