Each year, the ospreys at Loch Garten have people across the world gripped in their tale of violence, adultery and... well... fishing.
This year's diary, written by the Osprey Information Assistants at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre, picks up the saga where we left off.
We update the blog at least twice a week - more often when there's high drama here. We hope you enjoy reading as the nest-side story unfolds...
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We need to raise funds to enable us to track this year's Loch Garten ospreys. To donate to our appeal, please go to our JustGiving page. Thank you for your support.
The map up-date on the whereabouts of our two young ospreys has gone ahead before we've been able to tell you the news ourselves, but yes, further good progress from both our birds.
I had intened to up-date the blog last night, from home, to tie-in with the map up-date at c.8pm, but alas, as you know, the Broadband service (Nano-band we call it locally) is rubbish and I was unable to get on-line, sorry. So some of you will know this already, but.....
Alba moved on from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales and left the south coast of England at the Dartmouth Estuary at 1pm on the 25th She spent the night east of Lamion in Brittany, Northern France. On 26th she journeyed across north France heading west and at c.3pm she starts to head out into the Bay of Biscay! I was about to type - that was brave of her, but of course it wasn't because with this being her first migration, she knows not what it can be like out there - a washing machine on spin-cycle. At c.9pm she was mid way across the Bay and a fix at 5am on 27th showed her to be just off the coast of Spain. At 7am she was in northern Spain and at 9am she was east of Carino. That's a relief, to have that potentially perilous leg of the jourmney behind her! She made it. Phew, or what?!
Meantime, when we last "heard" from Caledonia, tantalizingly she was half way across the English Channel. I didn't like to say it at the time - and I'm sure it was going through your minds too, but you dare not think it, but Deshar (2008) was in that position but made a fateful sharp right turn and headed out into mid-Atlantic and perished. It's been an anxious time since the last data set on Friday, but I am relieved to be able to report that Caledonia safely made landfall in France on 23rd August, at 5pm she was just north of Bayeux in Normandie. Double phew!
Caley then continued heading south through France until south of Bordeaux near a town called La Serre, Aquitaine, western France, on 26th at 9am, the last fix for her that we have, for now. Looks like she has by-passed the sturgeon farm on the Gironde River that prompted Rothes (2009) to bide there a while.
So all good so far. More on their latest whereabouts later in the week.
Meatime back at the Rez, we are still bereft of ospreys. However, Jen, John and Larua, took up a kind offer from Julian at Rothiemurchus Estate (thanks Julian), who hosted them at a late-season, very early morning visit to check for fishing ospreys at the fishery. They saw three different birds, including one juvenile sporting an aerial - one of Roy Dennis' other tagged birds presumably? So there are still ospreys in the area, but none with us currently. Our squirrels, crested tits and woodpeckers continue to entertain our visitors and there were a pair of red-throated divers on Loch Garten this morning, calling. Imagine, (or else down load the call to hear) how evocative that was, echoing hauntingly around the loch.
Nothing from staff since whenever - oh oh
a knowledgeable bried post from someone in the 'know' with an encouraging thought concerning Alba in a nothingless waste would be so welcome. As far as I know, she last ate in Scotland whilst her erstwhile sister has probably had six courses daily.
Interesting to note the similiarities between Caledonia's and Rothes' routes South...
Glad all is going well so far,
Been reading 'Catching the Bug' (one of many Birdfair purchases) - there's an interesting bit in it about Poole Harbour. There's been Observations (over several years). of Ospreys arriving mid-late August: Whenever 3 were seen together they were always!! 2 adults and a juvenile.
Dick Forsman implies that the female arrives first to establish territory/fishing ground to be joined later by male and offspring before continuing on migration,
Map entries for LG juves over the years when they leave LG certainly would not imply a family 'meet up' before continuing migration.- but then the adults are not tagged so we wouldn't know? - maybe I've interpreted it wrongly . Any thoughts?
Rothiemurchus so pleased you are onboard the blog so to speak and dont worry I wont breathe a word to the LG staff that they missed those Ospreys . Rothiemurchus the Osprey is also now on his travels back south I wonder where he will be when he next data comes in ??
Thank goodness for google earth so we knew they were fine. I also had my fingers crossed a few times as Cally went out into the channel off Essex like Dulas last year and Alba went across the bay of Biscay. At least now both are deffinatly in the right direction. Hopefully they will have a break in Spain before making the crossing to the next continent and please keep to the coast and away from most of the desert.
Thank you Richard for your welcome update, and filling us in on the finer details missed on GE, it is lovely to know how well they are doing and can only wish them well ... stay safe and please come back to us one day... :) Looking forward to the next update.
Thanks Richard for the confirmation of the girls whereabouts and that both are progressing so well.
Thank you for the update, Richard. What a thrill it was to fire up GE and unexpectedly find the white and yellow lines, both ending on dry land and heading in the right direction. Not there yet, but getting there without ado!
I'm so pleased the girls are doing well - I'm really looking forward to next season as I'm hoping to bring my family to see EJ and Odin (hopefully) for the first time. I'll try to remember to bring something suitably edible for the team.
Richard - Thank You for the update on Caledonia and Alba and to date have made excellent progress on what is a vast new experience for them.
Having visited the centre on numerous occasions this season may I also take this opportunity to Thank You personally and the wonderful cheerful team you built up this season and the icing on the cake would be for the birds to return in two years time for this team. I speak to every team member on my visits as you know I do and they have all been so dedicated to the nest in such a cheerful professional manner. - THANK YOU ALL.
Thanks for the update Richard,good to know Cally and Alba are doing well.
Phew indeed! They're not hanging around this year.... Thanks very much, Richard, for the update. Looking forward to the next one!
Great news Richard about the girls I was one of those holding my breath till they got across the water....So pleased they both made it to the mainland I am sure they will have a well deserved rest in the sunshine before they continue..........Great that the staff got to go to Rothiemurchus and see the Ospreys, just reading the above posting , they might be a bit disappointed that they missed SIX Ospreys my goodness!! LOL
Glad that the loch Garten staff made a trip to Rothiemurchus. You may or may not wish to tell them that 15 minutes after they left 6, yes 6!, ospreys came in over the pond (1 adult and 5 juveniles) and simultaneously had a go at hitting the water!
Thank you Richard for update and yes a Deshar moment was had by a lot of us - we will never forget that time , hope our girls rest up now , I am in awe everytime these young birds fly south . Red throated divers now that is a one to see on Loch Garten