Deishar’s first flight south

Deishar set off on migration three day’s later than her brother Carr, but, like her sibling, she has made excellent progress south since leaving Scotland.

Deishar began her migration on 4th September and very quickly made up for lost time. Aided by a tailwind she flew just under 500 km to Cheshire on her first day of migration, flying south through central Scotland, and then across the Solway Firth and Morcambe Bay – which she crossed after dark.

Next morning Deishar was flying again before 06:00, heading powerfully south through Shropshire and then Herefordshire. At 10:16 she was 186 metres above the Severn Estuary and, at 10:50, 550 metres above the centre of Bristol. At 12:32 she headed out across the English Channel from the Dorset coast, west of Abbotsbury. She flew 135 km to Guernsey and then a further 98 km across the sea to the Brittany coast at Saint Brieuc. She was making such fast progress that she had now overtaken her brother, Carr, who arrived and then roosted on Guernsey a few hours after Deishar had passed through. She continued flying for a further 90 minutes after reaching French airspace, before roosting in an area of woodland near Plumeliau.

Deishar arrived in Brittany just two days after leaving the Highlands

Next morning Deishar continued south-west towards the Atlantic coast. Unlike her brother who then flew direct across the Bay of Biscay to Spain, Deishar always kept the coast in sight as she headed south. By 16:48 that afternoon she had flown 275 km and was over Ile d’Oleron just to the south-west of La Rochelle. She continued south over the River Gironde and then settled to roost in a forested area near the village of Naujac-sur-Mer, around 50 km north-west of Bordeaux.

Deishar (red line) kept to the coast as she flew south through France, whereas her brother (yellow line) crossed the Bay of Biscay to Spain

Next morning Deishar headed south-east away from the coast and towards the Pyrenees. She flew just under 200km before roosting beside the River Adour. Although she arrived too late to fish that evening, the data indicates she may have caught her first fish since leaving Scotland, soon after first light the next morning.

Deishar roosted beside the River on the evening of 7th September, and the data suggests she fished in the river the next morning.

Deishar resumed her journey at around 11:00 on 8t September and reached the Pyrenees two-and-a-half hours later. Her satellite transmitter – which logs her location once every three minutes – showed how she flew picked her way through the imposing mountains to avoid crossing the highest peaks. Nevertheless she still reached a maximum altitude of over 2564 metres above sea level as she flew through the mountains.

Deishar reached a maximum altitude of 2564 m as she crossed the Pyrenees

Once clear of the mountains, Deishar continued south until 19:44 local time when she settled to roost beside the River Ebro, 10 km east of  Zaragoza. She had flown 250 km during the course of the day.

Having reached northern Spain, Deishar showed no signs of letting up and she made the most of excellent flying conditions on 9th September, soaring and gliding through Aragon, sometimes reaching altitudes in excess of over 3000 metres. She continued flying until 20:00 by which point she had covered a further 300 km and was now 45 km south-west of Valencia.

Deishar made the most of excellent thermal conditions as she soared south through Spain, climbing on thermal updrafts and then gliding forwards.

Next morning Deishar continued on the same southerly heading and at 14:00 local time she reached the south-east coast of Mercia, south-west of La Manga and headed across the sea. The crossing to Africa is much further here than the Strait of Gibraltar where many Ospreys cross, but Desihar made light work of it, flying 210 km across the sea in four-and-a-quarter hours.

Deishar made a 200km sea crossing from Spain to Algeria.

Having reached Algeria, Deishar continued flying for a further 60 km before roosting on the edge of the town of Relizane. Deishar is now much further east than her brother, Carr, and will have a longer crossing of the Sahara unless she makes a drastic turn to the south-west. Her transmitter works through the mobile network and so we may not receive any further updates from her until she is across the Sahara. Let’s hope she makes it – but it is a difficult journey for you Ospreys on their first autumn migration.

Deishar has reached Algeria just seven days after leaving her nest in the Scottish Highlands.

To see a map of Deishar’s journey so far, click here. 

Carr heads south

Carr set out on his first autumn migration early on 1st September. He made fast progress south and crossed the First of Forth to the west of Edinburgh at 13:30. He continued flying until around 18:00 when he settled to roost in a wood to the north of Langholm in the Scottish Borders having flown 254 km.

Next morning he left his roost at around 07:30, but didn’t fly far. An hour later he was perched beside the Smithy Sike River and he remained in the area for the next two days. Perhaps he caught his first fish since leaving his nest site?

