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Last modified: 06 September 2012

Female osprey in flight

Osprey migrate to West Africa during the winter months

After surviving Scotland’s soggy summer, a young osprey may have flown into the history books by making a record-breaking journey to sunnier climes.

In just two weeks, ‘Alba’ left her natal home at RSPB Loch Garten and made her hazardous 3000 mile maiden migration to West Africa.

Having only hatched earlier this year, the female bird has astounded online audiences who have been following her journey on the internet.

Alba and her sister Caledonia were fitted with satellite tags before leaving the nest so both RSPB staff and the public could follow their fortunes and movements.

While the pair fledged successfully towards the end of last month, Alba made short work of the journey to their wintering grounds and is now believed to have made the fastest migration of any tagged European osprey.

Richard Thaxton, site manager at RSPB Scotland Loch Garten Osprey Centre, said:  “It is astonishing that in just a fortnight, Alba has travelled from Loch Garten in Strathspey to southern Mauritania close to the border with Senegal. Other tagged birds have taken months to do this! It is all the more remarkable when you think that this is her first migration, with sea crossings to contend with and all sorts of weather. It’s good to know she has arrived there safely.”

To find out more visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/lochgarten/blog.aspx

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