Energy to burn

The typical image of an overwintering osprey is of a bird feeding once or perhaps twice a day, maybe having a short fly around now and again but mainly perching by or near water.
GPS trackers are the main source of this information. We have already mentioned how the ARGOS trackers which are usually programmed to give fixes 4 hours apart can ‘hide’ activity revealed by the 2nd generation GSM trackers. But even an ARGOS model would have shown more activity by UV than his ‘normal’ on 27 January.

He flew for as many hours as he would on an average day of migration. First he took a 75 km circular inland excursion as Paul’s graphic shows.

courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

Early in the day fixes are between 20 and 40 minutes apart – you can see the shorter time intervals as he neared the coast on return. The data indicates that during his exploration UV wasn’t at particularly high altitude nor travelling at speed. He’s gone inland around this area before so would remember there is no fish source. So was it just a ‘wander’ before perching for much of the day?

On his return UV didn’t land but travelled up and down the coastal strip of the Langue de Barbarie. Here is just one part of that activity, much of which was at altitudes over 200m ASL.

Up and down for an hour

Up and down for an hour

UV was flying over the coastal area at a maximum altitude of 1015m ASL for over 4 hours.
He wasn’t done for the day, though, and was airborne for almost 2 hours in late afternoon.

Weekend data revealed UV was back to ‘normal’ for recent days which means mainly perched inland but extended sorties, often at high altitude, around the coast. Another graphic from Paul contrasts UV’s Sunday midday ‘probably foraging’ trip at low level with a later ‘overview’ flight.

courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

courtesy Paul Wildlifewriter

If there is one certainty from UV’s recent activity it is that he is a fit young osprey!

There’ll be a January overview post later this week.

This entry was posted in Abroad, Blue UV, Migration and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Energy to burn

  1. Ann says:

    Thanks.JD and Paul. Hope we see him again this year back at Kielder and maybe with a partner!

    • joannadailey says:

      He’s still quite young re finding a potential mate, Ann, but we very much hope to see him back in the area, who knows after that

  2. jw4926 says:

    Thank you Joanna and Paul for this fascinating information. Part of me is wondering whether UV is preparing himself to overstay his migration … maybe not returning this year ……..

  3. thehutts says:

    Looking forward to the next few months of reports which I hope will see him make a successful migration back to the UK! Sally

  4. Mike Simmonds says:

    Thank you both for your fascinating updates.

  5. thegreatgeraldo says:

    Facinating as ever, the sightseeing flight inland seems a bit odd!! Bit early for twitchy wings, another month or so before he starts to get the urge to head north?

    • joannadailey says:

      He may well not head north until quite late compared to breeding adults, so late March/early April perhaps. It will be interesting to see when he does start that journey

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