We left Aln near the south coast of Spain on Sunday. The sea would have been visible, and also the limited food sources in the immediate area around Almeria. Here’s what she did next.
On 1 October, Aln travelled 98.3 km – yesterday, to 16.00 UTC, she had covered more than twice that distance.
Why did Aln decide to head east, not west? Possibly because to a young osprey the miles of polytunnel greenhouses just inland resembled open water from afar.
Whatever her reason, yesterday Aln reversed her route and then went north, back to more familiar surroundings. She could have crossed to Africa – she travelled a greater distance yesterday than the c165 km she would have needed for a sea journey. But she wouldn’t know how far she would have to fly over water, nor that the easterly sidewinds weren’t a disadvantage. On her only significant sea crossing, the North Sea, she had a strong tailwind.
We’ll never learn Aln’s reasons for deciding not to head out to sea, as many juveniles do without pause. It seems she’ll feed up on a river or reservoir before heading back to the coast again. It’s risky to try and second guess an osprey, though!