Thursday, 17 November 2011

...and AFRICA!!!!!!

WOW! breaking news!

It's been a nerve wracking two weeks waiting for news of Ozwold. Roy Dennis has been in Senegal looking for the Dyfi ospreys and filming with Autumn Watch. He said it was a fantastic trip so make sure you watch this Friday's Autumn Watch and we may well be in for an osprey spectacular.

So what was Ozwold doing all this time? Was he slipping back the sangria in Spain? or resting his toes in the River Tormes?

No, he was looks like he decided the sands of the Sahara and the African Atlantic coast beckoned. What an incredible bird. I'd love to have a real bird eye view of all the things he has seen on his journey.

So, fresh from the press, or rather from Roy is Ozwold's remarkable journey...

He's off again

05 November 2011

He's off aagin - after spending his whole time on the river, he left that area this morning and at 1100hrs was flying south high over the Monfrague National Park and at 1500 was over the western Sierra Morana. By 1800hrs he had cleared the mountains and was roosting on farmlands near a small river N of Marchena, some 100 kms east of Seville, after a flight of 373 kms. Brilliant to see that he has decided he'll try Africa not winter in Spain. Roy said he overtook him on his day's flight as he was flown south from Gatwick to the Gambia - it looked a good day over southern Spain although a bit cloudy.

Nov 5th

Crossed to Morocco

06 November 2011
Set off after 0600hrs and stopped several times SW of Marchena and then on SSW. At 1200hrs was just north of Bornos Reservoir flying south at 31km/hr and just after 1500hrs flew out over the Atlantic Ocean just east of Barbate. An hour later he was flying over the sea at 21km/hr south 450 metres above the water; he was ashore at Tangier by 1700hrs and was roosting an hour later south of a big reservoir at Gharbia.

Nov 6th - 229 kms

On south through Morocco

07 November 2011
Had set off before 0800hrs and at 0900hrs flew out over coast at Larache and coasted south before coming ashore at midday at Ben Mansour. An hour later was flying south at Kenitra and by dark was roosting NE of Marrakesh after a flight of 452 kms.

On through the Atlas Mountains

08 November 2011
Ozwold flew south over the mountain ridges today and flew a distance of 300 kms - at 1500hrs he was east of Agadir and at 1900hrs was roosting on a high ridge at 1390 metres in the Anti Atlad ESE of Tiznit - tomorrow he will set off over the Sahara.

Nov 8th

Flying into the deserts

09 November 2011
He flew SW through southern Morocco during the morning and at 1400 hrs was flying SSW at 31km/hr at 1330 meters. At 1600hrs he crossed into Western Sahara and at 1900 was roosting in a massive dry river valley which finally runs into the sea at the coastal town of Aaiun after a flight of 340 kms

On into the deserts

10 November 2011
Flew on over the deserts heading SW so missed the NW corner of Mauritania. He made rather slow progress although by 1900 hrs he had covered 269 kms before roosting in featureless sand desert.

Dramatic turn to the Atlantic coast

11 November 2011
Instead of migrating on south through the desert, like most ospreys, Ozwold swerved right and flew straight west to the Atlantic coast and at 1500 hrs was coasting down the coast just a few kms offshore.

South to Mauritania

12 November 2011
The first signal at 1400hrs today showed that Ozwold was 342 kms down the coast. He flew south along the coast and at 1700hrs was approaching Mauritania. At 1800 hrs he was flying S at 40kms/hr at 190 metres over the massive iron ore port of Nouadhibou. An hour later he was roosting on the slopes above the southern part of the port.

Night roost 12th/13th Nov

To the Banc d'Arguin

13 November 2011
Today Ozwold flew 100kms SSE across the bay to Ile Nair, part of the Banc d'Arguin National Park coastal wetlands. This is one of the great wintering sites on the African coast for European waders and waterfowl. He settled down and on 13t - 16th November fished in the shallows and roosted at night in the desert. This could be a good place to winter - it's just north of where Morven winters.

Nov 13th - 16th


What a journey!

Incredible to think this 7 month old osprey has learned to fly and to fish and to follow some deep ingrained instinct to fly south. What is even more amazing is the route he has navigate via areas offering protection and rich fishing grounds. Chance? or a genetic mental map? It's interesting to see that he has chosen to rest longer in areas rich in fish to build up strength for his journey ahead.

Keep safe Ozwold....where will we catch up with you next time?

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