Satellite Osprey families 2014-
In summer 2014, as the Finnish Cultural Foundation awarded them a grant in spring 2014, the Osprey Foundation and the Finnish Museum of Natural History could continue their collaboration on the satellite Osprey project by adding six new Ospreys to be monitored, three representatives from two Osprey families.
The newest maps will open by clicking the name of the individual. By clicking the KML-symbol beneath the Google Earth will open with monitoring data (for viewing, Google Earth is required).
Renko Osprey family: Ilpo, Helena & Birgit
The first family selected for study was a family nesting in southern Finland. From this family, the male Ilpo and female Helena were fitted with solar-powered Microwave 30-gram GSM/GPS transmitters on the 17 July 2014. A female nestling named Birgit was fitted with the same kind of transmitter on 16 August. Ilpo had been ringed as a fledgling in 2008; Helena and Birgit were ringed in 2014. In addition to their aluminium rings, all three were given plastic rings with large long-range id.
Utsjoki Osprey family: Tero, Seija & Agle
The second Osprey family adopted for research in summer 2014 was found in Utsjoki, in northernmost Lapland. Out of this family, the individuals Tero (male) and Seija (female) were fitted with the solar-powered Microwave 30-gram GSM/GPS transmitter on 26 July. A female nestling named Agle was fitted with the same transmitter on 29 August. All the individuals were ringed in 2014 with both aluminium and plastic rings with large long-range identification.
Autumn migration 2016
Maps will be updated as resources allow during the migration, but the textual summaries of the migration will only be posted once or twice a week.
16‒21 August 2016
Ilpo took a more eastern route across Poland than the previous two autumns, but on the 19th he arrived in the Czech Republic, in an area some 60 km west of Prague, where he refuelled on 10-19 September in the autumn of 2014 and 12-31 August in autumn 2015.
Tero is still staying in his summer range in Utsjoki.
Seija continued to migrate from Rovaniemi south-southwest to Juupajoki, where it would only have been some 40 kilometres to the fishing at the Pohtiolampi Osprey centre maintained by the Osprey Foundation. However, Seija turned south-southeast and arrived at Vyborg Bay on the 21st.
14‒15 August 2016
Ilpo continued his purposeful migration and on the evening of the 15th, he arrived in a forested area north of the city of Turosl in northern Poland.
Seija, for her part, spent the night between then 15th and 16th near Rovaniemi.
13 August 2016
By the evening of his second day of migration, Ilpo had proceeded into the airspace of Latvia, and stopped for the night only some twenty kilometres from the border.
Tero was still in his home range.
Seija set out southwards in the morning, having spent the past few days some twenty kilometres from her nest. During her first day of migration, Seija proceeded some 200 km, and stopped for the night northwest of Sodankylä.
12 August 2016
Ilpo, who had remained without a mate in the spring, started his autumn migration 2016 as early as the 12 August, i.e. much earlier than males who have succeeded in nesting. At 06:50 Finnish summer time (06:50 GMT), he was still at his stopover location at Valajärvi in Renko, but at 09:12 he was purposefully flying southwards. At 09:51 he passed the village of Loppi, and exactly an hour later, Karkkila. Ilpo’s route took him east of Lohja towards the Inkoo archipelago, where he started to cross the Gulf of Finland at 13:30 summer time (10:30 GMT). After flying to the southeast for 1½ hours, Ilpo arrived at the Estonian coast in the east part of Tallinn. He stopped for the night southwest of Viljandi after flying for over ten hours straight.
Spring migration 2016
11 May 2016
Tero crossed the border into Finland at 17:21 Finnish summer time on the 9th, at Suomussalmi by the Särkkä wilderness hut at the eastern border. Teros ettled down for the night some 16 km south of central Kuusamo. He arrived at his nest on the night between the 10th and 11th, after a 460-km final trek. From now on, the fixes from the nesting range will be hidden for conservation's sake.
7 May 2016
At long last, on the 6th May, Tero continued his migration to the north, and spent the following night at Lake Kaftino, which is located 180 km due east of Veliky Novgorod. He found his next stopover place in the middle of the spit of land between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega, some 60 km south-southwest of Petrozavodsk.
Seija set out at high speed from Kortejärvi on the morning of the 6th, and by night she had reached the southeast end of the Porttipahta reservoir after a straight flight of some 400 km. In the morning (the 7th), Seija made a final dash right after 8 o’clock (Finnish summer time), and reached her nest after five hours and covering some 170 km. From now on, the fixes from the nesting range will be hidden for conservation's sake.
5 May 2016
Tero is has still been resting southwest of Moscow.
Seija, for her part, finally ended her refuelling stay in Poland on the 1st, and continued purposefully to the north. She crossed the Lithuanian border at 12:06 (GMT) on the 2nd, arrived in Latvian airspace at 10:31 on the 3rd, and in Estonia at 16:29 on the same day. Seija set out to cross the Gulf of Finland at 10: 55 (GMT) on the 4th and arrived at the Finnish coast, at Emsalö in the Porvoo archipelago, at 12:35. From there, Seija continued in a quite straightforward line across Finland. On the evening of the following day (the 5th), Seija settled for the night at the Kortejärvi lake north of Oulujärvi.
1 May 2016
Tero has not been migrating very quickly through Russia. Since 26 April, he has been staying in a small area some 115 km southwest of Moscow.
Seija is still staying in Poland, in an area south of Lublin, where she arrived as long ago as the 14th, i.e. two and a half weeks ago.
21 April 2016
According to the fixes received so far, Tero has been touring the Stavropol area in southern Russia.
Seija is still refuelling in her accustomed place in Poland. Today, we finally received data showing that Seija arrived at her wintering range in the Ivory Coast on the evening of the 10th October in autumn 2015. The first fix from the centre of her wintering range is from early morning on the 11th. When writing this, the final missing fixes on Seija autumn migration arrived. In the autumn, the fixes stopped coming the morning of 6th October, when Seija was at the eastern end of Lake Volta in Ghana. From there, Seija continued for 24 hours some 805 km along a somewhat meandering route to the west. Her completed autumn 2015 migration route is available here.
15–17 April 2016
Tero crossed the border between Iraq and Turkey at 9:25 (GMT) on the 15th, but within an hour he was in Iranian territory, and by the night he had reached the area of Khoy in north-western Iran. The next day, he stopped for the night in an area 14 km due south of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. From there, he continued his journey on the 17th across mid-Georgia and the conflicted area of South Ossetia; Tero stopped for the night at the northern border of North Ossetia.
Since the 14th, Seija has been circling in Poland, in an area some 60 km due south of Lublin, where Seija stayed for two weeks (15 April–1 May) refuelling in spring 2015.
14 April 2016
Ilpo arrived at his nest after noon on the 13th. The last fix before he reached his nest is marked on the map. After that, the fixes for Ilpo are hidden for conservation reasons.
Tero finally left his refuelling place north of Baghdad and continued his migration.
For two days, Seija has been travelling north from Albania. Her route has taken her through Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzergovina, northern Serbia, eastern Hungary, and via Slovakia to Poland.
12 April 2016
Ilpo stopped for the night of 10-11 April north of Liepaja in southwestern Latvia. In the morning (the 11th), he was already in the air at 03:20 (GMT), but stopped after flying just five kilometres, and did not set out in earnest until 05:50 (GMT). Ilpo flew some 400 km in 13 hours during this day, across western Latvia and Saarenmaa and Hiidenmaa in Estonia, from where he flew over the mouth of the Gulf of Finland into the archipelago of Västanfjärd. Ilpo flew over the island of Morgonlandet at 18:21 GMT, i.e. around 21;21 Finnish Summer Time. We expect the fixes of tomorrow (the 13th) to show us that Ilpo arrived at his nest today (the 12th).
According to the message today, Tero was still in his stopover place in Iraq.
The packet on Seija, for her part, complemented the backlog on her wintering range.
11 April 2016
Ilpo continued his migration on the 7th and made it into Poland to spend the night some 30 km from Poznan. The following night he spent on the east coast of the Curonian Lagoon, in the southeast corner of Kaliningrad. Ilpo crossed the border between Kaliningrad and Lithuania on the afternoon of the 9th.
Since the 8th, Tero has been circulating in a relatively small area some 60 km north-northwest of Baghdad.
Seija has continued her trip through Algeria, and stopped in northern Algeria for the night on the 8th, some 320 km from the Mediterranean coast. The next day, i.e. the 9th, she set out around 06:50 (GMT), moved into Tunisian airspace at 10:37, arrived at the Mediterranean coast around 21:40, and set out over the sea immediately. Seija flew over the Maltese Gozo Island at 03 on the 10th, then continued across the middle of the Ionian, arrived near Corfu off the coast of Albania at 18:29, but seems to have continued her flight along the coast for another 80 km, i.e. a couple of hours, and did not stop until she was near Viore around 20:30. This time, Seija flew for over 37 hours, covering 567 km over land and then 1,041 km over the sea.
