Thursday, 25 August 2011

Ozwold is on the move!

16th August 2011

These are the first remarkable images plotting the journey of Ozwold as he starts on his very first migration.
Roy Dennis readjusted Ozwold's starting location to the town of Nairn, to keep the nest site secret.
Ozwold took us by surprise by starting his migration earlier than anticipated. Many osprey chicks stay at the nest site until mid September and leave about the same time as the adult males, the females having left earlier in August.
In the map below we can see that Ozwold set off on quite a direct line south, a distance of approximately 70 miles to the Grampian mountains.
I hope Ozwold has learnt to fish successfully on his own already, without relying on supplementary feeding from his dad.

17th August 2011

Another fairly straight line south. At the Firth of Forth, Ozwold hugged the coast and headed east, north of Edinburgh and flew south again, a total distance of just over a hundred miles.

18th August 2011

Ozwold headed south, then took a suprise west flight along the southern coast of Scotland, and then north to the remote hill country and high level lochs of the Galloway Forest Park. One loch Ozwold visited was the Clatteringshaws Loch. 

Distance, approx 70 miles.

19th August 2011

Another suprise as Ozwold headed west and north across the island of Arran and on to Kintyre. He finished the day near West Loch Tarbert, a long sea loch, perfect for a spot of fishing.

Today's distance, approximately 90 miles.

16th - 22nd August 2011

Since first leaving the nest on the 16th August, Ozwold has flown a remarkable full circle almost back to his nest site. He is currently fishing on an area of the Spey river favoured by ospreys.

All this data helps to build up a picture of the behaviour and flight patterns of young ospreys as they take their first flights from the nest. During this flight, Ozwold will have been building up an important memory map of Scotland that will be essential for feeding areas and potential nest sites on his eventual return. Roy Dennis is relieved that Ozwold made a full circle, rather than heading out too far west. If ospreys leave landfall and are blown out across the ocean, they can die from exhaustion.

It will be interesting to see when Ozwold makes his next move south.

Total distance 16th to 22nd; nearly 500 miles! He's certainly been putting in the miles and building up his flying fitness for his migration south.

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