A bit more on VY’s travel yesterday

The data on VY arrived late afternoon yesterday. This morning it was early and she hadn’t gone far from her overnight stop, but we now have her full day’s travel for 2 September.

She started the day at her roost in these trees in a field a few km south af Honfleur.

image courtesy Paul

image courtesy Paul

It doesn’t look much like Kielder Forest! We left her yesterday flying towards Chinon and between the Loire and Vienne rivers. She didn’t stop for the night in that area but carried on until just after 17.00 UTC.

The last part of the day for VY

The last part of the day for VY

She flew 325 km in the day. Her roost looks quite attractive!

VY roosts by a pond

VY roosts by a pond

Today she set off in a SW direction and if she maintained that course then she would have reached the Atlantic coast during the morning.

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UV likes the Langue de Barbarie!

We left UV early on 26 August, the day after he had flown 90 km south from the Langue de Barbarie to an area near Lompoul. The reason for his move was the presence of a large silt outflow from upriver areas of the Senegal river literally muddying the waters for many kilometres around the Langue. It seemed likely that UV would not return to his base for possibly several weeks given the density of the outflow apparent on a satellite image (here it is again for ease of reference).

River sediment and mud off the Langue de Barbarie

River sediment and mud off the Langue de Barbarie

However UV knew best and he went ‘home’ on 26 August! As mentioned in the last post about him he could have moved under half that distance and found clear water, so the first question was ‘why go so far?’. On the 25 August UV roosted literally metres from a spot he had used before on his travels up and down the coast. He must have felt comfortable in an  area he knew pretty well.

The next question is ‘was he wise to return to the Langue so quickly?’. On 26 August he took his time returning, with several stops before heading more purposefully north in the early afternoon. He was at elevations of over 400m ASL virtually all the way, with a maximum recorded altitude of 857m so seems to have been checking out what lay ahead. He was back in his usual area before 15.00 UTC and sitting on well used perches on the beach and in the mangroves. How would he find fishing? Harder than before seems to be the answer. This image is 27 August.

UV hunts at sea four times

UV hunts at sea four times

UV travelled about 2.5 km out to sea to forage. But the extent of the thick silt plume was 10km on 24 August, so could he see prey? The strong currents in the area must have dissipated the silt much more quickly than anticipated. The rainy season means clear satellite imagery is infrequent, but Paul has produced this graphic showing  the area on 28 August. Light cloud affects the sharpness but there is a marked difference in extent and density of the plume.

By 28 August the plume is much less extensive and dense

By 28 August the plume is much less extensive and dense

Although diluted the outflow is still significant enough to have affected UV’s behaviour. He is hunting further offshore, has never been recorded fishing in the lagoon which will be muddy and isn’t perching in areas near the lagoon but using new places much further south along the beach (between 3 and 6 km from his roost). His hunting is now almost exclusively to the south which will be clearer water than near the estuary. This image is 31 August.

31 August and UV

31 August and UV

The orange patch below the red fixes is all the paths from 1 July to 31 August, an indication of the shift in his area.

Since returning UV has made one trip to the mainland. On 30 August he set out soon before noon, not returning to the Langue until late afternoon. He spent time both on his outward journey (yellow arrows in the next image) and inward trip (red arrows) flying over the mouth of the Senegal river, often high, as well as sitting right by the mouth for half an hour.

UV inspects the estuary

UV inspects the estuary

On the mainland he didn’t bother with the tributaries he has previously favoured, they too would be muddy, but he had a couple of stops in marshy areas quite near an irrigation channel and the Ngalam river. They are circled on the overview of the day.

A busy day for UV

A busy day for UV

As you can see he went hunting once he was back home. The last question is ‘will UV revert to previous behaviour as the sea and lagoon return to normal clarity?’. Time will tell!

Paul has created another excellent animation of the month of August which brings his activity to life better than words.playThere’ll be a post about 7H, who is fine, over the weekend.

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VY gets a move on!

The GSM/GPS trackers give a wealth of detail of great value but the download system means that there can be a long gap in the daily intervals. So yesterday we received data before 09.00 BST, today it was late afternoon and what a lot of travel in between!

On 31 August she made slow progress in wet conditions after what had been a good start. To recap, this was Day 1 on 30 August, thanks to Paul for these very clear graphics, click on any image to enlarge.