At long last, the message we received today also brought us a backlog of fixes that show that Seija spent her winter at the Ivory Coast again, by the Buyo reservoir dammed into the Sassandra river, some 200 km from the coast of the Guinea Bay. The backlog of fixes also showed us that Seija started her spring migration at noon on the 29 March, i.e. a day later than in spring 2015. At 13:57 (GMT), Seija was still on the ground in the middle of her winter range. Then she made a four-kilometre and 15-minute loop to the southwest, rising over a kilometre up in the air, then she set out to the North. Seija travelled over 120 km during her first day of migration. As recounted before, Seija crossed the border between the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso on the 30th, her second day of migration.
We still do not know when Seija arrived in her wintering range. The winter map for Seija, lacking as it still is, can be opened under older monitoring data. The winter and spring maps will be updated as we receive the backlog of fixes.
7 April 2016
Since the 4th, Ilpo has stayed in the vicinity of Jesenice 68 km west of Prague, where he stayed on 18-21 April in spring 2015. Judging from the name "rybnik," the ponds in the area are used for fish farming.
After crossing Saudi-Arabia straight over the middle, Tero crossed the Iraqi border on the 6th and spent the night between the 6th and 7th in the desert southwest of the city of Karbala.
On the 5th, Seija crossed the border between Mali and Algeria, and arrived in the Ahaggar National Park for the night of the 6th. The latest data packet did not bring us more backlogged fixes.
3 April 2016
Ilpo continued his migration over the southeast corner of Bavaria into the Czech Republic.
Tero has been outside the range of the mobile network for a few days. Today, the backlog of fixes that erupted from the memory of the transmitter showed that Tero had so far been flying nearly the same route as in spring 2015; across mid-Ethiopia, over the south end of the Red Sea from Eritrea to Yemen, and then on to Saudi-Arabia.
Seija has been circling at River Niger in Mali, near Gao. The backlog of fixes shows us that Seija had crossed the border between the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso on the evening of the 30 March, and then flown across western Burkina Faso in one day, ending up in Malian airspace on the evening of the 31st.
2 April 2016
Ilpo’s route took him over the Alps and Tyrol east of Innsbruck and ended up in southwestern Bavaria.
Today, we finally had news of Seija, whose fixes had ended abruptly on 6 October, during her autumn migration. At that time, Seija had been in Ghana. A few exact GPS fixes received from Mali today showed that Seija is alive and has started her spring 2016 migration! From now on, besides fixes showing us how her migration is proceeding, we will receive a backlog of data that will describe the beginning of her spring migration, then her wintering range, and finally the final stages of her autumn migration from Ghana onwards. We assume that Seija spent her winter in the Ivory Coast as the previous year. Time will tell…
1 April 2016
Ilpo crossed Parma during the day and stopped near Mantua for the night.
31 March 2016
Ilpo set off in the morning around 05:30 (GMT), set out across the Mediterranean at 07:20, arrived near Genoa on the Italian coast at 16:50 after a very straightforward flight over the middle of the open sea, and stopped for the night at 17:05. In eleven and a half hour, Ilpo flew some 1,110 km, 1,027 of which he flew over the sea. This time Ilpo had a very strong tailwind to carry him over the sea, because his average speed was as much as 96 km per hour. According to Professor Juhani Rinne, a strong warm air current headed from Algiers towards Italy on the 31st. Ilpo flew at an elevation of 1,500-2,000 metres over the Mediterranean.
30 March 2016
Ilpo flew 354 km over northwest Algiers during this day, and arrived at Breira for the night, an area eight kilometres from the Mediterranean coast and some 130 km west-southwest of Alger.
29 March 2016
Today, Ilpo headed straight northeast all day, crossing the border between Morocco and Algeria after 18 o'clock (GMT). For the night, Ilpo settled at the Boughrara reservoir.
In the same day, Tero made it to the border between Kenya and Ethiopia.
28 March 2016
Ilpo continues to meander. He returned to the west-southwest, to the Draa River, where he stayed for over two hours, and it was not until the afternoon that he set out towards the northeast again.
On the 28th, Tero was still resting in the northwest part of his wintering range at 11:24 (GMT). A minute later, he was in the air, and after some circling, he determinedly set out due north at 11:33. According to the fixes, Tero flew six and a half hour in one go, and crossed the Equator after 17 o’clock. Tero flew 306 km during his first day of migration.
27 March 2016
Until the afternoon of the 21st, Ilpo migrated as expected, towards the north across the middle of Mauritania. Then his route started to curve strangely towards the northeast, and finally due east on the 24th. After spending the night in the desert in the northwest corner of Mali, Ilpo turned right around and flew towards the west-northwest and northwest all day on the 25th. The next day (the 26th), Ilpo flew on a northbound course, then he turned northeast, and after a pause at the Draa River, spent the night near Tazzarine in eastern Morocco.
18 March 2016
Ilpo wandered for 266 km over the desert in southern Mauritania and then settled for the night in 'the middle of nowhere' 36 km southwest of Sangrave.
16 March 2016
In the morning at 7:00-10:00 (GMT), Ilpo made a fishing trip some 5 km downriver along the Konkouré, and around 11:15, he set out due north. According to the fixes, Ilpo flew for seven hours straight, and did not settle down for the night until 18:30. During his first migration day, Ilpo covered 277 km, almost reaching the Senegalese border. During the next day (the 17th), Ilpo travelled 319 km over eastern Senegal and crossed the border into Mauritania just before settling down for the night.
11 April 2016
The data packet we received on 11 April showed us that Seija had spent her winter in the Ivory Coast again, at the Buyo reservoir dammed into the Sassandra river, some 200 km from the coast of the Guinea Bay.
28 March 2016
Tero left his wintering range at the Kenyan coast for the North on 28 March, i.e. three days earlier than the previous spring. Tero spent his winter in a rectangular area stretching from the northwest to southeast, some twenty kilometres long and, at most, seven kilometres wide.
16 March 2016
Ilpo spent the whole winter primarily in the same area at the Konkouré river in Guinea as the previous year, but this time the area was much wider. In winter 2014-15, Ilpo’s wintering range only covered a rectangle 10 km wide and 50 km long, stretching inland from the coast. In winter 2015-16, the area formed a triangle standing on its tip, where the base up north was some 50 km long. Ilpo spent his last night at his wintering range at the Konkouré river some seven kilometres north-northeast of the town of Boffa.
Tero is still in his wintering range in Kenya.
Hopefully, Seija is still alive and outside the range of the network.
1 January 2016
Ilpo arrived at his wintering range on 24 September 2015. Like last winter, it is located at the Guinean coast, at the delta of the Konkouré River, some 75 km from Conakry, the capital of Guinea. By New Year’s, we had had over 14,800 GPS fixes on Ilpo from an area that covers some 40 km of coastal strip and reaches some 30 km inland. His range is already at this stage clearly larger than last winter.
Tero arrived at his wintering range in the Kiunga marina conservation area on the Kenyan coast on 24 November 2015. By New Year’s, we had received a total of over 10,000 GPS fixes on Tero, showing that he was moving around almost exactly the same area as last winter.
The final wintering range of Seija is outside the range of the mobile network again, but we hope to find out more once she starts her spring migration.
Autumn migration 2015
In the future, we will try to update the maps as often as possible during the migration, within the boundaries of available resources, but the written summaries of the migration progress will only be made once or twice a week.
25 November 2015
Tero has been in a complete news blackout since the 15th, i.e. outside the range of the mobile network, at the same stage of his autumn migration as in 2014. Today (the 25th) – after ten days of tortuous waiting – we finally received a long series of fixes that show the final stages of Tero’s autumn migration in fine detail. Tero set off again from his refuelling site near Al Namas on the 15th, and by nightfall he was northwest of Al Kadarah, just 28 km from the coast of the Red Sea. It is worth mentioning that Tero also flew over this refuelling site near Al Namas last autumn (on the 5 Nov 2014), but did not stop in the area at all. After Al Namas, Tero’s autumn 2014 and autumn 2015 routes have followed each other very closely, though at somewhat different times. After following the Red Sea coast southwards in autumn 2015, Tero crossed the Gate of Tears (the Mandeb Strait), i.e. the strait at the southern end of the Red Sea, and continued over the southeast tip of Eritrea and Djibouti into Ethiopia. In autumn 2014, Tero crossed the Gate of Tears on the 10th, already, but stopped to refuel in the Assab archipelago at the southern end of Eritrea, and did not continue until the 19th. After travelling over Ethiopia and eastern Somalia, as last autumn, Tero arrived in his wintering range on the 24th, which is the exact same date as last year, in the Kiunga marine conservation area on the Kenyan coast, 285 km north of Mombasa.
12 November 2015
Tero has slowly been travelling over the Arabian Peninsula. After his strange detour, Tero has mainly headed to the south-southwest, which has taken him towards the coast of the Red Sea. Tero has spent over two days (the 10th-12th) in a small area in the highlands near An Namas, 120 km from the Red Sea coast, where there seems to be good fishing opportunities in spite of the harsh landscape.
