Archives for September 2015

Wintering area

Cromarty has ranged out to the coast and back in last couple of days, but his main roost is inland in the mangrove creeks. A favoured wintering habitat for Scottish ospreys.

September 24th - 26th

September 24th – 26th

Visiting the Atlantic coast

Blue XD has been visiting the Atlantic coast from his mangrove wintering site – quite busy wanderings instead of staying in the same area, which is his usual winter routine.

September 19th -21st

September 19th -21st

Cromarty completes migration

Cromarty departed roost at 8am on 23rd September and headed SW to the Senegalese coast and then turned south down the Atlantic coast, flying over the Sine Saloum delata and at 1434 GMT over the River Gambia. He cut across Gambia and finally turned coastwards in southern Senegal and at 1702hrs settled in an area of creeks and mangroves south of Kafountaine. He is just 22 km NW of Blue XD’s wintering site.

September 23rd

September 23rd


Cromarty reaches the Dakar area

Cromarty was flying south this morning at 10.22GMT to the east of Nouakchott, in Mauritania, and by evening was roosting 60 km east of Dakar. He is presently heading for excellent osprey wintering areas in the Senegalese coast.

September 23rd

September 23rd

On through the desert

Cromarty flew a more westerly route over the Sahara, than most adult ospreys, and covered 720km 19th to 22nd. In the morning of 20th he made a dogleg to the east for a couple of hours but at 0926GMT on 22nd was heading for the Atlantic coast of Mauritania.

September 19th - 22nd

September 19th – 22nd

Cromarty makes 1000 km Atlantic flight

Cromarty departed the Odemira area at 11am on 17th September and flew south. At 12.24 he headed out over the Alvor estuary, east of Lagos in southern Portugal. At the start of his Atlantic Ocean flight he was over 1000 metres above sea level and this high flying continued for an hour before he dropped down to 100 metres. His flight path was west of the Moroccan mainland so he flew on through the night, being 100km west of Marrakesh at 03.58GMT on 18th September.  His track finally veered towards the Africa landmass and at 09.10 he came ashore near Cap Draa in southern Morocco. During the night he was flying over the sea at 500 metres asl but was down 50 metres when he reached the coast. His over-water flight was 990 km and when he reached land he did not rest but turned down the coast before quite quickly heading over the Sahara Desert. He flew another 500 km before stopping for the night in the desert south of the NW corner of Mauritania. In the two day flight he covered 1546 km in 31 hours 20 mins – at a speed of 49km/hr.  Cromarty has completed two long distance over water flights – I wonder if that’s what he did on his first two migrations to Africa.

September 17th -18th

September 17th -18th

Arrives at wintering site in southern Senegal

Blue XD roosted overnight just north of the Gambian border and set off on the last leg before 10am, crossing the River Gambia east of Banjul between 1004 and 1038GMT. He headed SW and at 11.41 arrived at Kartong and spent time around the mouth of the River Alleheim, a favourite osprey wintering place.  After half an hour he left Gambia and flew to exactly the same wintering site as in previous winters. He arrived there at 15.11, took a flight out into the backwater of the Casamanche river where he probably caught a fish and went to a favourite roost tree.  His migration of about 5500 kms took 17 days; in 2013 his migration took 13 days arriving at the Casamanche on 22nd September. Last year he also arrived on 22nd September after a 17 day flight, same as this autumn.

Back to his winter home   17th September

Back to his winter home 17th September


Ranging in SW Portugal

On 15th September, Cromarty flew ESE from Odemira at 10am and half an hour later was at the Santa Clara reservoir, where he spent the night. Next day he flew NW in mid morning. The photograph below is from when I visited this reservoir last autumn with Luis Palma, when on a tour of osprey fishing locations.

September 14th - 16th

September 14th – 16th


Santa Clara reservoir

Santa Clara reservoir



Heading for Banjul

Blue XD has made leisurely progress across Senegal and last evening was near Kaolack. inland of Sine Saloum Delta.

September 12th -16th

September 12th -16th


Hope is a young female eaglet we satellite tagged at its nest on the Hope & Loyal estates of Wildland Ltd Estates in North Sutherland  in June 2014.  On 29th June I went to the nest site with Thomas MacDonell (Director of Conservation of Wildland Ltd) and Paul Butterworth and colleagues, who had already ringed the chicks. We tagged this eagle with sat tag 89255 and on this date she weighed 5 kg. The parents had been feeding fulmars to the two eaglets. Her sibling is Loyal, the larger of the two young.