Earlier this week we were contacted by Chris Wood, a volunteer from the Rutland Osprey Project. Chris has visited the Gambia on a number of occasions in recent years and is regularly in contact with Fansu Bojang, an experienced birdwatcher and freelance wildlife tour guide. Last month Fansu successfully located and photographed 5F, a female osprey fledged from Rutland in 2012. This week Fansu was in the area close to N’Demban, where FR3 had been spending a lot of time. So yesterday, armed with the location details which Chris passed on, Fansu went in search of FR3.
Unfortunately Fansu was unable to locate FR3, who as we now know has moved on further west towards Sutu Sinyang some time over 4th or 5th. He was however able to take some brilliant photographs of the area which Chris has very kindly passed on to us to share with you.
As you can see from the photos, the habitat is a mixture of marshland, open water and mangrove swamp forest – very similar to Tanji Marsh where 5F overwinters.
There are also three man-made fishing ponds; Fansu was able to speak to the owner who told him that he had seen an osprey hunting over the ponds on several occasions, up to a few days ago. The owner didn’t mention if he’s spotted a tell-tale aerial and FR3’s hourly locations don’t show him over the ponds at any point, however it is quite possible that fishing trips may have taken place in between times. Although FR3 has left the area for the time being the owner and Fansu will stay in touch in case there are any further sightings.
We are extremely grateful to both Fansu and Chris for their efforts to locate FR3. Chris is travelling out to the Gambia next month so may be able to catch up with either FR3 or FR4 himself.