FR4 was last seen by the staff and volunteers at Loch of the Lowes on Monday so we had strong suspicions that our last remaining chick had departed on migration. An eagle-eyed webcam viewer informed us that FR4 was on the nest at 6.39am on Tuesday and downloading the latest satellite data this morning confirmed that the bird was still here at 7am.
However, at 2pm (the time of the next data point) FR4 was over 200km to the south flying over High Street – the highest of the Far Eastern Fells in the Lake District! By early evening FR4 had progressed through Lancashire, passing to the west of Manchester city centre, coming to roost for the night in farmland to the south of Manchester Airport. The journey resumed early on Wednesday, heading on through Cheshire, the West Midlands, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. By 5pm FR4 was passing over the New Forest in Hampshire, heading for the coast to the east of Bournemouth. The last data point we have at 7pm shows FR4 over halfway across the English Channel, approximately 40km from the tip of the Normandy coast. The next update will hopefully show that FR4 is progressing well through north France.
Meanwhile, FR3 continues to explore the same area of southern France. Most of the activity is centred around the small fishing ponds to the west of St-Paul-Lizonne, with a couple of short trips to the north and south along the course of the River Lizonne which acts as the boundary between the departments of Dordogne & Charente.
Remember you can view all of the tracking data for FR3 & FR4 for yourselves at scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/things-to-do/osprey/, where you can also find instructions for viewing the data in Google Earth.
There has been no sign of the male since Monday so it seems safe to assume that all of our ospreys have now departed for 2015. We wish them all well over the winter and hope that the adult pair will return safely next spring.
More news next week…