A sorry ‘tail’ of yet ANOTHER Poole Harbour Osprey chick sighting in west Africa

This is just getting silly now. Since the release of our Osprey chicks in August 2017 we’ve had two sightings of two individuals in Western Senegal. Both LS3 and LS7 have been seen and photographed (LS3) doing well and you can read a full account about theses sightings HERE.

We were excited to receive the first bit of information about LS7 back in February, we were over the moon to receive the second bit of info about LS3 in March, but would you believe it, we’ve now received news of a third chick this time in The Gambia! However sadly, this story doesn’t have happy ending. We received news that the leg rings of LS6 had been found on the outskirts of a village, but other than we had no more info. Well, with a bit of digging and calling on international connections, our project partners the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation have been able to find out more and have also been sent some (sad) photos. The photos show a carcass, which is said to be LS6 who had been found by locals several weeks ago. There are no obvious signs of damage on the carcass but there is an odd twist in this ‘tail’.

No sooner had we received news of poor LS6’s death, when Tim Mackrill was suddenly sent an image of LS6 alive!! As it transpires the photo was taken about two weeks prior and only 2km from where the corpse was finally found. What’s interesting is that if you look at the photo of LS6 alive, he seems to be missing the whole of his tail. Had he had a run in with a crocodile? (quite frequent in Africa apparently)! And did the lack of balance when hunting make him a less efficient hunter? Who knows but what we do know is that sadly we’re one chick down (that we know of). This was always to be expected as many young wild birds die on their first migration south. A full detailed account on the exact location of LS6’s demise can be read HERE.

But don’t be too down heartened. We’re now in early April and migrant Osprey are being seen back in Poole Harbour again. These aren’t birds related to our project as they won’t be back until next spring, rather they’re adult birds making their way back to breeding grounds further north. So with spring now in the air, why not head out to somewhere like Arne, Middlebere or the Rockely view point to try and see if you can see one of these amazing birds before they head off north. 

Photo of LS6 alive in The Gambia - Paul Hill


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