After two days in the Borders, Carr resumed his migration on the morning of 4th September, passing to the east of Carlisle at 08:15 and then continuing on a south-easterly track. By midday he was flying south through the Yorkshire Dales, climbing up to an altitude of 833 metres. At 13:30 he was fishing in Lumley Moor Reservoir and he spent the rest of the afternoon in the area – perhaps eating a fish?

Next morning Carr began migrating around 06:35 and he passed over Harrogate at an altitude of 327 metres 20 minutes later.  At 07:20 he was 230 metres above Leeds and he continued to make good progress south during the course of the morning, passing just to the east of Sheffield before skirting around the west of Nottingham at 10:15 at an altitude of 488 metres. He was flying with a strong tailwind and it showed. He made fast progress through south-west through the Midlands and by 15:39 he was passing to the east of Salisbury in Wiltshire. He showed no signs of letting up and at 16:54 he crossed the mouth of Poole Harbour at 758 metres and then, ten minutes later, he headed out into the English Channel over Swanage. He maintained the same south-westerly course for 140 km over the sea before arriving on Guernsey at 20:30 and roosting beside Saint Saviour Reservoir after a day’s flight of 550 km.

Carr flew 148 km across the English Channel from Swanage to Guernsey.

Carr flew 550 km on 5th September

On 6th September Carr began migrating at 07:30 and flew 120 km across the sea to the Brittany coast, making landfall at Mont Saint Michel. From there he continued south-south-west, passing over Rennes at 13:36 at an altitude of 831 metres. An hour later he was perched in a large block of forest 25 km south-west and he remained there for the rest of the day.

Carr set-off again just before 9am next morning and at 12:27 he reached the Atlantic coast, flying over the island of Noirmoutier at an altitude of 113 metres. Many Ospreys follow the French coast as they migrate south, but Carr simply continued south, necessitating a long flight over the Bay of Biscay. The 411 km flight took just under 12 hours, with Carr finally making landfall on the Spanish coast west of San Sebastian after midnight. An excellent flight for a juvenile Osprey on its first migration.

Carr took 12 hours to fly over 400 km across the Bay of Biscay

Once in Spain, Carr used a route favoured by many Ospreys as they head south – flying through the centre of the country. He passed just to the east of Madrid during the morning of 10th September and crossed the Sierra Morena Mountains in northern Andalusia later that day. He eventually settled to roost 35 km south of Seville having flown 504 km that day alone.

It took Carr just over three days to fly through Spain.

Next morning Carr continued south-west to the coast and at midday local time he flew over Cadiz Harbour – an excellent place for Ospreys to stop-over or even spend the winter. Carr, though, showed no signs of letting up and he followed the coast south-east. At 14:42 he was 12 km north-west of Tarifa and he headed out across the Strait of Gibraltar towards Morocco, flying at altitudes of less than 100 metres during the course of his 28 km crossing. He reached Africa airspace at 15:15 and continued flying south until just after 20:00, covering a further 183 through northern Morroco before roosting in riverside trees north of the village of Sidi Kacem. He is now over 2500 km south of Carrbridge, just 11 days after leaving Scotland.

Carr made a 28 km crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar.

To see a map of Carr’s migration so far, click here.


Poole Harbour translocation – year two

Our planning and preparation for the second year of Poole Harbour Osprey Project, a partnership between the Foundation, Birds of Poole Harbour and Wildlife Windows, started at the end of winter when we checked nests that looked fragile the previous year, and others that had been damaged by winter storms. In early March 2018 we rebuilt two that were no longer usable and it was pleasing that both were subsequently used by ospreys on their return. In April we started our regular monitoring of about 50 sites in Moray, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey, and in northern Sutherland and Caithness. This year more than usual of the adult birds were either late or missing, almost certainly due to bad weather in Morocco and Iberia during migration.

Two nests were interfered with by pine martens taking them over in winter, with one of them becoming the den for young martens. Those that did breed had a good season because of the excellent weather, but this year there was a marked contrast between the normal broods and very late chicks due to the delay or loss of breeding adults. In late June our monitoring is aimed at identifying which nests have young, how many and what age. Last summer was the first year of the Poole Harbour translocation and so we only collected eight young to get the project started. 2017 was also the last year of the five-year project to reintroduce ospreys to the Basque Country of Spain and we were delighted this spring that two of the males had attracted females which laid eggs. One failed during incubation but the other pair have young close to fledging.

Checking and ringing a brood of three young ospreys. One of this brood was subsequently translocated to Poole (photo Emily Joáchim)

Two young Ospreys ready for translocation to Poole. The birds are moved when they are five-six weeks old.