6 November 2015
After refuelling at the Arpacay reservoir for 13 days, i.e. exactly as long as he did in autumn 2014, Tero continued towards the south on the morning of the 31 October. By night he was in Iraq. Tero's route took him 83 km west of both Bagdad and his autumn 2014 route at this stage. Until he reached the south side of Bagdad, Tero was flying due south, but then he gradually veered to the south-southwest, and on the 4 November, Tero flew to the southwest all day, covering 324 km and crossing the border into Saudi-Arabia at 07:46 (GMT). The next day, he changed his course 90 degrees and flew 238 km to the southeast, continuing in the same direction at least until noon on the 6th. Is Tero repeating his risky meandering over the cruel desert of Saudi-Arabia, as in autumn 2014? Why has Tero not crossed - or been able to cross - the Arabian peninsula as 'sensibly' and straightforwardly as in spring 2015?
20 October 2015
We have received regular fixes on Ilpo from his wintering range at the delta of River Konkouré at the coast of Guinea.
Tero has slowly continued on his eastern route, as in autumn 2014 – at most flying 150 km east of his migration route last autumn. Tero crossed over Georgia on the 17th, i.e. one week later than last year. After arriving in northern Turkey, Tero stopped by the Arpacay reservoir near the Armenian border, where he refuelled for 13 days in autumn 2014.
So far, we have had the last fix on Seija on the 6th, when she was at Lake Volta in Ghana. Hopefully this just means that Seija is out of range of the mobile network, like last year. We did not receive data on the final stages of her autumn migration to her wintering range in the Ivory Coast until her spring migration, on the 21 April!
3 October 2015
At long last, Tero’s transmitter has gained enough power! A message received today told us that, after noon today (the 3rd), Tero was flying over the southwestern part of Nizhny Novgorod in mid-Russia, approaching the Mordovian border. The previous fix on him came on the 19 September, when Tero was still at his range in Utsjoki. In autumn 2014, Tero started his migration on the 18 September and passed the southwestern corner of Nizhny Novgorod on the 1 October, only 100 km west of the latest fix on Tero. This means that we can assume that Tero set out on his autumn 2015 migration quite soon after the fix on the 19th.
2 October 2015
We finally received a sign of life from Seija on the afternoon of the 2nd, showing that she had crossed the border between Nigeria and Benin around noon! The previous fixes had come during the night between the 22 and 23 September. At the moment, we have a five-day (23rd-29th) break in the fixes, which we are confident will be filled in during the next few days, as it did last autumn. At this stage, it seems that Seija has crossed the Sahara some 300-500 km southeast of her autumn 2014 route this year. She still has some 1,200 km left to reach her wintering range at this moment.
Tero’s transmitter still does not have enough power to send us fixes.
27 September 2015
Ilpo has settled down on his old wintering range, and he has even had time to acquaint himself with the fishing opportunities in different parts of his range during the first three days - both out at sea and 20 km up the Konkouré river.
We have not had any news on Seija and Tero.
24 September 2015
At 10:45 (GMT) on the 24th, Ilpo arrived at his wintering range at the delta of River Konkouré, some 75 km from Conakry, the capital of Guinea. However, Ilpo did not land immediately, but made a 45-minute loop to the open sea, and didn’t settle down until 11:30 o’clock. Including all his days of rest and meanderings, Ilpo’s autumn 2015 migration took 49 days and covered 8,716 kilometres, so Ilpo averaged 178 km per day. In autumn 2014, Ilpo took 45 days to migrate, and including his twists and turns, he covered 8.645 km, averaging 192 km per day. His statistics for spring were 26 days, 8.096 km and 311 km per day.
From now on, we will monitor Ilpo’s fixes on the winter maps. There will only be comments if something out of the ordinary happens. The maps for autumn 2015 and earlier maps will be available under 'Older data.'
We have not had any new fixes on Seija or Tero the last few days. Seija is probably out of range of the network. Tero’s transmitter cannot make fixes at the moment due to lack of daylight.
22 September 2015
Ilpo continued southwest from the border river between Senegal and Mali over the southeast corner of Senegal, crossed the Guinean border on the afternoon of the 20th, and on the 22nd arrived at the Atlantic coast in the Boké region. It will be interesting to see whether we will receive data on Ilpo’s wintering range in the autumn, or if we will have to wait until spring, when Ilpo re-emerges from outside the mobile network.
Seija was out of range of the network for two and a half days. It was not until the evening of the 22nd that it emerged that Seija had crossed the Mediterranean. After setting out from the border between Hungary and Ukraine at 04:15 (GMT) on the 20th, Seija covered 716 km in 19 hours over Serbia and Montenegro, and after crossing the Adriatic she stopped for the night around 23:30 (GMT) in the ‘heel’ of Italy, south of the city of Brindisi. She only rested for some four and a half hours, because at 04:58 (GMT) on the 21st, Seija had already flown 36 km, i.e. an hour’s flight, from her stopover location, and embarked on an uninterrupted 23.5-hour, 1,001-km flight over the Mediterranean. At 02:45 on the 22nd, Seija was still 28 km from the Libyan coast and her landing spot near the city of Benghazi, where she arrived around 03:30 (GMT). The stop remained short this time, as well, because at 04:43 (GMT), Seija had set out, and flew 414 km southwards, and stopped for the night at 16:58 (GMT) in the desert, 'in the middle of nowhere.'
In autumn 2014, Seija’s route took her some 35 km west of her autumn 2015 route over the coast of Montenegro and the Italian heel, after which her routes crossed each other over the Ionian sea. In 2014, Seija headed to the south-southwest, and in 2015 to the south-southeast, which meant that she ended up on the west coast of the Great Sirte or the Gulf of Sidra in autumn 2014, and on the east coast in 2015, 458 km east of the spot where she landed last year. In autumn 2014, Seija crossed the Mediterranean on the 27-28 September, i.e. about a week later than in autumn 2015.
21 September 2015
Today, we received details on Helena’s fate. Ukrainian raptor scientist Dr Maxim Gavrilyuk, who reported about the fate of Eikka the Osprey in autumn 2011, organised for Ukrainian hobby ornithologist Vasil Ilchuk to visit the fish farm where Helena met her fate, According to the farm’s director, Helena had been caught in a net, damaged her wing, and had then been mauled by a dog. Helena’s transmitter and ring have been salvaged and will be returned to Finland.
We have not received any fixes on Seija since the morning of the 20th. Tero’s transmitter has been out of commission the past few days because the battery is nearly empty, so we do not have any new information on Tero's whereabouts.
19 September 2015
On the 17th, Ilpo turned almost due west, and on the evening of the 19th, he arrived at the border between Mali and Senegal, where he stopped for the night.
Seija set out on the morning of the 18th (08:12 GMT) from her fishing at the Polish fish farm and continued her migration after a two-week hiatus. At this stage, Seija was eight days ahead of her autumn 2014 schedule. After flying 215 km, Seija settled down for the night in the vicinity of the border between Slovakia and Ukraine, in a place 80 km east-northeast of the city of Košice. She found her next stopover place, after flying 311 km, at the border between Hungary and Ukraine, 47 km due east of the city of Szeged.
In the morning of the 19th, Tero was still in his range at Utsjoki. The lessening of daylight has started to affect the operation of Tero’s transmitter.
17 Sept 2015
Ukrainian raptor researchers have been informed about Helena's fate, and they have promised to try to find out what really happened at the fish farm. The goal is also to have Helena’s transmitter returned to Finland, possibly for reuse.
From the 10 September, Ilpo continued his trip from northern Algeria outside the range of the mobile network until the 16th. Then we found out that Ilpo had flown straight southwest across Algeria and the north-western part of Mali. After crossing the Mauritanian border on the 13th, Ilpo turned south following the border, and on the 16th turned back into Mali. Over Africa in autumn 2015, Ilpo has followed a route that is more eastern than his autumn 2014 route. The distance between the routes was 650 km at the Mediterranean coast, just 170 km after crossing the Mauritanian border, and 470 km after returning to the Malian airspace. On the 17th, Ilpo had some 950 km to go as the crow flies to reach his wintering range of last year.
Seija is still refuelling in Poland and Tero is still staying at his range in Utsjoki.
7 Sept 2015
For the night of 5-6 Sept, Ilpo settled down in a place some 13 km due east, i.e. inland, of the northern end of the Maremma nature reserve on the Tuscan coast. During the past few years, osprey chicks have been transplanted from Corsica to the Maremma nature reserve, and the Osprey has thus been reintroduced into Italy.
On the 6th, Ilpo was still at his stopover place at 04:01 (GMT), but at 04:54 he was in flight some 8 km from that place, so his estimated time of starting was around 04:40 o'clock. After reaching the island on the western limit of the Orbetello bird lagoon, Ilpo set out to cross the Tyrrhenian sea at 05:20 (GMT). After ten hours and a slightly meandering flight route southwards over the Tyrrhenian sea, Ilpo was about one hundred kilometres east of the south-eastern end of Sardinia at 15:20 (GMT). Then Ilpo turned towards Sardinia, i.e. due west. After a few hours and flying 80 km, when he only had 20 km left to reach the south-eastern tip of Sardinia, at 17:45 (GMT), 19:45 local time, exactly as the sun was setting, Ilpo decided to continue flying into the night and veered to the south and Africa. Ilpo arrived at the northern coast of Tunisia after midnight local time (22:22 GMT) after a night flight of 201 km in four and a half hours.