30 Aug: VY travel to nr Denby Dale

30 Aug: VY travel to nr Denby Dale

Then for Day 2 the ‘weather induced’ limited travel was accompanied by limited fixes because of lack of sun to charge the small solar panel.

Aug 31: VY reaches the Midlands

31 Aug: VY reaches the Midlands

But yesterday in better weather she crossed the Channel!

Sept 1: goodbye England

 1 Sept: goodbye England

On her journey VY gained altitude to 802m ASL passing Petersfield, then after dropping down flew higher again and faster as she reached the coast. She was at 449m ASL and flying at 74 kph as she was last over English soil this year.

14.14 BST and VY leaves England for the first time

14.14 BST: VY leaves England for the first time

She made landfall north of Le Havre at 16.38 UTC so she was over water for more than three hours for the first time in her life. What longer crossings may lie ahead?

16.38 UTC land again!

16.38 UTC VY is over land again

She’ll recognise that landmark harbour in years to come, perhaps.

VY pushed on south flying high over the eastern outskirts of Le Havre before roosting about 10 km south of Honfleur. This was her roost point.

1 Sept: VY roosts near the E44

1 Sept: VY roosts near the E44

A tree by a field but near the busy E44, a far cry from her tree by a rural Leicestershire field the previous evening.

Today she set off at 08.20 in a southerly direction. This is her travel to the last fix at 15.08 when she was north of Chinon.

2 Sept: VY to 15..08  flying north of Chinon

2 Sept: VY to 15..08
flying north of Chinon

Until last fix today she’d travelled 243 km at an average speed of 35.9 km/hr and average height above terrain, not sea level, of 150m.

She is doing very well on her first migration. The forecast for tomorrow (thanks to Paul again) is favourable winds still. Light rain in the Pyrenées is expected to clear later, so about as good as we could hope for her. If she flies that far. She isn’t many km from where Loch Garten 2013 Breagha spent a stopover in his first year. This year he started his migration back from Senegal but spent the summer in his French stopover. Will VY do the same?!

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Who is where?

We haven’t seen VS from Nest 2 since late afternoon on 30 August when she and VM were both waiting for a fish. When 37 complied with their wishes VS won the ‘tug of fish’ and flew off with the trout. This is one of the last screen captures of her on the nest.

16.03 the last observed joint visit by VS and VM (c) Forestry Commission England

16.03 the last observed joint visit by VS and VM
(c) Forestry Commission England

VM and 37 are still at Nest 2. Appearances are quite rare other than when a fish is involved.

37 cleans his beak as VM proclaims it is her fish now (c) Forestry Commission England

37 cleans his beak as VM proclaims it is her fish now
(c) Forestry Commission England

At the time of writing (12.45 BST) we haven’t seen a fish delivery but VM had a preening session in the sun.

VM in the sun (c) Forestry Commission England

VM arrives for a spell on the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

VP and YA are still at Nest 1 – VP is standing on the nest edge right now!

She received a fish from YA late yesterday afternoon and another this morning.

16.12 VP takes the fish (c) Forestry Commission England

16.12 yesterday VP takes the fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

09.26 a substantial meal for VP (c) Forestry Commission England

09.26 today a substantial meal for VP
(c) Forestry Commission England

She’s had two goes at the fish this morning with YA removing it for his own brunch in between.

Winds are light from the north so conditions for migration are still good.

Meanwhile further south the data for VY came in early today. She roosted in trees by  farmland NE from Loughborough, between the villages of Rempstone and Wymeswold.

31 August: VY's roost

31 August: VY’s roost

She had just set off when the data downloaded; by the time we hear from her tomorrow she could be in France. Safe journey, VY.

 

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VY has a bit of a rest day already!

The weather in the Midlands has been showery today – or worse according to eyes on the ground in Newark, thanks Chris! – which probably explains VY’s very late start away from her roost area and limited mileage today up until just before 18.00 BST.

Last night she roosted just west of Denby Dale.

VY's roost for her first night of migration

VY’s roost for her first night of migration

As you can see from the close up image it looked as though she was going to head off SSE but she changed her mind and went NW to the edge of a wood until sometime after 13.00. The fixes were only about 45 minutes apart at best, another indication of lack of sun which is needed to charge the battery.

