Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ospreys in action


Have a look at Roy Dennis's website for further evidence that migration is a wonderful thing. He's tracking the migrations of three Ospreys which were fitted with satellite tags in Scotland this summer (two chicks and their mother; the chicks were ringed at the nest but the adult female was netted - I'd love to see how!).

The tags are doing their stuff. They show the adult female has made it to her wintering grounds in Senegal, while one of the chicks is now in southern Spain. I've borrowed the graphic showing the female's route across the Bay of Biscay (see above); she made the crossing in about 10 hours.

For the other chick, things didn't quite go as they should have. She took a route south from Scotland to the Isle of Man, then Anglesey but then 'missed' possible stops in Ireland and south Wales.

The tag's last recorded position was north of the Isles of Scilly.

Interestingly, Roy suggests that 'Scottish young have an inherited migration heading, from their Scandinavian ancestors, which takes some of them SSW. This is a good direction for migration from Sweden to Spain, but not so good from Scotland, because of hazardous sea crossings and possible losses in the Atlantic Ocean.'