Great news – Cromarty’s back on track

Early morning check of my emails gave me three lots of data from Cromarty’s transmitter. I was really disappointed when the transmitter stopped working on 14th March and I wondered whether he had been lost over the Sahara desert on migration. But I was wrong and it seems that either the transmitter went on the blink or the local mobile phone mast has been out of action for a month. Anyway today’s data showed that Cromarty was still living at the same wintering site in southern Senegal and each day 5th to 10th of April he had flown out to fish in the Atlantic Ocean. It is really fantastic that the transmitter is working again, and fingers crossed that it continues to do so, because then we should be able to track his return migration to Scotland. This bird is coming up to 3 years old so should be looking this summer for a nest site and mate. It’s about time that he started his northwards migration so I’ll be checking regularly to see when that happens. On Saturday I checked his favourite roosting area near Aviemore where he spent time last August, but there was nothing on the most likely roost tree. Not surprising as he was still in Africa after all. It’s a reminder that when satellite transmitters fail it doesn’t necessarily mean that the bird has died.

I’ve had a great few days monitoring the osprey nests in my study area and just over half of the birds back at their nests. For once there have been no nests needing rebuilding after the winter – no severe wind damage this time.  I always enjoy finding old regulars back at their nest sites and many of them were there. The male Osprey Red 8T was back at his nest with his regular female, and on the previous morning I watched the female named Morven perched beside her nest with her last year’s mate. Both of those transmitters are old and no longer work. I was looking at the weather forecast last night and it didn’t look very good for the Bay of Biscay, with a nasty low pressure giving strong easterly winds likely to blow a lost migrating ospreys well out into the Atlantic Ocean. Definitely weather conditions to hug the French coast and then there will be a battle against northerly winds through the United Kingdom. Oh well that’s what’s living in nature means. Survival of the fittest and the luckiest.