The Flight of Osprey S18
This Osprey is a male, and thought to be three years old . In 2000 he became the new mate of bird S06 at a nest on Strathspey Estates near Boat of Garten . They had three eggs, of which hatched. One of their young was translocated to Rutland Water and is number T04.
S18 was caught at Aviemore
fish farm on 12 August 2000 when its satellite radio was
S18 remained feeding its young at the nest for 20 days , while its mate S06 headed south.
It then had a very fast and direct start to migration, travelling 1380km in the 3 days from 1-4/9. Its route to the west through the Navarre on 4-5/9 avoided the need to fly over the highest parts of the Pyrenees. It's flight SW through Spain and Morocco was more leisurely.
Through NW Africa its route and timing was remarkably similar to that of T08. Since its arrival in the Sine Saloum area it made only small movements.It was near the village of Toubakouta. At this time of year there would be wet areas all around Toubakouta (including to the east).
S18's migration took 22 days in which time it covered 5317km.
After arriving in Sine Saloum in September, S18's wintering position was remarkably stable. We received a series transmiissions allowing us to track its movements with great accuracy - for example we can see that it moved 18km SW to a new position on 21 November. After that it moved only distances less than 10km until it began to migrate northwards in mid March 2001. Between 18 and 27 March S18 moved a distance of 2562km - nearly 285km per day.
All three positions on 6 and 8 April were very inaccurate but Roy Dennis suggests that S18 was carried far out into the Atlantic Ocean on his north bound flight, being 160 kms WNW of St Kilda at 3am on 6th. He had returned to land near the Monach Islands off South Uist at 2pm on 8th, and had reached the Point of Sleet in south Skye by 6pm. The bird must have been very weak, after such an incredible journey over the North Atlantic, for we received no more signals and we thought it may have died. But on 28th April he had recovered and was back in Strathspey. There he found that his mate from last year, S06, had paired with the young bird from Norway, S09. They had laid 3 eggs and started incubation.
S18 evicted the young Norwegian male from its nest site. It then stayed at the nest, and helped to raise to flying stage, a single chick which is probably not its own.
In 2002, S18 was back at the nest by 3rd April. He did not make the mistake of 2001, when he was delayed by gales and did not return until 26th April, by which time S09 had taken his nest and had to be chased off. He reared two young with S06.