All in all, Ilpo flew in one go over the Mediterranean for 17 hours covering 720 km. The previous year, Ilpo took three days to cross the Mediterranean, and flying only during daylight, he covered over 1,200 km. Before we have made a more detailed analysis of the weather there is no estimating which of the very different strategies is the more ‘sensible.’
6 Sept 2015
Ilpo has till kept a mere 10-20 km from his autumn 2014 route. On the afternoon of the 5th, Ilpo flew over Tuscany. The next few days will show whether Ilpo will cross the Mediterranean differently to the other Ospreys, flying by Sardinia and the Balearic Islands to Algeria, as he did in autumn 2014?
After crossing the middle of Belarus and the northwest of Ukraine, on the 4th, Seija arrived at a Polish fish farm 180 km northeast of Cracow, where she stayed for 12 days in autumn 2014 (the 14-26 Sept) and 15 days in spring 2015 (15 April-1 May).
A day earlier (3 September), Seija was still flying in the Ukrainian airspace, in an area 230 km east of her autumn 2014 route. After this, Seija turned from south-southwest to west-southwest, and arrived at the refuelling place she knows so well within 24 hours.
Tero is still at his range in Utsjoki.
1 Sept 2015
Having failed at nesting, Helena started her autumn migration as early as 31 July, i.e. nearly two weeks earlier than in autumn 2014. She flew from the root of the Porkkala headland over the island of Prangli west of Tallinn, then straight over mid-Estonia to spend the night in the borderland between Valga county and Latvia. The next night, Helena spent in the region of Vidzeme in mid-Latvia, some 110 km due east of Riga. On 3-5 August, Helena stayed near Varena in southern Lithuania, then on the 6th-7th she continued on her way to her next stopover by the Neman river in north-eastern Belarus. After travelling for some days, alternating between Poland and Belarus, on the 10th, Helena arrived in the borderland between south-eastern Ukraine and Poland, over 250 km northwest of Warsaw.
Helena circled the area, fishing both at the Southern Bug river that follows the border, and especially at the fish-farming pools. The last coordination fix on Helena came at 07:14 (GMT) on the 16th, when she was at the Rusiv fish farm in Ukraine. The activity sensor registering her movements was functioning normally at 07:59 (GMT) on the 15th, so we are sure that Helena was still alive at that time. After that, according to the activity sensor, Helena’s transmitter had remained still for long periods of time before it stopped working altogether. We do not have the details of Helena’s fate. It seems the most plausible alternative is that Helena was shot illegally at the fish farm, just like Eikka the Osprey in autumn 2011. We may have some confirmation of Helena’s demise (and not e.g. the transmitter breaking) in spring 2016.
Due to his failed nesting, Ilpo started his autumn migration as early as 7 August, i.e. almost a month earlier than in autumn 2014, and much earlier than those male Ospreys that are responsible for feeding their fledglings. After a slightly faltering start, Ilpo headed southwest from Karkkila to Karjaa, where he turned to the southeast and crossed the Gulf of Finland some 50 km further west than the previous year.southeast On the Estonian coast, Ilpo turned south-southwest, and flew over the middle of the Gulf of Riga on the 9th, and did not stop for a breather even on the island of Ruhnu. Ilpo took a distinctly further westward route than his autumn 2014 route, as far as the Kaliningrad area, then he mainly followed the same route as autumn 2014 across Poland, the western Czech Republic, Bavaria, and over the western protrusion of Austria into northern Italy, where he arrived on 1 September. Ilpo stayed at the Pilsen fish farms in the Czech Republic 12-31 August, fishing in the same place where he’d refuelled during 10-19 September 2014.
Seija started her autumn migration on 23 August, i.e. six days earlier than autumn 2014. Seija flew somewhat due south over Finland, and on the 27th crossed the border at a point 13 km southwest of the official border-crossing in Vainikkala. Then her route took her over Vyborg Bay, and in the morning of the 29th straight over St Petersburg, curving over Novgorod to Belarus, and directly over Minsk on 1 September.
Nesting in Renko in summer 2015, Ilpo and Helena started their nesting well in spite of Ilpo’s lateness, but it failed anyway. When the nest was visited on 25 June, both adults were warning off visitor near the nest, though a dead two-and-a-half-week old fledgling was found under the tree. Judging from the smell, it had been dead for about a week.
Ilpo went fishing in a range of over 400 square kilometres during the summer; its northern border was Hattalmalanjärvi south of Hämeenlinna, its eastern border was Kernaalanjärvi west of Janakkala church, its southern border was Ojajärvi north of Loppi village , and its western border was Renko village. After the nesting had failed, Helena circulated some 15-25 km's distance from the nest in July. In the last week of July, Helena followed the western shore of Vanajanselkä to the southeast almost to Valkeakoski, nearly 50 km from the nest. The last night (30-31 July) before her departure, Helena spent at the southern end of Sotkajärvi, at the border between Hattula and Hämeenlinna, which has lately become a huge municipality.
For Tero and Seija in Utsjoki, their nesting was very successful, at least until the ringing stage; Harri Koskinen ringed two healthy nestlings on 28 July at their nest. After the start of nesting, Seija stayed very close to the nest, never flying more than some two kilometres from the nest. It was not until 21-22 August that she made a 20-km flight to the southwest, and then started her autumn migration on the 23rd. Tero, for his part, was still at his range on 3 September, when he had extended his fishing range to some 500 km².
Spring migration 2015
13 May 2015
Tero continued his migration on the morning of the 12th, and by evening he had flown as far as Ivalo. During the night and morning (22:52-11:12), Tero made a strange 160 km long and 60 km wide loop to the north of Porttipahta, which in no way benefited his progress towards the north. In spite of that, Tero reached his nest around 13:30 Finnish summer time on the 13th. The fixes closest to the nest have been left off the map for the sake of conservation.
11 May 2015
On the 10th, Tero only continued his migration for 63 km and stopped as early as 11:26, circling the region of Näljänkäjärvi. On the next day (the 11th), Tero flew 215 km and stopped north of Kemijärvi for the night. At that time, Tero was still some 300 km, i.e. one daytrip, from his nest, where Seija is already waiting.
Seija’s spring 2015 migration ended fairly exactly at 16:14 Finnish summer time on the 10th, as she was still flying 1,160 metres from the nest at 16:12:28, but at 16:14:27, the fix came from the exact location of the nest. All the fixes during the night also came from the nest. At 8:47-8:54 the next morning, Seija made a 7-km round trip outside the nest, and another one of 30 km at 9:28-10:22. The last fixes on Seija’s spring migration have been left off the map for conservation's sake.
10 May 2015
Tero arrived in Finland, in northern Karelia at 10:20 Finnish summer time (07:20 GMT) on the 8th May; he spent his night in Juuka on the western shore of Pielinen. On the next day (the 9th), Tero stopped his flying at Ristijärvi at noon, and spent his night right by the Puolankatie road.
Seija stayed another few days (the 8th-9th) by Vanttausjärvi and its neighbouring lake, Ulkujärvi, and then she continued on her way after 9 (06 GMT) on the morning of the 10th. Seija followed a route east of Sodankylä to the southern end of the Porttipahta reservoir, and then to the west of Mutusjärvi. The last fix so far is from 18:37 Finnish summer time (15:37 GMT), when Seija was flying north of Kaamanen, over Syysjärvi by highway four, only some 30 km from her nest.
7 May 2015
There is no pertinent news to tell about Ilpo and Helena.
On the 5th, Tero was already flying at 3:40 (GMT), and after a flight of 12 hours and 325 km, he stopped for the night in a location 116 km southwest of Moscow. The next day (the 6th), after flying 207 km, Tero turned southeast at 11:25 (GMT) and made his winding way some 30 km back to his stopover place in the Tver area. The next day (the 7th), he flew as much as 600 km, which took Tero from Tver to the northeast of Ladoga.
On the 6th, Seija already stopped her progress towards the north after flying 126 km, and settled down on the Nivalammi mire east of Nuuksvaara to wait for the night. The following morning (the 7th), Seija first set out towards the northeast, but after noon local time (10 GMT) she turned southeast, and after flying 48 km she stopped for the night near Vanttauskoski.
5 May 2015
After setting out from the borderland between Latvia and Estonia on the 4th, Seija took a very straight route across Estonia from Tartu to Jõgeva to Rakvere, and immediately set out to cross the Gulf of Finland at 13:10-14:32 from east of the Käsmu maritime museum to east of Pellinki. She spent the night in Pörkintarha in the village of Muikkula in Iitti, near the border between Orimattila and Lapinjärvi. This day, she covered 390 km. On the next day (the 5th), Seija flew straight northwards again, and followed Highway 4 very closely from Heinola to south of Oulu. When she settled down for the night by Oijärvi in Kuivaniemi, she had flown 550 km during the day.
4 May 2015
The fixes show that Ilpo has been carrying fish nearly exclusively from Haapajärvi, Kernaalanjärvi and Hattelmalanjärvi to the nest. Ilpo has visited Paloniitunjärvi at least once.
The fixes on Helena have all come from the nest.
