Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Migrating birds' close encounter

Osprey make migrations between Scotland and Africa

Two young ospreys, which left the Highlands independently of each other and followed different routes on their migration to Africa, may have met up.

RSPB Scotland said data from the female birds' satellite tags showed they came within three miles of one another on the Senegal-Guinea Bissau border.

But the birds may have come much closer during a spell when data temporarily stopped being received from one bird.

Rothes and Mallachie were raised at the RSPB's Loch Garten reserve.

The latest satellite readings show the pair have drifted apart, with Rothes crossing between Senegal and Guinea Bissau and Mallachie in the Gambia.

Richard Thaxton, RSPB Scotland site manager at Loch Garten, near Aviemore, said the siblings meeting following a long journey from Scotland was a nice thought.

He said: "Both these birds left us independently back in August, journeyed separately down through Europe, crossed over to the African continent, having taken slightly different, yet broadly similar routes, and now they have pitched up within three miles of each other.

"How amazing is that?

"If they didn't meet, then it was tantalizingly close. Their paths crossed though, quite literally."

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