Monday, 16 April 2012

Sad News

I have just returned from a week away to an email from Roy Dennis to say that it seems something happened to Ozwold around the 23rd March.

Roy's message copied and pasted below;

Ozwald was in his usual wintering area from March 12th to 21st. On 21st at 1000GMT he was flying south at 36km/hr at 110 metres altitude and two hours later was tracking down the Atlantic coast at 38km/hr at 190 metres altitude. He stopped about 7 kms south of Morven's wintering area and was on the coast between 1300 and 1600 hours, before moving a few kms inland to roost overnight in the desert. Next morning 22nd, he was perched about 7 kms inland at 0700-0900GMT.
The next signals were at 2300 hrs on 23rd March when ozwald was 38.5 kms back north and 650 metres inland in the sand dunes. Next day his signals were from exactly the same spot at 0700-0900hrs and 1600-1800hrs. The place seemed to have been a dune with a few sparse bushes. Checking the data shows that transmission occurred on 25th March, which gave the previous data, but the activity meter showed no movement at 1013, 1111 and 1512 GMT. No further signals have been received.  I am afraid it looks as though Ozwald is dead - how is impossible to say especially as there was a big gap between received GPS data on 22nd and 23rd - may be he was killed by a jackal at night while roosting in the desert.
No further signals have been received - I have been waiting just in case. Very sad to loose him after his earlier exploits when I thought he might die in Scotland.
Sorry to be a bringer of bad news - but being a young osprey is difficult.

It is very sad and such a shame, especially after his successful migration and settled wintering site. There is a small window of hope that maybe there has been transmitter failure or maybe the transmitter has fallen off. We would only know if this is the case if Ozwold is identified by his leg ring in the future. However, we know for now that transmissions have failed and there is the high likelihood that he has not survived his first year. 

It is also a shame that transmissions come in less frequently during the wintering period, as a window of opportunity for a search for him is reduced. If there are any developments here, I will update the blog. Or indeed, any news of him in the near or distant future. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to the following sponsors for their support and generous donations. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Ozwold's 15,000 + followers. Children and adults worldwide have been following Ozwold. Although his journey may have ended here, maybe he has brought wildlife and wild places closer to many people. I only wish that we could have followed his incredible journey for longer. Who knows...maybe we will....?

Thank you to the following UK, US and foreign language publishers. As with the story of Sky Hawk, the support shown by all these publishers reflects our shared responsibility for our natural world.

Yilin Press

Forlaget Flachs

English (UK)  
Oxford University Press

English (USA)  

Bókadeild Føroya Lærarafelags

Gallimard Jeunesse

dtv junior


Könyvmolyképző Kiadó Ltd.

Yewon Media Publishing Co  

Cappelen Damm

Zalozba Alica Publishing House 

Rily Publications

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Waiting for news...

Hopefully Ozwold is still safe in Mauritania. He will probably return to the UK in the spring of 2013 when he will be old enough to breed.

In the meantime...I thought I'd put up a few links to see some of the ospreys that have arrived back in the UK. Ospreys have been arriving over the past couple of weeks, establishing bonds and making new ones. There's been sunshine, snow, plenty of fish and plenty of drama...
(The list below is only a sample of some of the great osprey sites)

Scottish ospreys

Highland Foundation for Wildlife

Beatrice returned on the 6th April to her nest site. Her mate has not yet arrived.
Morven is on her way...most recent data from Spain.
Red 8T is on his way. He is stuck in the Home Counties at the moment but his mate has arrived in Scotland and is waiting for him.
Rothiemurchus is still in Senegal

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Isla, the world famous osprey returned to her nest. Her mate The Laird, hasn't yet arrived but she seems keen on a new male who has arrived at the nest. It will be interesting to see what happens when The Laird arrives.
Isla is possibly the oldest known osprey. At about 27 years of age, she has laid 66 eggs and had 48 live healthy chicks who have fledged. Two years ago she was desperately sick and the world watched as she made a miraculous recovery.
Look at the action on the amazing webcam.

RSPB Loch Garten

Probably the most famous of all osprey visitor centres has seen some high drama on the nest sites as the ospreys return. Follow the drama on the RSPB blog...

Welsh Ospreys 

Dyfi Ospreys 

Monty and Nora have both arrived at the nest site and are re-establishing bonds. Follow the link to read about it and see some great pictures.

English Ospreys

Follow what's happening at Rutland Water with this great blog link

See all the action live at their webcam...

Monday, 19 March 2012

No Change!

18th March 2012

Well, Ozwold is still in the same area in Mauritania, which is great news as it means he is still safe and has obviously found good fishing sites.

It will be interesting to see if he stays in this area until next year when it is likely he will return north to find breeding sites.

Meanwhile, excitement is hotting up all over the UK at different osprey sites waiting for the return of the ospreys. It's amazing to think of these birds working their way up from Africa towards our shores. Some are almost here and some birds have already reached us;

Rutland ospreys...5R returned today! He has been seen catching a small pike.

Dyfi Montgomeryshire, they are ready with their newly installed HD live webcams to record the return of Monty and Nora. Neither Monty or Nora have satellite tags, so it really is a waiting game.

Beatrice is on her was back to Scotland....

Monday, 12 March 2012

Very settled

11th March

Ozwold seems very settled in Mauritania.

However, Beatrice, an osprey tagged by Roy Dennis in 2008, has just left her wintering site in southern Spain and is on her way back to her nesting site in Scotland. To see details of Beatrice's migration follow the link below;

Monday, 27 February 2012

Settled in Mauritania

25th February

Ozwold is settled in the same area of Mauritania as before, in the reserve of the Banc d'Arguin. He has been making regular flights in and around the area, presumably to and from good feeding and roosting areas.

It is likely that he will spend 2012 in Africa and return to more northern climes in the spring of 2013.

The adult ospreys will soon be returning to their summer breeding sites and we can expect them in our skies once again. There has already been a rumoured sighting of an osprey in Norfolk.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

No Change

Ozwold is settled on the coast although he is ranging a large area of 115 square kms compared to the very small winter ranges of the adults. I wonder if this is because he is competing with established adult ospreys in the area for fishing sites. 

Jan 23rd - Feb 5th 

January 23rd to February 5th

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Settled in his usual roosts

Ozwold has settled back in his usual haunts at Banc d'Arguin in Mauritania.

January 14th to 19th locations

Image from Google Earth of Ozwold's fishing area; 


Rutland Osprey Team

Members of the Rutland Osprey Project team are currently in Gambia to establish links with people and schools in West Africa and also to look for colour ringed ospreys. To read an account of their fascinating trip follow the link below.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Exploring Mauritania

100 kms flight north and back

January 7th

At 1pm on 7th January he was flying north over the sea and headed 100 kms over the bay to two islands in an inlet on north side of Banc d'Arguin.

January 9th
He flew NW to the coast north of Cap Ste Anne. At 4pm was heading back south to roost that night on the coast near Cap Arzaze.

January 10th
He crossed the bay to the coast south of Arkeiss (Bedouin settlement) and at 10am was perched near Iwik, the HQ of the National Park. At 3pm he was back in his original location and roosted that night back in familiar haunts.

It's good to see he is still safe and building up a mental map of the area. He must have established some good fishing spots by now.

Flight north and back