Our licence from Scottish Natural Heritage allowed us to collect up to 14 chicks this year, and so the next task was to  plan how and when to collect them from nests containing two or three young throughout our study area, liaising with owners of private land holding osprey nests or on Forestry Commission forests. Our team includes two expert tree climbers, Ian and Fraser, while Emily Joáchim again took on the feeding of the young in special pens at my home. The chicks are fed fresh trout from Rothiemurchus Fishery. We aim to collect the birds in as short a time as possible, but our first nest was a disappointment as it contained only one young. Thankfully Monday and Tuesday 9th – 10th July turned out to be excellent days, with great help in particular from Alan Campbell of the Moray district of the Forestry Commission on Monday. By Tuesday lunchtime we had reached our total, with all chicks in excellent condition. This summer Brittany Maxted came north from Poole to learn this end of the project, and on Tuesday evening Tim drove the young ospreys south in special travelling boxes to a stop-over with Barry Dore and Jakkie Tunnicliffe in Staffordshire, where Brittany and Tim fed the chicks fresh trout for the next stage of the journey.

With temperatures in southern England soaring, Tim and Brittany set-off on the final leg to Poole early on Wednesday morning to avoid the worst of the heat. Thankfully the roads were clear and they arrived at the release pens on private land adjacent to Poole Harbour shortly before 1 pm. Jason Fathers of Wildlife Windows had been busy constructing two new release pens to go with the three that we used last year, and we had already decided on the allocation for each pen, with the birds divided into groups of two or three of similar age according to wing length. The largest birds with the longest wings were places in pen 1 and the smallest in pen 5. This should ensure that we can release the birds in stages in a few weeks’ time according to when they are ready.

Having placed the birds in the relevant pens the team retreated to the monitoring caravan where Brittany and the group of volunteers monitor the birds via CCTV images. We were pleased that within a few hours all had fed on fresh fish kindly provided by local distributor Sea Fresh, and were settling in well. In fact the oldest two birds, 013 and 014 were already wing flapping strongly.

Paul Morton feeding the birds. Fish is placed into the pens through a flap at the rear in order to minimise human contact.

Over the past few days the birds have continued to be fed three times per day by the team. Fresh fish is cut up into thumbnail sized pieces and then placed on a paper plate that is passed through a hatch in the rear of each pen. This ensures that the birds are well fed prior to release, but that human contact is kept to an absolute minimum.

All being well the first birds will be ready to be released in about two weeks’ time and in the intervening period they will continue to be monitored closely.

We’re delighted that the second year of this exciting project to restore Ospreys to their former haunts on the South Coast of England is underway.

For the most recent updates on the Poole Harbour Osprey Project, please check out the Birds of Poole Habour website.

CCTV images from each pen allow the development of each bird to be carefully monitored (photo by Paul Morton)

Jules makes it home

Great news – our satellite tagged osprey, Jules, made it back to Starthspey yesterday afternoon after a 20 day migration from the Casamance region of Senegal. At 15:30 yesterday afternoon he was at Rothiemurchus Fishery – the location where we tagged him last September.

In our previous updated we reported that Jules was flying west over Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday morning. We now know that he paused briefly to the south of Leek before continuing north at around 11:00 BST. He passed to the east of Manchester two hours later at an altitude of 475 metres. He continued north through the Pennines, averaging around 30 kph and reached Northumberland at 18:30. He continued flying until 21:00 when he finally settled to roost for the night in a forested area immediately south of the Scottish border after a day’s flight of 326 km.

Jules flew directly over Stoke-on-Trent at an altitude of just over 300 metres on Wednesday morning

Yeserday morning Jules cleared sensed that he was close to home because he continued north at first light and reached the Firth of Forth to the east of Edinburgh at North Bewick at 08:40. He crossed the Firth at an altitude of approximately 150 metres before continuing on through Fife, over Dundee and then into Angus. By 12:32 he was in southern Moray and at this point he turned due west to fly direct to Aviemore. By the time he reached Rothiemurchus he had flown 244 km since leaving his roost site in the Borders.

Jules does not have an established nest, and so it will be very interesting to follow his movements this summer. We’ll be sure to keep you updated over the coming months, but won’t be publishing any further movements on our interactive map because Jules is likely to visit established osprey nest sites in the course of his wanderings, many of which are kept confidential in order to protect the birds. You can however check out his complete 20 day migration on the map here.

