Mixed migration news
The news is not very promising this week, unfortunately, because one of the two satellite tracked osprey juveniles, Talla, has not relayed any updated signal since 1 September. The last time Talla was tracked, was near Portimao in Portugal, flying strongly towards the south coast. It could be that she flew out to sea and has been lost, or could have made it to Africa and is in a remote area where no signal is being detected. If the latter, we will just have to wait to see if the tracker sparks back into life and sends a signal once Talla moves into another area.
It's always exciting to find out where the ospreys go and to follow their journey, but it is quite heartbreaking when birds are lost, particularly for those involved in the project as they have invested so much time and interest in individual birds. In the normal scheme of things, birds will migrate and we never know which birds survive and which succumb to threats. We just get a nice surprise a few years later if a ringed bird is spotted and recognised back on UK shores. Tracking brings the harsh reality of the survival rates of birds into the spotlight.
Tracking certainly has given us its highs and lows over the years, that’s for certain. It’s a nail-biting time of year.
All our hope is pinned on Megget now. The last signal received from her tracker was on 12 September in northern Spain in the León region.
Megget has been in this area since 4 September and is roving about the hillsides, mountains and valleys. She seems to be fishing in two rivers, the Rio Luna and the Rio Omana. She is in excellent territory and a superb wildlife area renowned for flagship species of Cantabrian Capercaillie, Iberian wolves and the elusive Cantabrian brown bears. She visited a reservoir called the Embalse de Selga de Ordas on 7 September at 2pm and was still there at 4pm. Hopefully she caught a fish and perched to eat it which would explain the 2 hour stop.
On 8 and 9 September, the Rio Luna was the favoured river to explore. Before travelling north, Megget switched to the Rio Omana to hunt and spent another couple of nights in that area. The final night of data we have so far is from 11 September when Megget roosted in a tree on the opposite side of the valley from her roost on 6 September above the Rio Omana. The tracker revealed she was still at the roost site at 5:28am on 12 September before taking off and flying in a westerly direction towards the village of Campo de la Lomba.
The last tracked point that we have for Megget was on this route at 7:31am on 12 September. The tracker showed that the bird was stationary. It also showed that the signal strength was null so this could account for the lack of further data relaying back to us. Fingers crossed all is well and we will receive signal back from the tracker to locate Megget soon.
This is the end of the osprey season for 2021 but, as further tracking details emerge over the coming months, a brief update will be released to keep everyone posted. We wish all of our ospreys’ safe journeys and hope they find good overwintering quarters. We will look forward to seeing ospreys return in the spring and hope for any glad news of sightings to reach us.