News of older Ospreys

This week we received an email from José Manuel Sayago and Teresa Ramírez of the Odiel Natural Park in Andalucia bringing us news of one of our Scottish ospreys – Yellow 7Y. She was collected in July 2005 from a nest in Easter Ross in the Scottish Highlands and translocated to southern Spain as part of the reintroduction project. She returned to Andalucia in 2007 and a year later was the first one to pair up and build a nest on a derelict electricity pylon in the Odiel marshes. In 2009 she bred with her German translocated male and reared three young – the first successful translocated pair. Teresa writes “ This year, 2018, she has reared two more young with her German mate. They have reared young every year – a total of 17 young”.  One of her young in 2009 has also been breeding on the Odiel Marshes since 2012. It’s always very interesting to hear of individual ospreys which are super-successful.

Yellow 7Y has reared 17 young at her nest at Odiel Marshes in Andalucia since first breeding in 2008 (photo by A Ventas).

Another super-survivor of an osprey was also reported recently – Green SK in Portugal by Jorge Safara of the Portuguese osprey recovery project. She was originally ringed as a juvenile at a nest in Nairnshire, northern Scotland on 10th July 2002 by Roy Dennis (youngest of a brood of three). Roy subsequently caught her after fledging (on 24th August that year) and fitted her with a satellite transmitter. This showed that she wintered in Portugal after an extremely hazardous and life-threatening first migration during which she was blown out into the Atlantic.

On 15th September she left the North Devon and after missing landfall in Brittany and then missing the coast in NW Spain she was swept out over the Atlantic Ocean by strong easterly winds. After an amazing journey of nearly 3000 kilometres, flying non-stop for nearly 60 hours, she was blown ashore near Odemira in southern Portugal. On 21 September she moved 85 kms NE to Vale de Gaio reservoir near Torrao, where she must have wintered.

SK’s first migration in Portugal in 2002 involved an incredible non-stop flight of almost 3000 km after being blown out into the Atlantic

This was an early transmitter and once the battery ran out we received no more news until she was found breeding near Aberfoyle by David Anderson in 2005. She moved to another location and continued to breed there until at least 2011, but there have been no recent sightings in summer. She is probably breeding in another new location in Scotland because Jorge photographed her catching a fish at Odivelas reservoir on 16th October, which is just 20 km south-west of the last satellite location that Roy received from the transmitter in 2002. Earlier in March 2018 he observed her at another reservoir. At 16 years of age she is clearly an osprey that winters inland in Portugal and now breeds somewhere in Scotland. A true survivor after one of the most dangerous starts to life for any osprey.

SK was photographed by Jorge Safara at Odivelas reservoir