Jules flew 570 km over two days before arriving in Aviemore yesterday afternoon

Back in the UK

After spending the weekend at the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany, Jules arrived back in the UK yesterday, flying an impressive 580 km in just 11 hours before roosting 8 km south-west of Stafford.

Jules set-off from his stop-over site at around 10 am BST yesterday morning and headed purposefully north. Aided by a strong tailwind he reached the north coast of France three hours later and then set-off across the English Channel, passing over Guernsey at around 14:30 BST before reaching the English coast at Portland Bill at approximately 16:20 BST, at relatively low altitude.

Jules flew over Portland Bill as he reached the English coast

With the wind in his favour, Jules continued to power north. Flying at speeds of over 60 kph at altitudes of up to 928 metres he passed to the east of Bristol at 18:00 and to the west of Birmngham two hours later. He eventually settled to roost at dusk on the edge of a wood near the villages of Church Eaton and Apeton in Staffordshire.

Jules flew 580 km from Brittany to Staffordshire in 11 hours yesterday

This morning Jules resumed his journey at first light and at 09:16 he was over Stoke-on-Trent. Without an established nest to return to, it will be fascinating to follow his progress as he continues north to Starthspey. Will he head straight there on explore elsewhere? Watch this space!

You can check out Jules’ migration on our interactive map. 


A French stop-over

Ospreys often return to favoured stop-over locations during migration. These are often sites where they lingered during their first migration as a juvenile and they become important ‘goal areas’ during subsequent journeys. Last autumn Jules stopped-over at the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany from 17 September to 2 October, and the latest satellite data shows that he has spent the last two days there as he migrates back to Scotland this spring.

In our previous update we reported that Jules had roosted to the east of Seville on the night of 22nd April. Next morning he resumed his migration at around 08:00 local time, and flew 138 km north to southern Extremadura before roosting close to Embalse de Navalespino.

Jules likely caught a fish next morning because he didn’t begin migrating again until around 10:00 local time. He made relatively good progress once he did resume his journey through eastern Extremadura; flying 239 km before stopping for the night at the north-east end of another reservoir, Embalse de Santa Teresa in Castile and León.

Jules made an even later start to his journey on 25th April, heading almost due east from his roost site at around midday. He turned to the north-east an hour later and then flew 160 km before roosting near a series of small lakes close to the village of Lastras de Cuéllar.

After three relatively easy days of migration, Jules set off on the morning of 26th April with much more purpose. He flew 252 km during the course of the day and reached the north coast of Spain just to the west of Bilbao around half an hour before sunset at 20:30. Usually this would be his cue to find somewhere to roost for the night, but on this occasion Jules showed no sign of letting up. As the sun set he was already 15 km out to sea, and during the course of the night he crossed the Bay of Biscay, flying 426 km at altitudes as low as 48 metres before making landfall to the south-west of Nantes just before sunrise next morning. He finally stopped to rest at around 09:30 local time just south of the Loire Estuary having flown 693 km from northern Spain in just over 24 hours.

Jules flew 693 km from Spain to Brittany in just over 24 hours

After resting for much of the day Jules flew 31 km north during late afternoon before roosting at the southern end of a lake in a forested area in southern Brittany.

On Saturday morning rather than continuing north Jules made a distinct turn to the west and flew 56 km to the Gulf of Morbihan, where he has remained since; returning to some of his favoured haunts from last autumn. It will be fascinating to see how long he remains there for.   Don’t forget that you can check out Jules’ flight so far on our interactive map.

Jules’ movements since arriving at Gulf of Morbihan (pink) in relation to his positions last autumn (green)

Into Spain

Jules continues to make excellent progress on his return migration to Scotland. Yesterday evening he roosted 60 km east of Seville in central Andalucia.

We know that on Thursday night last week Jules roosted in southern Morocco. Next morning he set-off early, shortly after 06:00 GMT. He reached the southern side of the vast Atlas Mountains three hours later, and over the course of the next 90 minutes he crossed the maintains, passing peaks of over 4000 metres.

Jules flew directly through the Atlas Mountains, passing peaks of over 4000 metres

Once through the mountains he powered on north, passing to the east of Marrakesh and onwards towards Rabat at speeds of over 50 kph. He eventually settled to roost for the night on a hillside with scattered trees, between Casablanca and Rabat, having flown 409 km during the course of the day.

On Saturday morning Jules resumed his migration at around 08:00 GMT and passed to the east of Rabat an hour-and-a-half later. He made slower progress than previous days and at 17:15 was perched beside Barrage El Wahda, a large reservoir in northern Morocco. This would have provided Jules’ with a much needed opportunity to feed after his flight across the Sahara and Atlas Mountains. He eventually settled to roost on a forest hillside 10 km north of the reservoir after a day’s flight of 217 km.