This is VY’s travel today – she was NE of Loughborough on a field edge at 17.57 BST.

VY travel to 17.57

VY travel to 17.57

She is flying strongly at up to 70 kph – just not very far!

The weather in the Midlands tomorrow is expected to be showery again although the winds are still favourable for migration.

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Mainly Nest 3. And info on a couple of callers at Nest 1

It has been a while since an update on Nest 3. The limited coverage hadn’t shown anything of especial interest until the last few days. There has been no definite sighting of the female since 9 August but her departure date is uncertain because of limited recording. (The last dates the Nest 1 and 2 females were seen are 24 August for Nest 2 Mrs 37 and 26 August for Mrs YA.)

A Nest 3 download yesterday revealed the juveniles and male were still around on 29 August in the evening, although on 30 August only VN and the male were present in the morning footage and during the site visit in the early afternoon. The male continues to be a prolific provider, delivering new catches even though half a fish remains on the nest.

Another fish from dad (c) Forestry Commission England

Another fish from dad
(c) Forestry Commission England

When there is only one fish between two there can be serious competition as this video shows!11989464_668256726643808_1768563221_o

An hour later VN was happily tucking in despite his earlier disappointment.

VW chunters as VN eats (c) Forestry Commission England.

VW chunters as VN eats
(c) Forestry Commission England

Given VW didn’t make an appearance when the fish arrived yesterday she may have left on her migration. Perhaps this is one of the last poses together by the Nest 3 juveniles.

Nest 3 posers (c) Forestry Commission England

Nest 3 posers – thinking of that long journey?
(c) Forestry Commission England

One of the clips from Nest 3 showed the unringed female who has pestered Nest 2 especially but also Nest 1 this season. Her growing tail feather is a help in identifying her.

The unringed female flies near Nest 3 (c) Forestry Commission England

The unringed female flies near Nest 3
(c) Forestry Commission England

And whilst on the subject of intruders… Over on Nest 1 a couple of Aberfoyle birds have visited. Many thanks to David Anderson for their details. One is a 2013 female from the brood of three at Aberfoyle’s CCTV nest. Blue CH2 landed very briefly on Nest 1 on 8 August much to VP’s consternation. This image is just before she touched down out of range of the nestcam on the right hand edge.

Blue CH2 flies past just prior to landing (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue CH2 flies past just prior to landing
(c) Forestry Commission England

The other Aberfoyle visitor was also a female. She stayed just under 4 minutes on the morning of 29 August before VP saw her off, but at the cost of a part eaten fish. Blue HV has been to Nest 1 before in Spring 2014. She was born in 2010 and was photographed in Senegal before her successful return to the UK.

HV gets ready to fly with her free meal (c) Forestry Commission England

HV gets ready to fly with her free meal
(c) Forestry Commission England

Our thanks to Paul for painstaking work getting clear enough images of the rings from frame-by-frame analysis.

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VY starts her migration

This morning on Nest 1 there was an empty nest – and surrounding area – until 10.50. The possibility of migration was in the mind, but then VP landed. VY too made an appearance.

VY arrives (c) Forestry Commission England

VY arrives
(c) Forestry Commission England

Yesterday Paul predicted that the winds would shift to the right direction for migration and that the Kielder ospreys could be on the move by midday. Well he was spot on! VY probably left Kielder at around 12.06 BST, the first fix away from Kielder on the data in an e-mail this evening was at 12.21 and some miles south.

Here is where she travelled today by 17.43, graphic courtesy Paul.

VY starts her migration

VY starts her migration

Her route took her down the Pennines and her elevation ASL was over 1000m a few times, but given the terrain it was a more modest height of up to around 500m above the ground! Her fastest recorded speed was over 70 kph and she was flying strongly throughout. She flew just west of Barnard Castle and was on a SSE direction until a slight shift near Otley to a more southerly route.

VY heads in a more southerly direction

VY heads in a more southerly direction

This afternoon VP was still around Nest 1 and both juveniles were on Nest 2.

VY is the oldest of the Kielder juveniles at 95 days old. She has eaten well in the last few days but as is usual with most juveniles there is no evidence she has fished for herself. Successful hunting and choosing a good route are her next challenges. As they will be for the other juveniles at Kielder and elsewhere. Fly well, fish well, those are our deepest hopes for them all.

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