Delight and curiosity dominate this week’s osprey migration update as both Blue YD and particularly Blue 44 have done the unexpected!!
The big news is that our wee Blue 44… has left France!! We thought he had made himself at home and we’d built a fantastic relationship with our French counterparts Stéphanie, Paul & Mathieu over the past couple of months… but he has moved on to Spain.
Judging by the intensive use he was making of certain areas of Etang D’Hardy & Etang Blanc, Blue 44 seemed comfortably settled in the South of France. But we should not be surprised as he had previously been on a short trip towards Spain on the 19th of September, quickly returning to familiar grounds after a few hours.
Sometime on the 6th November (we don’t know exactly when as there is currently data missing), Blue 44 decided it was time to go. Flying south west he crossed the border into Spain, before heading inland to where he roosted that evening in the province of Castile (Castilla y León), close to a village in Burgos called Quintanarraya – a stone’s throw from the border with Soria. A total of 163 miles! – see the Google Earth map below showing his journey.
Like the rest of Castile, the area where Blue 44 can be found at the moment is predominantly flat and the forest areas are dominated by Holm oak (Quercus ilex) – a common native species in Spain also found in southern parts of the UK. There are plenty of rivers and streams for him to fish in and it seems he will enjoy a comfortable average temperature of 12°C this week.
What is Blue 44 going to do next? We will just have to wait and see…
Meanwhile, Blue YD has returned to an old roosting area East of Haere Lao, where he spent most of the first half of October (see the picture below). Although he was merely 90 miles from the coast last week, he is 148 miles further afield now. This familiar patch of wood is very close to one of the slightly populated meanders of the River Senegal, and the whole area is surrounded by small patches of forest as well as Senegalese national parks and wildlife reserves.
We’ll bring you more news next week.