Jules roosted north of Barrage El Wahda before returning there early next morning to feed

Next morning Jules returned to the reservoir at around 08:30 and almost certainly caught a fish because he was perched on the shoreline for the next hour-and-a-half, presumably eating his catch. He resumed his journey at approximately 10:30 GMT. Two hours later he reached the north coast of Morocco and then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar before passing over Algeciras in southern Spain. He continued to make good progress during the afternoon before settling to roost in an olive grove in central Andalucia at around 18:15 GMT (20:15 local time) after a day’s flight of 308 km.

Jules’ flight across the Strait of Gibraltar on Sunday afternoon

Jules has flown 934 km over the past three days

You can check out Jules’ flight so far on our interactive map.

Crossing the Sahara

Over the past few weeks we’ve been wondering when our satellite-tagged osprey, Jules, would set-off from his wintering site in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. Ospreys with established nests usually leave in mid-March, but younger birds often depart later. Jules was unringed when we tagged him at Rothiemurchus Fishery last September, and he then set-off on migration the very next morning; meaning we do not know how old he is, or if he has an established nest site. It also made predicting his spring departure more tricky.

Jules finally left his wintering site on Saturday 14th April; a relatively late departure that indicates he is probably a young bird without a nest to reclaim. Nevertheless he has made excellent progress and last night he roosted just south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco having flown 2336 km during his first six days of migration, and successfully crossed the Sahara. Here’s a day-by-day summary of his journey so far.

Saturday 14 April 

Jules set-off from his wintering site in the Casamance region of southern Senegal at approximately 11:00 GMT. He flew 191 km ENE at a maximum altitude of 1316 m before stopping to roost a few kilometres south of the River Gambia.

Sunday 15th April 

Jules left his overnight roost at around 09:30 and headed across the River Gambia soon afterwards. By 12:47 he had flown 81 km due north, and at this point he changed his heading to north-east. He maintained the same bearing for the rest of the afternoon before settling to roost close to the border of Senegal and Mauritania after a day’s flight of 340 km.

Monday 16th April 

After a couple of short local movements Jules resumed his migration at 09:30 and crossed into Mauritania soon afterwards, with the vast and desolate Sahara ahead. The wind must have been in his favour because he maintained a perfect north-easterly heading during the course of the day, flying a total of 349 km across the desert at a maximum altitude of 1464 m.

Jules’ first three days of spring migration

Tuesday 17th April 

Having roosted on the desert floor, Jules began migrating again at approximately 09:00 GMT. Unlike the previous day he set-off on a northerly heading, and then maintained it for the rest of the day, crossing the Akchâr Desert region of central Mauritania. He made particularly fast progress during the middle part of the day when thermals would have been strongest, covering 208 km in four hours after midday. When he finally settled to roost at around 19:15 he had flown an impressive 503 km during the day and was now close to the border with Western Sahara.

Wednesday 18th April 

Jules left his roost site just before 09:00 GMT and headed north. By 14:00 he had flown 237 km and at this point he turned more to the north-east, appearing to follow ridges in the desert below. He maintained this heading for the rest of the afternoon, flying at altitudes of up to 2000 m. He eventually settled to roost in northern Western Sahara shortly after 19:00 after a day’s flight of 437 km.

Jules appeared to be following ridges than run north-east across the northern part of the Sahara during the afternoon of the 18th April

Thursday 19th April 

Jules was now nearing the end of his crossing of the Sahara and he left his roost site in the desert at 09:15. As the previous afternoon he maintained an almost perfect north-easterly bearing as he crossed the northern reaches of the Sahara into southern Morocco, flying at a maximum altitude of 2500 m. He passed well to the east of Tiznit and continued across the Anti-Atlas Mountains until after dark. When he finally settled to roost at 20:30 he had flown 516 km during the course of the day and was approximately 100 km east of Agadir.

Jules has made fast progress across the Sahara over the past four days

All being well Jules will have crossed the Atlas Mountains today, and will reach Spain over the weekend. We’ll have another update on his progress early next week. In the meantime you can check out Jules’ flight so far on our interactive map.

Sad news about LS6

In January we were delighted to learn that two of the eight juvenile ospreys that we translocated to Poole Harbour last summer had been seen at the Sine-Saloum Delta. This vast area of mangrove swamps and shallow tidal water is a perfect place for wintering ospreys, and so it was extremely encouraging that the two birds were seen there.

