7H’s journey from Wales to Spain

First, apologies for my failure to realise 7H had hitched a ride in the first version of yesterday’s post. As promised in that post, here is more on her stay in the Scillies and arrival in Spain, plus clarification of her Bay of Biscay crossing.

There was no data from 06.10 GMT on 9 September when 7H was still at her overnight roost in Wales until 14.12, when she was at sea heading NE of the Scillies. She changed course to curve towards the islands and by 14.50 was over Tresco and Bryher briefly before heading down over St Mary’s to Gugh via some trips back and forth along the channel between them. She spent the rest of daylight exploring Gugh and the sea before roosting on the east side of the island. BirdGuides reported several sightings on Gugh which almost certainly were 7H. She had flown over 300 km in the day, at over 50 kph for most of the recorded sea crossing.

7H explores Gugh

7H explores Gugh

On 10 September 7H was flying on a course which would have resulted in her landing on the NW edge of Spain, but she started to curve slightly SE. She was flying at between 35 and 45 kph for the most part. Until she boarded a ship at 17.48, over 15 minutes after she had started flying north and east, she had travelled about 400 km. She then went 25-260 km NE during her overnight roost!

On 10 September she headed off after 05.56, initially SSE then SSW then S to reach landfall at a point very near where her course on 9 September would have taken her. She flew about 580 km from the ship to Spain. It would have been easier to fly ESE to France instead of a 15 hour plus journey over water. Her landfall was just 90 km east of cousin UV’s.

Comparison UV and 7H Spanish landfall

Comparison UV and 7H Spanish landfall

A ground level view of 7H's landing place and roost on rocks just off shore

A ground level view from 7H’s landing place and roost on rocks just off shore

On 12 September 7H had a slow start, exploring the coastline both east and west of her roost until after 11.30 when she had a spell of sustained travel west until 12.13 when she turned inland near Luarca. By 12.30 she was mostly at an altitude of over 500m which rose to over 1000m as she reached the Sierra de Rañadoiro. Her speed was mostly over 40 kph, at times around 60 kph. At the last fix at 13.41 she was still flying.

9-12 September 7H travel

10-12 September 7H travel

This entry was posted in Blue 7H, Migration, Osprey updates and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 7H’s journey from Wales to Spain

  1. I’d had no idea that the ospreys did so much exploring beside their route south. I wonder what they think about

  2. Joyce Rawlings says:

    Amazing – how did you know she was on a ship???

    • joannadailey says:

      Fortunately for me a couple of wiser people nudged me to re-check the data which showed sustained speed travel at very low height on a straight course. The speed was consistent with the cargo vessels using the busy route on exactly the same course 7H was following. The evidence is overwhelmingly for her having got on a ship. It has happened before.

      To her it was a roosting place – she had been scouting around before she took that course. She probably did not realise until sunrise – when she moved south again – that she was on a moving object going the wrong way.

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