“I saw three ships” …… but that wasn’t all

As it is getting near Christmas a title pinched from a carol seems appropriate for the gem to follow.

Regular readers will know Paul Wildlifewriter has been providing some detailed weather   information and also research aspects for the blog. He should be writing this post really, but has given me the privilege of sharing his fascinating findings on one aspect.

Paul has conducted a detailed analysis of 7H’s sea travel. Her first experience of life at sea was on 9 September when she left Wales and flew SW over the Southern Irish Sea parallel to Cornwall before ending up in the Scillies. Paul’s work reveals that she hitched a lift on two different vessels. (When between them she flew much faster than either were going, mostly between 25 and 35 knots, so it is clear there were two ships!)  Ships 1 and 2. 

7H hitches two rides between Wales and England.  Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

7H hitches two rides between Wales and England.
Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

Paul then delved into 7H’s crossing of the Bay of Biscay on 10/11 September. You may recall that she started looking for a roost point part way across and ended up on a ship (or so it seemed). Soon after she changed her course Paul found she landed on one ship for a few minutes; it was obviously not to her taste because she took off again and flew until she found another roost point – the ship she was on overnight. Here is the evidence, click to enlarge. Ships 3 and 4.

7H on a short journey by ship in the Bay of Biscay before her overnight one.  Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

7H on a short journey by ship in the Bay of Biscay before her overnight one.
Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

 

One more sea journey to go, and as 7H neared Morocco…. Yes, she had another lift! The fixes were less frequent but at around sunset on 21 September she landed on a craft which was travelling too slowly – 3 knots – to be a cargo vessel and was very possibly a fishing boat. So did 7H manage to pinch some supper?! Ship 5.

7H takes a ride for around 30 minutes Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

7H takes a ride for around 30 minutes
Courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

Paul examined UV and VV’s sea travel but no external assistance was found. Many seabirds roost on ships from time to time, as do migratory species. Sometimes it is a lifesaver for them and here is one recent example of where this may have been the case for a juvenile osprey.

In his analysis Paul used detailed information about the prevailing weather (especially winds), currents, shipping lanes, accuracy of ship’s autopilot systems and more. He put in a lot of work but what an interesting outcome. Grateful thanks to him.

 

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

10 Responses to “I saw three ships” …… but that wasn’t all

  1. A big thank you, Paul and Joanna. I appreciated the detail of the peregrinations (!) of the Keilder osprey 7H. What an accomplished hitch-hiker.

  2. joannadailey says:

    She is indeed, ViV. And her desire for tall metal objects to roost on is now satisfied by pylons! Every Osprey is different, and she shows that well.

  3. bayrok says:

    Yes, as a yachtie I can confirm that migrating birds frequently hitch hike. What’s more, you may even be able to identify the ships with the right software try http://www.MarineTraffic.com .. there’s the next challenge!

  4. Joyce Rawlings says:

    What an amazing story! Our Osprey seems to like cruising!

  5. Tiger says:

    This blog brings tracking to a whole new level. No one has to my knowledge ever extracted this level of detail from tracking data. A real world first.

  6. Jillian says:

    Amazing, thank goodness she wasn’t on a ship going to USA or the outcome would have been different. Thanks Paul.

  7. Greg Sanders says:

    very interesting- pleased all going well for them!

  8. Vivien Finn says:

    Fantastic information! Thank you Paul for all the hours and work you have spent on providing us with this amazing detail. Joanna, once again thank you for an excellent blog. Wow we learn so much from this information. I like the comment to 7H’s liking for metal objects. lol

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