In August 7H began concentrating her activity more on the areas of the river she frequented on her arrival at her wintering grounds in 2014. This animation created by Paul shows well her change to more interest in the coast during September this year.
Initially after 7H arrived last year she didn’t try hunting offshore. Her interest in the sea now is likely to be a reflection of her developing her fishing ability and knowledge of where to forage. One of the interesting aspects of her activity is her complete absence in September from the weir area which is at the top of the right ‘ear’. Despite spending a great deal of time on the stretch of river leading up to the left ‘ear’ she hasn’t been recorded having even a quick look at the weir. She has learnt the migratory fish are no longer present. There must be ample at the coast, her destination most days!
On 13 September she spent a typical few hours perching on the beach with a few trips over the water.
She seldom goes far offshore but hunts in the shallows. Her preferred perching place is a less well used (by humans) area compared to the west side of the river. Usually she only sits on the west bank early in the day.
On 21 August 7H arrived at the river mouth soon after 11.00 UTC and left just after 15.00. She was offshore twice in quick succession just before she left the beach.
During that time the tracker temperature dropped by 11ºC which can indicate immersion, but from her behaviour it is unlikely 7H caught a fish. Next she tried the river.
She may have had success as she flew off back to the pylon area after some low level hunting, although the tracker temperature doesn’t provide much help.
A change in 7H’s behaviour which isn’t obvious from the animation is her reduced use of the transmission towers as her roost. She does still use them for perching in the day time and they will give her an excellent view of the surrounding area being taller than the trees. But mostly she is roosting near the river.
The last post mentioned that there is no sign of any disturbance to UV by the arrival of migrating birds including ospreys. The same applies to 7H. Thanks to Pip and Vic’s visit we know there was at least one other osprey overwintering there in 2014-15 and some of 7H’s behaviour suggested she was interacting with another bird. The last few days of September have been notable for very little activity by her at all – normally she is ‘out and about’ surveying the river or over the agricultural land a couple of times a day. 26 September was the only recent day she has done much of that with some fairly high flying – 200-300m ASL at times – both east and west of the river between the railway and A5 bridges.
In the high flying episodes 7H didn’t seem to be interacting with another bird, eg ‘escorting’ one away from her patch.
The monthly animations are a very effective way of highlighting behavioural changes. Thanks again to Paul for spending the time creating them.