Jet-setting to France

2020 Migration of No 14 


Over the last 3 days No 14 has motored on – and this time has chosen an easier looking route than his usual one, which entails crossing the Alps. Instead, he has dodged around their Southern end, travelling North West from Sardinia to hit the French coast at St Tropez, fitting for a Jet Set bird.

There are not many red dots on these maps. There seems to be a lag in the download from the satellite – which may catch up with itself over the next days.

Thus the two red dots and times for 28th March 17.07 and 17.57 in the middle of the ocean are of no great significance ie he did not land on a boat!


The dotted red line just joins these dots with the next definite location on March 30th 21.34. and does not indicate his actual route . So, no data yet for the roosts of March 28th and 29th.

On March 30th he stopped for the night in the middle of the Parc Naturel regional de Monts d’Ardeche, near the village of St Martin de Valamy on the Eyesse River, where fishermen regularly pull in common carp. So he is likely to have enjoyed a couple of  whiskery meals.

And have a look at the St Martin de Valamas Tourist Office website – it looks a great place to earmark for holidays – has any one been?

What might he be flying around with?.

The Ardeche area is home to sixteen different species of birds of prey, plus eight owls. Here’s a full bird check list.

Some of the more exotic sounding raptors are the three vultures, Egyptian, Griffon and Cinereous. Vultures have had a hard time of it over the past decades particularly suffering from persecution and poisoning and habitat loss and have been rare over much of Europe for centuries.

Re-introduction projects can be very successful, if managed with the right level of education and protection strategies, of which satellite tracking is one. Cinereous Vultures have been released over the Verdon, near No 14’s flight path and hopefully, like the Griffon vulture will increase in numbers over the next decades.  Both these vultures have an eight to ten foot wing span, designed for lift – but only when the sun shines, according to David Attenborough

Osprey Re-introduction Projects

Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation

Of course UK ospreys were amongst some of the earliest birds to be translocated, to increase rate and spread of numbers.

Rutland was the first osprey re-introduction project in Britain in the early 2000’s, with breeding numbers dispersing and increasing since then. This year Maya already has an egg, laid Sunday 29th March, after her usual early arrival

I went to visit the second one, Poole Harbour Osprey Release Project, in the Autumn last year.  A really interesting time. Poole has had passage ospreys stopping at the harbour for many years, but with no signs of any stopping to breed.  A translocation and release program was set up from front opening cages near Poole. It looks good with young birds already seen returning this year. So, crossed fingers all round for breeding on the South coast in the near future.