On Sunday 7 September 7H set off from Nest 2 on her migration. She is possibly the last juvenile from ‘public’ nests to leave. Kielder Nest 3 ospreys had all departed by 8 September when a final check was made, so may possibly have matched 7H. Only Tweed Valley of those with tracked juveniles has still to report the start of migration. Late hatching ospreys elsewhere have all left eg Deri, the female juvenile at Dyfi, was last seen in the nest area on 4 September.
On Sunday morning 7H had a longish (for her) flight of a couple of miles heading SW but returned to the nest area. Her last fix from that area was on the original nest tree, not her natal nest. By 09.34 GMT she was heading SSE at 467m altitude and 13 knots (24 kph) but shifted to a more SE direction and passed over Haltwhistle on the South Tyne at 10.30. As she flew down the east edge of the North Pennines she reached 49 knots (90 kph) and was over 40 knots quite often and at altitudes of 1000-1200m. She crossed over the Pennines at Mickle Fell, a 788m mountain, at 11.35. Her path then took her mainly south over the Yorkshire Dales and NE of Manchester at 14.20.
South of Macclesfield she flew east for a few minutes before heading south again; all three of the Kielder tracked juveniles have exhibited this behaviour. The GSM tracker fixes every 1-2 minutes during much of the day give an incredibly detailed insight into such small course adjustments. After passing Stoke on Trent 7H starting drifting a bit more to the SW and her altitude dropped to around 500m. By 17.00 she reached the area where she spent her first night. This was in a wood near Pattingham – and also Patshull Park Golf Course which has a large fishing pond she checked out!
She flew just over 300km in the day, a steady start to her migration.
She set off fairly early on 8 September at 07.33 but had stopped within the hour in a wood near a pond and also a tributary of the Severn. Fixes were less frequent at the time so she may have tried to fish. She was heading SW when she got moving again and flew over the Brecon Beacons, like cousin UV a few days earlier. She was never at exactly the same place but very near. She flew east of Merthyr Tydfil at 13.08 and by 14.06 was near the coast. She had a look at Parc Slip Nature Reserve (more specifically it’s water!) but then flew north, stopping at 14.26 in a wood east of Port Talbot for 20 minutes. After exploring other woods in the area she settled for a lovely looking hillside in the Afan valley. She was there from 16.37 until the last fix early today. She’d travelled about 180km.
Unlike her cousins UV and VV we don’t have detailed information of what she did on her last day before migration because of nestcam battery problems. On 4 September she was still receiving plenty of food from 37 although as ever she shouted for more some of the time! At 13.19 BST 37 brought her a whole fish after she had been making do all morning nibbling at a remnant.
She took the new fish elsewhere to eat but the old remnant was still on the nest at just before 18.00 BST when 37 landed with a large headless trout. For reasons known only to 7H she took possession of the old remnant and mantled over it, before realising her error! Even 37 looked bemused.
What a great provider 37 has been for his three ‘always hungry’ daughters.