You may have been wondering why there hasn’t been any news in recent weeks of our young satellite tagged osprey, FR3. Unfortunately it would appear that we have lost contact with him.
As many of you will recall, FR3 was tagged as a chick at Loch of the Lowes in July 2015 and over the last two years we have tracked his initial migration to the Gambia and subsequent movements since then.
There were hopes that he may have returned to the UK this year and that we could have followed his journey. Since the advent of satellite tagging we have discovered that it is not unheard of for two year old ospreys to make a full or partial migration back towards their breeding range.
However, we haven’t received any new data from FR3’s tag since 2nd June, so it looks as though either the tag has suffered a technical failure or something has happened which is now preventing the tag from transmitting. There are a number of potential explanations but we won’t speculate on these until we have more information.
What we do know at present is that the data suddenly stops early on the morning of 2nd June. As well as location data the tag also supplies engineering data, including tag activity readings, battery voltage and temperature. Based on this information the tag appears to have been functioning perfectly normally and FR3 was still moving around his usual haunts on the Bulok bolon.
We have sent the last batch of data to Roy Dennis and are awaiting a second opinion from him. We have also contacted Fansu Bojang in the Gambia. Fansu is a freelance wildlife guide who has worked with the Rutland Osprey team as part of their West Africa project. He has visited the area where FR3 has been residing, and seen him there on a number of occasions. Fansu has kindly agreed to go to the area and see if he can find any sign of FR3.
We will let you know as soon as there is any further news.