'You Won't Believe This..'

Last week was a crazy one. I found myself ringing various people up with the opening line "You won't believe this.."

It started off with Janine texting from Africa - "We're just off to see Dulas". This despite initially thinking they would not have enough time in their itinerary to venture that far up the Gambia River to where he was. This was first thing Monday morning, January 16th. The messages from Africa got more desperate as the day grew long - by nightfall, and despite around a dozen pairs of eyes searching high and low throughout the day in the exact area Dulas has been in for the last three months, he could not be found. Janine will write the next blog about her African trip.

Around about the same time Roy Dennis emailed me from Scotland. Rolf Wahl, who has been studying and recording ospreys in the Orleans Forest just south of Paris since 1995, had received a photograph from Senegal of an osprey with a transmitter and a ring on his right leg. It wasn't one of Rolf's but Roy knew who it was straight away - it was Einion!

Osprey with Blue DH leg ring and transmitter - it's Einion                                                                                              © Arnault VatinelEinion in Somone 672.jpg


Rolf tells me that the photographer, Arnaut, speaks no English but has been looking at our website and has been enthralled. Well, Arnout, if your reading this..'Merci beaucoup pour la photo - il est merveilleux'. A picture is worth a thousand words, how incredible to get these images of Einion looking well and healthy. They were taken in the Somone Reserve, Senegal where Einion now resides on 15th January, 2012.

Another angle of Einion carrying a half eaten fish                                                                                                  © Arnault VatinelEioion in Somone1. 672.jpg


A few days later, Roy emails again - he's been sent another photo taken just a day earlier, January 14th, only this time from Gambia. Same story, Blue leg ring and a transmitter. The email was from Brenda Cook who was on holiday with a friend bird watching in the Gambia - she sent me a report of her holiday - here's the bit about the photograph..

"We set off on Saturday 14th January along the North Bank road. We stopped to bird watch with Ansu at various wetland sites along the way. One of these was at Panchang. Here we spotted an Osprey and were excited to see it had a Satellite transmitter on its back. We continued to watch it through our binoculars trying to read the numbers on its plastic ring, but it was impossible. In the excitement of the moment it suddenly dawned on me it would be a good idea to take a photo, but by then the Osprey was beginning to fly away. My camera does not have a very long lens and so the photo is quite distant, but when one enlarges it the transmitter can be seen."

Here's the photograph Brenda took in Panchang on January 14th, transmitter clearly visable.  It's Dulas!                     ©  Brenda CookDulas, Brenda Gambia.jpg


I've checked on Google Earth and indeed Dulas was in Panchang that afternoon when the photograph was taken, January 14th. In fact, Dulas has been in this general area since the beginning of October when he completed his migration from Wales.

Dulas Panchang.jpg

Now the incredible bit. Janine and the Rutland guys got to Panchang on January 16th where they looked for Dulas all day with no luck. Now the data has come in for Dulas we know exactly where he was - 24 hours earlier he had decided to move on, and flew south to Guinea-Bissau, over 100 miles away. Dulas had stayed around Panchang for three and a half months only to up-sticks just hours before Janine got there. Absolutely gutted.

As I write the next batch of data is coming in for Dulas - It looks like he's ventured even further south into Guinea, around 200 miles south of Panchang and the Gambia River. Google Earth will be updated as soon as all the data points are in. I hope this week turns out to be a little bit calmer!

Thanks to Rolf, Roy, Brenda and Arnault for kindly sharing their information and images so quickly. Imagine how long all this would have taken before e-mails, digital cameras and Google Earth!


  • Gravatar Jessica Faye Davies 24-01-2012

    How exciting! Glad to hear they are both still doing so well.

  • Gravatar David Malpas 24-01-2012

    Absolutely brilliant news, I've been following these youngsters all the way & it's made my day. Only just got a computer myself (us oldies are a bit slow) but, what would we do without the technology now. regards to all on the project, Dave Malpas

  • Gravatar Tiger 24-01-2012

    Fantastic news. Seeing Einion will always be a but special since I was prsent at his hatchin. Well Dulas was hatching at the same time but he took a bit longer to emerge from his egg.

    There was such a buzz in the Dyfi osprey centre that day. I have some audios that I recorded at the time. They are not that accurate but they do convey the excitement. I might upload them some time.

  • Gravatar Marion 24-01-2012

    What a great post - thank you for all the information.
    Photos are great and it is fantastic to know that both are doing well. All we need now is news of Leri!

  • Gravatar Eryl Selly 24-01-2012

    Absolutely brilliant. Makes me want to up sticks and go there too!

  • Gravatar Diana Lloyd 24-01-2012

    wow fantastic photographs, thanks every one for the updates.