Tero continues across Russia in a leisurely manner. On the night between the 3rd and 4th, Tero stayed in the area of Lipetsk, west of a railway station named for the place Leo Tolstoy died. During this day (the 4th), Tero only progressed 28 km to the northwest, and stopped for the night in a place 285 km south of Moscow.
At 13:47 (GMT) on the 2nd, Seija stopped in a wooded area 10 km from the border between Latvia and Estonia, and for some inexplicable reason, she stayed there all of the next day (the 3rd). There don’t seem to be any places for fishing in the area. Might Seija have stopped for the day at some local Osprey nest? Seija crossed the Estonian border at around 06:55 (GMT) on the 4th.
2 May 2015
Tero is still fishing southeast of Pavlovsk.
At 07:45 (GMT on 1 May, Seija finally stopped refuelling in Poland and set off to the north.
At 13:13 she flew into Belorussian airspace and at 14:57, she crossed the Lithuanian border. After flying 491 km, Seija settled for the night in an area 24 southeast of Vilnius. On the next morning (the 2nd), Seija set out at 06:40 (GMT) to continue her migration, and made it to mid-Latvia by the afternoon.
28 April 2015
Ilpo has made fishing trips from his nest to Haapajärvi, Kernaalanjärvi and Hattelmalanjärvi, among other lakes.
According to the past few days’ fixes, Helena has stayed close to the nest.
Tero is continuing his fishing in southern Russia, at the fish-farming pools southeast and east of Pavlovsk, last by River Gavrilo.
Meanwhile, Tero’s mate, Seija, has already been staying in south-eastern Poland, south of Lublin, for 13 days.
25 April 2015
As surmised in yesterday’s report, Ilpo did return to his nest the evening of the 24th, i.e. ten days after his mate Helena. At 17:39 GMT or 20:30 Finnish summer time, Ilpo was still 13.7 km, or some 20-25 minutes from his nest, so we can assume that Ilpo arrived at his nest at or close to 21 o'clock, Finnish summer time. The first exact GPS fix from the nest was recorded at 21:16. Ilpo spent the night 1,370 metres from the nest, but the next morning at 04:52 a GPS fix already showed him in a tree close to the nest, and at 06:12 in the nest itself. According to the fixes, Ilpo went fishing at Haapajärvi around 07:20, and at 09:40 he picked his next fish from Kernaalanjärvi, which he left uneaten on the way, and returned to the nest around 11:00. The Osprey Foundation agent Juhani Koivu and the raptor ringer Harri Koskinen went to the vicinity of the nest and watched it through binoculars at 10:01-10:40, during which time they only saw one Osprey that they deduced was Helena, since she had a wide breastband and an antenna visible on her back.
Even though Helena had been circling around a fairly large area the past days, and visited at least two of last year’s active Osprey nests, she stayed near the nest she’d shared with Ilpo last year all day on the 24th – as if sensing something. The exact fixes from the nest came at 20:55 and 21:28 Finnish summer time, so we can surmise that Ilpo and Helena were at the nest at the same time just before dark. Helena spent the night in the nest.
During this day (the 25th), Tero made a half-circle of some 40 km to the southeast of Pavlovsk, and seems to have ended up at a fish-farming pool.
Seija has already stayed in the region of Osówek in Poland for ten days; there seem to be many fish-farming pools there.
24 April 2015
At 07:44 (GMT) on the 23rd, Ilpo crossed the border between Poland and Kaliningrad, at 09:52 the border between Kaliningrad and Lithuania, at 14:42 at Ruben on the Lithuanian-Latvian border river called Vadakstis, and stopped for the night in southern Latvia, in Namik, 107 km southwest of Riga. He travelled 454 kilometres this day. On the 24th, a final rush of 500 kilometres seemingly took Ilpo to his nest by the evening. The last fix of the day came at 17:14 (GMT), when Ilpo had already flown 493 km during that day, and he was flying at Sääksjärvi in Loppi, only 30 km or an hour’s flight from the nest in Renko. Ilpo’s route took him from Kolkka in the northernmost tip of Kurland over the Gulf of Riga to Saaremaa, and from there over Muhu, past Haapsalu, and north by Keibu, in a straight line over the Gulf of Finland to the Inkoo archipelago and the Hättö nature reserve. Then Ilpo continued over Lohjanjärvi lake to Loppi, and probably to his nest. For preservation, the fixes near his nest will not be displayed.
Helena is still circling her range restlessly. If Ilpo did indeed arrive at the nest on the evening of the 24th, Helena was spending the night there then.
Tero is slowly progressing through southern Russia; the latest fixes are from the River Don, some 304 km north-northeast of Rostov as the crow flies.
Seija is still in Poland.
21 April 2015
Ilpo continued his migration in the morning. At 08:55 (GMT), he was flying over a copse 46 km due west of Prague.
Helena may have tired of waiting for Ilpo, because she has been staying a great deal at another nest almost ten kilometres from Ilpo’s and Helena’s shared nest.
Tero has continued across Russia. The latest fixes on him have come from the vicinity of Volgograd.
Seija has continued her refuelling stay in Poland. In addition to the latest data, the email yesterday contained the rest of the fixes on Seija’s autumn 2014 migration. They show that Seija arrived in her wintering range at 09:41 (GMT) on 9 October 2014. The finalised maps of Seija’s autumn migration and wintering range are available under Older monitoring information.
19 April 2015
On the 16th, Ilpo continued northwards through eastern Bavaria, and crossed the border into the Czech Republic after noon. Since then, Ilpo has been making the rounds of some small fish ponds west of Pilsen, enjoying their offerings.
Ilpo’s mate, Helena, had already returned to the couple’s nest in Renko in the morning of the 14th. Since then, besides waiting for her mate near their nest, Helena has also toured other nearby Osprey nests. The Osprey Foundation agent Juhani Koivu visited Ilpo’s and Helena’s nest on the 18th and spotted two Ospreys, one with a visible antenna, the other without. It would seem that another male is already courting Helena as a result of Ilpo’s tardiness.
Tero crossed the border between Georgia and Russia in the morning of the 17th, and has continued northwards another 550 km during the following two days, over Ossetia and Stavropol into Rostov.
Seija has stayed on in Poland.
16 April 2015
On the 14th, Ilpo stayed in northern Italy, in a place 19 km due east of the northern end of Lake Garda. On the next day (the 15th), Ilpo flew a total of 142 kilometres. He found his stopover place in Bavaria, near Rosenheim, 48 km southeast of Munich.
Tero ended his refuelling break at the Dukan reservoir in northern Iraq after 9 (GMT) on the 15th, and set out straight northwards. After flying 297 km during this day, Tero settled for the night in northwest Iran, north of the city of Khoy. The following day (the 16th), Tero continued fairly straight northwards for 427 km, towards Yerevan in Armenia, and stopped for the night in Georgia, in a location 49 km north of Tbilisi.
Seija only progressed 147 km during the 15th, and stopped in a small copse 67 km south of Lublin.
14 April 2015
Early in the morning on the 13th, Ilpo made a roundtrip to the Biguglia nature reserve on the northeast coast of Corsica, and then flew on to the northern end of the island. At 13-14:30, Ilpo flew some 125 km overseas from the northern end of Corsica to the Italian coast, near La Spezia. After reaching the continent, Ilpo continued 91 km to the north overland, and stayed the night on the northeast side of the city of Parma. The next morning (the 14th), Ilpo set out around 08:00 local time, but stopped almost immediately for 1½ hours (8:19-9:42) at a strange-looking ‘farm’ by the highway. At the same time, Ilpo’s mate, Helena, was already arriving at their nest in Renko, though male Ospreys are supposed to return in the spring before females! Around noon Ilpo stopped again, this time at River Po west of Viadana, evidently to refuel.
At 03:29 (GMT), i.e. 06:29 local summer time on the 13th, Helena was already flying 27 km from her stopover place 16 km west of Daugavpils. In other words, Helena had set out around 05:40-05:45 o’clock. On the 13th, the sun rose at 06:12 in Daugavpils, so Helena took to her wings half an hour before sunrise. According to the fixes, Helena flew continuously 582 km in 14.5 hours, i.e. averaging 40 km per hour this day. Helena crossed the border between Latvia and Estonia around 10:30, set out across the Gulf of Finland at 16:30, arrived in the Inkoo archipelago around 17:30, and settled down for the night at Luutasuo in Loppi at 20:12 local summer time. At that time, Helena was only 25 km from her nest, where she arrived the following morning around 09:45-09:55 local time. The fixes closest to the nest have been left off the map for protection of the nest. We are still following Helena closely, but the fixes will not be added to the map. New comments will only be written during summer if something out of the ordinary is observed.
At 12:36 (GMT) on the 9th, Tero moved from Saudi-Arabia into Iraq, where he took a strangely meandering route towards the north, until he stopped, apparently to refuel, on the afternoon of the 12th at a reservoir called Dukan, east of the city of Mosul.
On the 13th, Seija flew across Hungary all the way to the Slovakian border. On the next day (the 14th), she crossed the eastern corner of Slovakia and settled for the night in the southeast corner of Poland, at a small river some 166 km east-southeast of Cracow.
