Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 12:31 UK
Osprey's flight is right on track
Osprey (generic)
The osprey wintered in Guinea Bissau on the west African coast

An osprey has been tracked by satellite all the way from its wintering grounds in West Africa back home to its nest site in Scotland via the Elan Valley.

The osprey, named Nimrod, was one of five fitted with tiny satellite transmitters to their bottoms.

The aim was to discover when, where, how fast and how high the birds migrate and where they go in the winter months.

One discovery was that many ospreys use the Elan Valley as a stop-over on their flight back from Africa this Spring.

The satellite tracking showed minute by minute the incredible journeys that our migrant birds make each spring.
Pete Jennings

The osprey satellite tracking project was conducted by Roy Dennis of The Highland Foundation for Wildlife.

According to Pete Jennings, County Bird Recorder for Radnorshire, the information gleaned from the transmitter has provided an insight into the ospreys' lives.

He said: "The transmitter and short aerial is fixed to the bird's back who wintered in Guinea-Bissau on the west African coast.


"He left his wintering area on Sunday, 21 March and took three days to cross the Sahara Desert encountering sand storms and roosting in the desert."

Nimrod crossed from Morocco into Spain on Wednesday, 1 April and reached the English Channel by Friday, 10 April.

Nimrod then waited two days for the wind direction to be favourable before crossing the channel at only two metres above sea level from St Malo on 12 April.

It then crossed the length of Wales on 13 April going up the Elan Valley over Garreg Ddu Reservoir at midday at more than 40 mph.


On 15 April it was heading north over Lancashire at 3000 feet and arrived home in Scotland to its usual nest site at 8pm on 17 April.

Mr Jennings added: "The satellite tracking showed minute by minute the incredible journeys that our migrant birds make each spring and the obstacles that they face and overcome.

"Nimrod travelled on average 150 miles a day of his journey home, including flying from Blagdon Lake near Bristol, up through the Elan Valley and on to Conwy.

"We've had five osprey sightings in Radnorshire this Spring so it looks like the ospreys are using the Elan Valley as a stopping point to feed on their return journey to Scotland."

All five of the ospreys satellite-tracked this spring successfully made the journey back to Scotland.

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