SENSATIONAL WESTERN OSPREY SIGHTING ALONG THE BOTRIVER ESTUARY
Posted on the 5th May 2017
Western Osprey : YE41RE41 Botriver Lagoon
We popped into Rooisand Nature Reserve for some birding on Sunday morning. Knowing that there would be no water around the hide at the moment, we headed to the quarry, but birding was very slow. We did however have nice views of Cape Longclaws – four different birds in full color.
Driving back on the gravel road we noticed a raptor on the newly erected fence. Closer views confirmed that it was a Western Osprey. We took a few record shots after which it flew to a small dead tree nearby. We got closer to it and took a few more photographs. Zooming in on the photographs I realised that the bird was ringed (colour rings on both legs), but by now it flew all the way back to the lagoon.
I reported it on the BirdLife Overberg What's-App-group to which Brian Taylor, another member of BLO reported that he also photographed a Western Osprey on the Benquela side of the Botriver Lagoon. Once I opened Brian's photo's I realised the bird he photographed was not ringed, which means we have TWO birds at the Botriver Lagoon at the moment. According to Roberts the Western Ospreys only migrate during May, but there are a few records of overwintering birds in the Western Cape.
In the mean time I reported my sighting to SAFRING. I just received feedback and it is quite interesting as the ringed Western Osprey was ringed on 11 July 2015 near the Onezhskoe Lake in the Vologda region of Russia. (See the map below). 217 days (7 months and 7 days) later on 13 February 2016, it was spotted and photographed in the West Coast National Park – this represents a distance of 10 593km!!! The new sighting at the Botriver Lagoon (30 April 2017) is the second recording of this specific Western Osprey. One wonders if this was this bird's second year of migrating all the way down to the wonderful Overberg.
This sighting is not only interesting due to it being one of only a few ringed Ospreys, but also due to the fact that this is the first recorded Osprey from Russia in the SAFRING database. Most of the recorded birds originated from Finland, with a few individuals coming from Germany.
Sanjo Rose, of SAFRING reported as follows:
Please report all ringed birds to firstname.lastname@example.org or SAFRING Web http://safring.adu.org.za/
(Report and images by Carin Malan of BirdLife Overberg)