We have now received news of a third Poole translocated bird in West Africa, but sadly this one – LS6 – was found dead near Kartong in The Gambia. The bird’s body was initially found by local people and the corpse was then relocated by Dembo Jatta, who took the photos below. There were no obvious signs of death, and so we can only assume that it died of natural causes, which is common among young ospreys. The demands of the first migration, coupled with difficulties associated with finding a wintering site, mean that mortality among juvenile ospreys is very high, with only around 20-30 % of birds returning to the UK as adults. Juvenile ospreys are often chased away from the best areas by aggressive adult birds, and can end up in marginal habitat where food is harder to come by, and chances of mortality much greater. All manner of dangers lie in wait for inexperienced young ospreys, particularly those already in poor condition.

The body of LS6 was found by local people near Kartong in the south of The Gambia


The area where LS6 was found, just north of the River Allahein – which forms the southern border of The Gambia and Senegal – is an excellent place for wintering ospreys, but of course what we don’t know is how long he had been there before he died. Most juvenile ospreys do not settle down at a particular site until the summer of their second year, and so LS6 would still have been in the exploration phase and may have only just arrived in this part of The Gambia when he died. Sadly the bird’s body provided no conclusive evidence as to what had happened. Very many thanks to Dembo Jatta, as well as Olly Fox and Colin Cross of Kartong Bird Observatory for the information and photos.

LS6 was found just to the north of the River Allahein in the south of The Gambia

LS6’s body was found 65 km south of the location of the January sightings of LS3 and LS7

Although it is very sad that LS6 has been found dead, the fact that we now know that at least three of the eight birds we released completed migrations to West Africa indicates that they left Dorset in excellent condition; and this is testament to the superb work of the team at Poole. It is also likely that the proximity of Poole Harbour to the English Channel gives the translocated birds an advantage. The crossing from Poole to the Cherbourg peninsular in France is just 60 miles and once there the juveniles can follow the Atlantic coast of France as they migrate south, rather than attempting a dangerous crossing of the Bay of Biscay. So despite the bad news about LS6, there is plenty of reason to remain hopeful about the other birds.


After publishing this blog we were sent a photo of LS6 taken by Paul Hill near Kartong Bird Observatory (just 2.5 km from where the bird was subsequently found dead) on 16th January. This was just under two months before the bird’s body was found. The photo shows that a big chunk of the tail is missing – suggesting that LS6 may have been attacked by a dog, or perhaps even a crocodile. Ospreys spend a great deal of time perched on the ground, which greatly increases the chances of naive, inexperienced juveniles being predated. Although it seems LS6 had a close escape initially, it is possible that the loss of so many tail feathers impaired its ability to fish successfully. It’s a mystery that will remain unsolved, but this seems the most plausible explanation at present.

LS6 had much of his tail missing when he was photographed by Paul Hill on 16th January.

Elswehere we were delighted to learn last week that the mother of one of the Poole Harbour birds is on her way back to Scotland. 15 year-old Morven raised three chicks last year, one of which was translocated to Poole (LS7 – who was seen in Senegal in January), and another to the Basque Country. On Wednesday last week she was photographed at her regular spring stop-over site at Ría de Villaviciosa in Asturias. Morven was originally ringed as a chick on Forestry Commission land in Moray in 2003 and was then satellite tagged by Roy five years later. This showed that she migrated to the coast of Mauritania and stopped off at the Villaviciosa estuary each spring. Her transmitter was eventually removed but she continues to breed in Moray.

Very many thanks to Miguel Puente for the photo and sending details of his sighting.We have uploaded details of the sighting of Morven as well as several other new birds onto our interactive migration map.

Morven was photographed at the Villaviciosa estuary by Miguel Puente on 21st March.

No new data

During the winter we have received almost daily transmissions from Jules’ satellite transmitter, but no recent data from Blue DF. Analysis of the engineering and diagnostic data from the transmitter indicates that this is due to battery failure. This is extremely frustrating but we are almost certain that the bird is still alive and well in the Casamance region. Chris Wood, Joanna Dailey, Junkung Jadama and Fansu Bojang went to look for him in December. They didn’t see him because access to his favoured daytime area was impossible due to high water levels but they did send these photos. They also saw a flock of close to 100 Black-crowned Cranes. Thanks very much to them all for trying. Like Jules we hope to see Blue DF back in Strathspey this spring. In the meantime we will update you should the transmitter begin sending data again.