12 April 2015
On the night between the 9th and 10th, Ilpo stayed by the Sidi M'Hamed Ben Taiba reservoir and continued on his way some time after 8 (GMT). After flying another 250 km along the coast, at 15:03 on the 10th, Ilpo set out to cross the Mediterranean at a point 137 km east of Alger. At 5:30 on the 11th, after flying 584 km in 14.5 hours mostly in the night, he landed in the northwest corner of Sardinia. Ilpo continued his migration for another 130 km in northern Sardinia, until he settled down for the night near Aglientu. The next day, Ilpo set his course for Corsica. Last autumn, Ilpo flew via Mallorca.
Helena stopped for refuelling in Serbia as long as 10 days; from the morning of 31 March to the morning of 10 April. At first, Helena stayed around Jarkovic, and from the 5th, near Jezerce, some 40 km northeast of Jarkovic and 60 km north of Belgrade. After setting out again, Helena flew some 30-70 km west of her autumn route until she came to Bialystok in Poland, but then she shifted to some ten kilometres east of her autumn route. Helena crossed the border between Lithuania and Latvia on the evening of the 12th, and then she was only a few long daytrips away from her nesting range.
We have not had any news on Tero. It would seem that he is out of range again.
According to the satellite, Seija was still in her stopover location in Tunisia at 03:36 (GMT) on the 10th, but at 05:39 she had already set out to cross the Mediterranean west of Bizerte. Seija crossed about the middle of the Tyrrhenian sea, and at 14:53 she arrived on the Italian coast after a flight of 9 hours and 14 minutes, covering 515 kilometres. After reaching the coast, Seija continued flying for another three hours, covering 102 km, and settled down for the night in the region of Abruzzo, west of Avezzano. The next day, Seija crossed the Adriatic by flying from Pescara to Zadar on the Croatian coast. She found a place for the night 56 km southeast of Zagreb. All in all, she covered 414 km this day. Seija crossed the border between Croatia and Hungary at 10:27 (GMT) on the 12th, and then she continued flying just a little over three hours. She only covered 140 kilometres this day.
9 April 2015
In the past 24 hours, Ilpo has been flying along the Mediterranean coast to the east-northeast, and according to the fixes of the afternoon of the 9th, he was 41 km from the coast and some 20 km from his autumn route.
Helena is staying on in Serbia.
Tero has continued his northern migration in the middle of Saudi-Arabia, some 320 km west of his autumn route.
According to the messages received today, it seems that Seija spent the winter in the Côte d’Ivoire, by the Buyo Dam in the Sassandra River, some 200 km from the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. However, we still don’t know when Seija arrived in her wintering range. The winter map for Seija is available now, though it is still very sketchy (see older data). The winter and autumn maps will be updated when we receive the backlog of fixes.
Seija started her spring migration on the afternoon of 30 March, when she managed to fly up to 212 km to the north-northeast. Seija crossed the border into Burkina Faso at 16:26 (GMT) on the 31st, stopped for the night of 1 April 200 metres from the Mali border, moved into Algerian airspace at 12:28 on the 5th, and continued into Tunisia at 12:46 on the 9th. At 18:44, she was in Eddekhila some 40 km due west of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. At that time, Seija was less than 50 km from the Mediterranean coast. All this time, Seija’s spring migration route ran a few hundred kilometres west of her autumn route. The greatest difference between the two routes was over a thousand kilometres.
7 April 2015
As predicted on 2 April, Ilpo took a much more westerly course now than last autumn. Ilpo made a curve via the south-eastern corner of Western Sahara, and then returned into Mauretania. At its greatest, the difference to last autumn’s route was 800 km. Ilpo crossed the Algerian border at 17:10 (GMT) on 5 April. Since then, Ilpo has been flying to the northeast, along his autumn route. On this morning (the 7th), Ilpo was only 520 km from the Mediterranean coast.
Helena is still enjoying the good fishing at Jarkovci in Serbia.
For a few days, Tero was outside the range of the mobile network. It wasn’t until the evening of the 7th that we had more details on Tero’s spring migration. Up to the southern end of the Red Sea, Tero followed his autumn route with surprising exactness. In the autumn, Tero went across the Bab el Mandeb strait, but now, on the afternoon of the 4th, Tero set out to cross the Red Sea 170 km north of his autumn route. After flying some 150 km, he stopped for the night on a small rock in the middle of the Red Sea. The following day, Tero first flew over the sea for some 80 km, then 170 km over land, and then he stopped for the night at the border between Yemen and Saudi-Arabia, some 80 km east of the coastal city of Jazan. During the 7th, Tero flew some 350 km due north, and stopped for the night south of Bisha. Continuing his purposeful way towards the north, Tero crossed over his north-easterly autumn route the very next morning.
Seija is still outside the range of the network.
5 April 2015
Helena is continuing to refuel in Serbia.
We have not had any new fixes on Ilpo, Tero or Seija, since they have apparently flown outside the range of the mobile network.
2 April 2015
Ilpo set out at 9:30 (GMT) on 31 March, flew 270 km during the day, and settled down for the night at the border between Senegal and Mali. At 15:04, Ilpo’s spring migration route cut over his autumn 2014 route at a spot that Ilpo passed on 12 October. On April Fools' day, Ilpo flew about 370 km, mainly in the Mauritanian airspace. At this stage, it seems that quite a wide angle will form between his autumn and spring routes: he came from the northeast last autumn, but seems to be heading due north now.
Helena continued from the Croatian coast to Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 30th, and passed east of Sarajevo into Serbia. She found her stopover place at the Danube, some 63 km west of Belgrade. The next day (the 31st), Helena broke off her migration as early as 9 (GMT), and stopped to refuel at the plentiful Lake Jarkovci (a fish-farming pool) west of Indija, where she stayed at least all of April Fools’ day.
During the afternoon today (2 April), we have already received four email messages about Seija, the Osprey from Utsjoki! We received the last data on Seija nearly exactly five months ago, on 5 October 2014. After that Seija has been outside the range of the network. The first message only contained data on today and yesterday. Message for message, we have received backlogged data, mapping her as yet incomplete spring migration route as drawn on the spring map for Seija. When writing this, we don’t yet know where Seija spent her winter. The latest retrospective fixes have come from the Côte d’Ivoire, from an area 226 km from the capital, Yamoussoukro, 213 km from the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and 88 km from the Liberian border.
During the Easter holidays, the satellite Osprey maps will be updated daily, but we cannot guarantee that the commentary will keep up with the Ospreys.
31 March 2015
The messages received this afternoon tell us that Ilpo has started his spring migration. Based on the frequent and exact GPS fixes, we can almost tell the second that Ilpo started his spring migration, at 12:18:45 (GMT) on the 30 March. At 12:18:29, he was still on the ground at the northern end of his winter range, but at 12:19:30 he was flying 440 metres from the previous fix. If we assume, based on previous data, that the normal flight speed of Ospreys is around 36 km per hour, an Osprey would fly some 10 metres in a second, and thus would cover 440 metres in 44 seconds.
After setting out, Ilpo flew for 5 hours and 59 minutes straight, since he was still in the air at 18:16:21. At 18:18:18, Ilpo stopped for the first time after setting out, in a place where he ended up staying overnight. Ilpo flew 253 km to the north-northwest during his first day of migration. His stopover place was only slightly more than 40 km from the Senegalese border.
An email message received this evening told us that Tero started his spring migration at exactly 07:13:46 (GMT). At 07:13:32, he was still down on the sandbank, and one minute later, he was in the air, 460 metres from the previous fix. At 14:37:12, he was still flying, but at 14:45:18 he had landed 4.82 kilometres from the previous fix. It took Tero about 8 minutes to cover this distance, so calculating as we did in Ilpo's case, Tero stopped for the day almost exactly at 14:45. His daytrip of 346 kilometres in 7 hours, 31 minutes, took him almost directly northwards.
29–30 March 2015
At long last, we have a more detailed picture of the end of Helena’s autumn migration, her winter, and spring migration. The latest email messages have given us a very detailed account of how Helena continued to migrate eastwards, outside the mobile network, after the 9 October 2014. Helena crossed the border between Ghana and Togo at 13:34 (GMT) on the 9th, the border between Togo and Benin at 10:01 on the 10th, and the border between Benin and Nigeria at 13:02 on the 10th. After travelling through southern Nigeria for three days, on the afternoon of the 13th, Helena arrived in her wintering range in the area between Aviara and Uzere, west of the delta of the Niger river, and some 100 km from the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Helena spent most of the winter in an area of some30 km², which she left to make some fishing trips 20 km away, at the main Niger river.
Helena set out on her spring migration on the morning of 16 March. After travelling for three days and 860 km fairly straight northwards, she crossed the border between Nigeria and Niger north of Jibia, then continued 895 km across Niger, and entered Algerian airspace in the afternoon of the 22nd. As mentioned before, Helena was already in Tunisia on the 25th, only 100 km from the Mediterranean. Helena started crossing the Mediterranean at 8:19 on the 26th, and stopped for the night at 17:48 on the island of Comino, between the main island of Malta and Gozo. Only two square kilometres large, Comino is a protected nature reserve. Before going to Comino, Helena rested for a moment at the northern end of Gozo. Helena arrived in Gozo around 16:30, so she travelled 422 km over the sea in 8.2 hours. This means that Helena’s average speed over the sea was 51 km per hour, i.e. she must have had a good tailwind. During the following three days, Helena followed the eastern coast of Sicily, via the Messina straits – very dangerous for raptors – to Calabria, and from there via southern Basilica to Apulia. Helena set out to cross the Adriatic before 05 (GMT) on the 30th, and arrived on the Croatian coast by Dubrovnik almost exactly three hours later, after a 200-km sea trip.