  • Gravatar Sabine Himmelstein 24-01-2012

    Wonderful news and pictures. I´m glad to hear from Dulas and Enion still doing well. Thanks

  • Gravatar Lorraine Gittins 24-01-2012

    So sorry to hear that Janine missed out on seeing Dulas...typical!
    But how marvellous to get photos and know they are both ok :)))

  • Gravatar Chloe B 24-01-2012

    How exciting to see those! Feel so sorry that Dulas moved on though. Poor Janine! Still, I am sure she has had a fabulous time all the same.

  • Gravatar Norma Winston-jones 24-01-2012

    Wow, fantastic to see a photo of Einion, and looking so well. It's a pity that Janine didnt see Dulas, but great to hear that he too is alive and well. It'll soon be time to come North to the Dyfi again soon and hopefully more Ospreys this season.

  • Gravatar Carol Balmer 24-01-2012

    Its so good to get some good news of Both Ospreys having watched them being born then migrating, how grown up they have become

  • Gravatar Susan Mcvey 24-01-2012

    That is just the best news and great that the managed to get pictures too, just a pity Janine missed Dulas. Einion looks as though some of his chick feathers have darkened down. I am over the moon to see the pictures.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Way to go Einion and Dulas xx Thank you too to all the guys over there keeping a look out for them

  • Gravatar Jan Rutherford 24-01-2012

    Thank again for the brilliant photos/effort/time you all give to this project.
    Do you have any Birthday cards or blank cards of the beautiful Welsh born birds.
    So special to us as we were lucky enough to see them as chicks.
    Many thanks, Jan

  • Gravatar Alison Bunning 24-01-2012

    So glad that everything is going so well for these young birds, what a treat to see photos! Sorry that Jannine missed Dulas.... thanks to everyone for the updates.

  • Gravatar Val Gall 24-01-2012

    Fantastic news! So pleased that you have pictures & know boys are safe! Just brilliant

  • Gravatar Marion Law 24-01-2012

    Loverly news and great photos,so sad that the same cannot be said of Leri but.........? Getting really excited with the new season approaching fast.

  • Gravatar Margaret Charlett 24-01-2012

    What amazing pics and excellent news of our'boys'. It's like having kids on a gap year! Look forward to seeing you all at DOP in the Spring

  • Gravatar Janet 25-01-2012

    Fantastic. Glad they are doing well

  • Gravatar Garry 25-01-2012

    Brings a huge smile to your face - fantastic!

  • Gravatar Valerie Webber 25-01-2012

    What great news for both to be spotted and photographed , shame about Janine not seeing Dulas but I am sure she had a wonderful time and will be very happy to see pics of her two boys .

  • Gravatar Sandra Longstaff 25-01-2012

    How great that people are seeing these Birds. It is great that they are doing so well.

  • Gravatar Cirrus 25-01-2012

    How MARVELLOUS to read about Dulas - tlhanks so much for the Blog and photos

  • Gravatar Holly Fogg 25-01-2012

    Thanks to all for the exciting news; this is where technology and communications really come into their own!

  • Gravatar Diane Knight 25-01-2012

    Absolutely thrilling to see those pics of Einion and to hear how well they are doing I have really enjoyed reading the blog, thank you all.

  • Gravatar Dennis & Chris Morgan 25-01-2012

    Really good news, especially that we (humans ) care so much.
    Many,many, thanks.

  • Gravatar Carol From Portland, Oregon, 26-01-2012

    j'espere que Leri est en Africk! perhaps her transmitter fell off and stopped working. perhaps the next miracle will be a photo of her leg band. At any rate, her spirit lives on as do her brothers. thanks to all.

  • Gravatar Ingela Mann 26-01-2012

    This is terrific, waiting with fascination to see where 'the boys' will be next. Exciting stuff to know rather than wonder and speculate.

  • Gravatar Steph 29-01-2012

    Technology! Just fab, really brilliant. Thank you.

  • Gravatar Ospreyfreak 31-01-2012

    Desperatly hoping for something home early up this way for the weekend, we really need some assistance, any Osprey will do.

  • Gravatar Ospreyfreak 05-02-2012

    Unbelievable!! an Osprey about somewhere today no doubt.Didnt happen for us.
    Sensational day today, tension, drama and ellation!!
    I vaguely remember the same happening in Murreyfield in 19 single rainbow!! we beat the Auld Enemy with the last kick with a penalty, never to be repeteeeeed!
    However, within the next few short weeks serious High Drama will enthrall excite, elate,inspire and on occassion end in tears, something Aberfoyle has had to come to terms with in recent times (alot), a bit like Murrayfield actually, are we daughteeed? not a chance!!!
    Are we beat? nope absolutly not!! We are all looking forward to the new season with positivity resolve and not a little sense of humour , we really need it in this endevour, the buggers that they are!
    The watch wurd is HighDrama and high drama rules throughout the season. you just never know!
    Sincerest best to all, for which is no doubt sure to be an enthalling season comming in, within all sites.

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