...possibly. We are not entirely sure, yet, but we believe Caledonia has been spotted.
More on that in a moment, but first the latest on Caley's movements, from the most recent data received from Mike is as follows.
Only 6 of 14 tracking points were available for download today so the data is a little sparse. Most of the records show Caledonia to be in her usual spot on the Rivera de Huelva. On 25 January she was a few kilometres away, S of the Rivera and over the Rio Guadalquivir travelling W. On 30 January she was settled on the bank of the Rio some 3.5 km SE of the Rivera de Huelva. The missing data for this week is likely to be available at the next download on 7 February.
Now, no sooner had Mike's e-mail arrived with that latest data above, when ping went my Inbox and I received an e-mail from Spain. It was from Roberto Muriel, who is working at the Biological Station of Doñana in Sevilla city, in the team that has carried out the osprey reintroduction project in Andalusia, by hacking-back nestlings from Scotland, Germany and Finland.
This morning (31/01) at 09.30am (local time in Spain), Roberto was crossing the Guadalquiver river by the bridge of "El Alamillo in Seville city and reports seeing an osprey, and one sporting a blue leg ring on left leg and a metal ring on the right, and a satellite transmitter on it's back. Judging by the plumage, he thought it to be a young bird. He immediately thought it was likely to be a Scottish osprey and contacted Roy Dennis who told him that it could be our bird from Loch Garten. Hence Roberto then e-mailed me, having checked our website and discovered from our tracking map and blog that it could be our Caley.
The bird was seen fishing, following 3 km of the river from north to south and vice versa between the bridge of "La Cartuja" and the end of the channel to the north close to the town of San Jeronimo. Roberto reported that at 10:36am he saw it catch a fish, a carp (Cyprinus sp) between the bridges of "La Barqueta" and "El Alamillo", and moved to the north passing a line of eucalyptus trees in the park of "El Alamillo". However he was not able to follow the bird to see where it went to eat its meal. But after checking the maps of Caledonia's movements, he feels that the bird probably headed to her usual resting area in the Rivera de Huelva river (3.5 km NW). He has said that he will try to relocate her during the weekend and if possible read the ring code. So until Roberto is able to confirm the ring lettering, we cannot be entirely sure at the moment, that it is Caledonia, but it has to be, surely?
With something of an air of understatement, he went on to say "I hope this info could be interesting for you and RSPB members that follow your blog and forum". Roberto, how right you are. If you are reading this, this is fantastic news for us all. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to make contact. Confirm that leg ring, matey, together with a picture if at all possible, and you'll be a hero for the bloggers! They will be so thrilled.
Very interestingly, Roberto was able to give some insight into Caley's behaviour and choice of hunting ground. Knowing from the blog that she makes frequent sorties to the centre of the city and the southern area, he suggests that the reason for this is the fish availability in the blind channel of the Guadalquivir river due to its width and the calmness of the water, giving better visibility, in comparisonto the flowing (and hence more coloured waters, probably?) of what he calls the "real" river which flows on the western side. Apparently, the current "real" river was constructed during the 1940s to divert the river from the centre of the city and avoid the recurrent flooding, so the ancient riverbed is now a closed channel similar to an urban lake linked through floodgates with the river.
Roberto's place of work at the Biological Station of Doñana in Sevilla city, is very close to the river and not far from Caley's resting area, so he's well-placed to confirm that it is Caley and report back to us on her activity. Very many thanks again, I say, to our new found friend Roberto.
I sense there could be a bit of a competition in the offing! Our very own blogger Val (and friends) are heading out to Seville this weekend in the hope of seeing Caley too. Who'll be first to confirm seeing her, I wonder? The more eyes looking the better. Good luck everyone.
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