Ilpo and Tero are still in their wintering ranges. We haven’t had any news of Seija since the autumn.
24-25 March 2015
Our monitoring of Ilpo’s autumn migration ended on 13 October according to the entry written on the 15th, when Ilpo was “only 28 km from the tri-state boundary between Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea.” After that, Ilpo continued his migration outside the coverage of the mobile network, and left us totally in the dark until the 26 February, 2015. After a wait of four and a half months, we received news of Ilpo, including fixes from the last three days, but a huge information gap between 13 October and 24 February. However, the following data packets contained back-dated information for a few days at a time, besides the new information, so the information gap was gradually filled. It was not until 15 March, 2015, that we found out how Ilpo had continued his migration from the 14 October, 2014.
Ilpo flew straight southwest on the 14th and spent his night at the banks of the river Geba, that flows through Guinea-Bissau. During the next day, Ilpo made it into Guinea and spent the night at the maze-like delta of River Kogon, whence he continued some 130 kilometres along the coastline on the 16th, and stopped for the next night at the delta of another river running into the Atlantic. Ilpo ended his autumn migration at the delta of River Konkouré, some 75 km from the capital of Guinea, Conakry.
During the winter, Ilpo’s fishing expeditions have taken him some 25 km inland along the Konkouré, as well as a few kilometres out to sea. When this is being written (24 March), Ilpo is still at his winter range.
The data on Helena’s autumn migration ended on 9 October, 2014, in Ghana, near the border to Togo. It is obvious that Helena has moved out of range of the mobile network.
After a long wait, we received an email about Helena on 24 March, 2015, telling us that Helena had spent the night between 23 and 24 March in southern Algiers, in the middle of Sahara! In other words, Helena had set out on her spring migration from her wintering range that was outside the mobile network, and had flown far into Sahara, keeping out of range all the time! Based on our experience with Ilpo’s transmitter, we may expect that the fixes on Helena's autumn migration, winter range, and spring migration will arrive gradually. For Ilpo, this process took 17 days.
The following email (25 March) specified that Helena had already entered Tunisia and was only a hundred kilometres from the Mediterranean coast.
On 24 March, Tero was still at his wintering range in Kenya.
We have not received any fixes on Seija and Birgit since last autumn. We still have high hopes for Seija, but even if Birgit is still alive, we will hardly receive any fixes on her any time soon, since she will not return north until next year, at the earliest.
21 January 2015
At the moment, Tero’s winter range is the only one we know. Since 24 November, Tero has been staying in a very limited area in the Kiunga Marine National Reserve on the Kenyan coast, 285 km north of Mombasa. All contact with Birgit the Osprey was lost on 21 November, at which time she was in Senegal, on the isthmus between River Senegal and the Atlantic. We have had no fixes on Ilpo, Helena or Seija since the beginning of October, at which time they were all in western Africa. We can only hope that the other four Ospreys besides Tero are also still alive, and the lack of fixes is due to them spending their winters outside the reach of mobile networks. We will return when the spring migrations start.
Autumn migration 2014
The follow-up of the satellite Ospreys on this site started somewhat later than previous years. In the future, we will try to update the maps as often as possible during the migration, within the boundaries of available resources, but the written summaries of the migration progress will only be made once or twice a week.maps
24 November 2014
The last fixes on Birgit are from the 21st, when she was still staying at the isthmus between the Atlantic and the Senegal River.
Since 9 November, we have had no news of Tero, as he has been outside the range of the mobile network. Today, on the 24th, we finally had a comforting email message: in spite of his strange wanderings, Tero had not perished in the Yemeni desert! The message brought us an impressive series of fixes, which map out Tero’s migration route in incredible detail. In the morning hours of the 10th, Tero crossed the Gate of Tears (the Bab el Mandeb strait), i.e. the narrows at the south end of the Red Sea, and moved from Yemen into the Assab archipelago in southern Eritrea. Tero stayed on in the area of Assab until the 19th, when he continued his migration, and after flying over Djibouti he entered Ethiopian airspace in the afternoon. Tero’s route took him over the northeast corner of Kenya, and he crossed into Somalia on the 22nd. Two days later, i.e. on the 24th, Tero re-entered Kenya and, finally, reconnected with the mobile phone network. The latest fixes on him have come from the Kiunga Marine Reserve by the Indian Ocean.
13 November 2014
After spending the night between 26 and 27 October near Tiberquent, Birgit set out over the Sahara immediately, but she was out of the range of the mobile network, so we did not receive any fixes on her for a long time. When Birgit finally came back into range, a perfect series of fixes were registered for science. At first, Birgit’s route from northern Algeria to northern Senegal followed a very straight south-westerly line to the border between Mauritania and Western Sahara, where she turned south-southwest for a while, then back to the southwest. Birgit crossed the border into Senegal on the evening of 7 November, after 12 days and roughly 3,400 kilometres of travel. After circulating inland, Birgit arrived at the isthmus between the Atlantic and the Senegal River, where she has been weaving around between the hotels since then. It seems possible that Birgit will accept Senegal as her first wintering range. However, it is also possible that she will refuel for a couple of weeks, and then continue along the coast like e.g. Victoria the Osprey did in her time. Once Birgit has settled down for the winter, we will write a summary of her autumn migration.
Tero’s route through Arabia has been disconcerting. At first, on 27-28 October, he flew some 593 km to the southwest, then on the 29-31 some 484 km to the southeast, which took him 120 km from the coast of the Persian Gulf, which will have been visible to him at his altitude. However, Tero did not fly to the Gulf of Persia. He suddenly made a 90° change of direction and continued on 1-2 November 686 km towards the southwest through the unrelenting desert, and on the 3rd-5th 646 km to the west-southwest, where he came very close to the shoreline of the Red Sea. Tero still did not go straight to the sea. On the 6th, he continued for some 270 km to the south along the coast, and after noon he flew from Saudi-Arabia into the Yemeni airspace. In the morning of the 7th, Tero was flying back and forth at the shoreline, apparently fishing, and then stopped on the beach, probably eating his kill. For the night, Tero remained at the coast. His autumn migration only progressed some 70 km this day. During the next day (the 8th), Tero continued travelling some 200 km – staying inland all the time. The last fixes so far are from the 9th, when Tero behaved very strangely the whole day. He flew this way and that inside an area of some 400 km², and finally stopped in the desert in the afternoon. At the time of writing this, we have had no signs from Tero’s transmitter in four days.
There are no new observations on Ilpo, Helena and Seija.
26 October 2014
We have not received any new information on Ilpo, Helena, Seija, and Agle. It is most probable that the first three have arrived at their final wintering destinations, apparently somewhere out of the range of mobile networks. It may even be that we will not hear from them until they start their spring migrations next year. Let’s hope that the birds and their transmitters are still alright then, and we will receive a huge data packet on their winter season. As far as Agle is concerned, we should probably give up hope. We may never find out what happened to Agle or her transmitter. We will make a summary on the autumn migration of Ilpo, Helena and Seija based on the data we have received.
Birgit stayed, refuelling, in the Netherlands from 2 September until 20 October, when she crossed the German border around 13:30 (GMT). Unfortunately, due to her transmitter’s battery problems, we haven’t received more detailed information on Birgit’s route through Germany and Switzerland. It was not until 9:41 (GMT) on 24 October that we received a fix that showed that Birgit had just crossed the border between Switzerland and Italy. Birgit settled down for the night near Fresonara in the middle of the province of Alessandria. During the next morning (the 25th), Birgit only flew 7 km southwards, and did not start her proper travelling flight until around 12:50 (GMT). By 14:11 o’clock, Birgit was only 14 km from the Mediterranean coast, so she set out over the Mediterranean at around 14:30 (GMT) or 15:30 normal Italian time on the 25th. At 00:39 (GMT), Birgit was flying over the middle of the Mediterranean, 119 km due west of the northwest tip of Sardinia. Birgit took a very straight course over the Mediterranean and arrived at the Algerian coast at 13:20 on 26 October. However, Birgit did not stop there, but continued flying at least until 16:17 o’clock, when the last fix so far was registered east of Tiberquent. Birgit flew at least 27 and a half hours in one go, covering some 960 km; 850 km and 23 hours of them over the open sea. Birgit’s average speed was some 35-37 km per hour.
Tero arrived at his refuelling range at the border between Turkey and Armenia on the 11th, and continued his flight south on the morning of the 24th. After following the border between Turkey and Azerbaijan for 24 hours, Tero crossed the border between Turkey and Iraq at 9:37 (GMT) on the 25th. The last fixes registered on Tero so far arrived at 15:08 (GMT) on the 26th, when he seems to have settled down for the night in a place 43 km due north of Bagdad.
15 October 2014
After six days of silence, Ilpo re-entered the range of the mobile network. The first fix arrived at 16:45 (GMT) on the 9 October from Mauritania, just 80 km from the border to Mali. Unfortunately, the manufacturer’s assurance that all the fixes recorded while the transmitter is outside the mobile range will be saved on the transmitter and uploaded to the mainframe, and on to the researchers, once the transmitter is back in range, does not seem to have been true this time. In other words, we have no data on how Ilpo crossed the Sahara. After this, Ilpo continued over the western corner of Mali into the southeast corner of Senegal, and at 18:24 (GMT) on the 13th, he was only 28 km from the tri-state boundary between Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea. After that, we haven’t received any more fixes on Ilpo, so he seems to be outside the range of the mobile network again.
Helena continued on 6-9 October over the west corner of Niger, the southeast corner of Burkina Faso to Togo, and on to Ghana, after which we haven’t received new fixes on Helena. It is possible that Helena, too, has moved out of range of the mobile network again.
Birgit is still in Holland.
Tero has travelled on in the Caucasus. He crossed the border between Russia and Georgia on the 9th, and the border between Georgia and Turkey on the 10th. On the 11th, Tero arrived in the vicinity of the Arpacay reservoir near the Armenian border, where he has stayed on for a few days already.
After 5 October, we have not received any fixes on Seija. At that time, she was in an area 172 km southeast of Ouagadougou.
We have had no news on Agle.
Helena continued to Burkina Faso, and at 16 (GMT), she was flying southwards east of Ouagadougou. Tero had also continued his migration and was approaching the Georgian border.
5 October 2014
Ilpo set out towards the southwest, but turned towards the southeast midway between Frenda and Saida. Ilpo spent the night between the 2nd and 3rd in a location some 30 km southeast of the Chott El-Chergui saline lake, which is a preservation area belonging to the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands. Since we have not had any new observations on Ilpo after this, he may have continued his journey over Sahara out of reach of mobile networks.
Helena stayed and refuelled for a long time at the Sidi Saad reservoir in the middle of Tunisia, whence we received our last data packet on 28th September. After that we lost all contact with Helena’s transmitter, until suddenly a surprise packet on 5 October showed that Helena had travelled across Algiers and the east end of Mali, and had arrived at the border between Mali and Niger, in a preservation area near the northern end of Burkina Faso.
Birgit is still refuelling in the Netherlands.
Tero has slightly adjusted his course to the west. It appears we have to forget our dream of having another Nordic Osprey in India after the ring of an Osprey that had been ringed in Finnmark in Norway was found there. At the time of writing, Tero is travelling over the isthmus between the Sea of Azov and the Caspian.
So far, the last fix we have received on Seija was at 18:35 on 27 September, when she was in front of the Montenegro coast, about to cross the Adriatic. After that we lost contact with Seija, until we received a massive data packet on the 5th, as with Helena! Seija had also been flying for over a week outside the mobile range, but the transmitter had worked as promised by the manufacturer, and had recorded an amazing number of fixes during the blackout period. Once Seija had arrived in Burkina Faso, the memory had been discharged within the mobile network. On her part, Seija had now completed the straight and seemingly mad dash over the Mediterranean that is so typical of Finnish Ospreys. Seija set out from her refuelling range in Hungary at 4:41 (GMT) on 27 September, set out over the Adriatic at 18:35, passed the heel of the Italian boot, i.e. the southeast of Apulia at 21:21, she was flying at 4:56 on the 28th in the middle of the Mediterranean in an area over 200 km due east of Malta, then reached the Libyan coast at 12:40 after flying 1,163 km over the sea, but still continued another 503 km inland, and settled down for the night of the 28th at around 22:46 (GMT) in the sand desert! We will analyse Seija’s heroic flight in more detail later, but we can already say that Seija was in flight some 42 hours, during which time she flew some 2,340 km at an average speed of 56 km per hour! From the coast of Libya, Seija continued in a very straight line to the southwest, first over the southeast corner of Algiers, and then past the border between Mali and Niger to Burkina Faso.
We still have not received any information on Agle. We have to hope that the solar panel on her transmitter has malfunctioned and that it wakes up once Agle reaches the hot rays in Sahara.
1 October 2014
On the 28th, Ilpo set out at around 8:15 GMT (i.e. 10:15 local time) from his stopover location. At 10:46, Ilpo arrived at the Piombino headland some 60 km southwest along the coast from the Maremma nature reserve, to which Osprey fledglings have been transferred from Corsica, and where Ospreys have nested for a couple of years now, thanks to the transplants. From Piombino, Ilpo headed towards Sardinia over the famous island of Elba. Ilpo spent the night in a copse near the city of Sassari in the northwest of Sardinia. He arrived there at 17:55, after covering some 366 km in 9 hours and 40 minutes this day. In the morning (on the 29th) at 5:35 (GMT), Ilpo was in the air, 25 km from his stopover place, so he had set out at around 4:50 (GMT). At 14:27, Ilpo arrived in Menorca and stayed there overnight after a sea trip of 400 km in 9 hours and 33 minutes this day. After this, there is a short break in the records, since we did not receive the following fix until 12:27 on the 30th, when Ilpo passed the island of Cabrera south of Mallorca. Ilpo arrived at 18:45 (GMT) at the coast of Algiers in a spot 98 km west of Alger, after a trip of 442 km. This time, we did not receive data on how long his day trip lasted. After spending the night, Ilpo continued in the morning of 1 October towards the southwest, and stopped at the Sidi Yacoub reservoir after noon.
The way, in which Ilpo crossed the Mediterranean, looks very exceptional on the map. However, the crossing was successful with its reasonable day trips and without night flights.
We still have not received new fixes on Helena. Maybe she has set out across Sahara and flown outside the mobile network’s range?
Birgit is still refuelling in Holland.
The battery of Tero’s transmitter is still so low that we did not receive new fixes until 11:49 (GMT) on the 30 September. Tero was then flying between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, and stopped for the night in a copse 253 km east of Moscow. At 7:39 (GMT) on the morning of 1 October, Tero had flown 92 km from his stopover place.
After the start of her sea trip, we have not received new fixes on Seija.
There has still not been any news on Aigle since she set out on her migration.
28 September 2014
On 27 sept, Ilpo continued to Tuscany, where he spent the night some 43 km due east of Leghorn (Livorno).
Helena and Birgit are still staying in their refuelling areas.
For a long time, Tero remained unobserved, as he probably was out of the range of any mobile networks. Tero’s GSM/GPS transmitter sends its data packages by mobile network. If the transmitter ends up outside the range of all networks, it stores the locating data in its memory and sends them to the mainframe once it can contact the network again. For some reason, the battery in Tero’s transmitter has not been fully charged, which is why we have not received as many fixes on Tero as the other birds.
It was great to receive signs of life from Tero on the 27th, and fixes that showed that he is taking a more easterly course than usual for Finnish Ospreys. Tero flew through White Sea Karelia: past the eastern end of Lake Panozero, then straight over Lake Pyaozersky and Topozero to the White Sea, where he spent the night of 21-22 Sept in a location some 30 km southeast of the city of Belomorsk. After that, the following fixes were not recorded until the 26th, when Tero settled down for the night on the east side of the southern end of Lake Onega, where there are several smaller lakes. Tero spent the next night (the 27th-28th) in an area some 470 km almost due east of St Petersburg.
Seija has continued to migrate. She spent the night between the 26th and 27th in the northeast corner of Hungary, some 60 km northeast of Debrecen. At around 4:30 (GMT) on the 27th, Seija set out to the southwest following the border between Hungary and Rumania, then over Serbia and Montenegro. After flying nearly 14 hours and around 680 km, she set out at 18:13 from Montenegro to cross the Adriatic overnight! At the time of writing this, the last fix had come at 18:35 (GMT) over 50 km from the Montenegrin coast.
We have not had any data on Agle since she left on the 12th.
26 September 2014
Ilpo flew around in the Czech republic until the 23rd, when he continued towards the southwest, and stopped for the night in a location less than 50 kilometres west of Munich. The next morning (the 24th), Ilpo was airborne at 9:23 local summer time and 7 km from his stopover place, i.e. he had set out at around 9:13.
Ilpo crossed into Austria at around 11:59. The following series of four fixes on Ilpo shows us how unbelievably exact the monitoring of migrating birds can be with modern satellite transmitters at best. After crossing the border, Ilpo started gaining elevation at a point that is 1,540 metres above sea level, as follows: at 11:59:22, elevation 1,739m, at 12:00:24, elevation 1,829m, at 12:01:27, 1,910m, and at 12:02:25, elevation 1,989m. Thus, in three minutes and three seconds, Ilpo soared 250 metres higher up. After that, Ilpo continued his challenging flight across the Alps.
Ilpo’s route took him across the Tyrol some eight kilometres east of Innsbruck, the ski resort. At 13:44, Ilpo arrived in Italy at the Brenner border crossing. From Bolzano, Ilpo flew along the east side of route E45 until he reached his stopover place near Vigasio, 22 km south-southeast of the southern end of Lake Garda and 15 km south-southwest of Verona. Ilpo reached his stopover place around 19:21 local summer time. The nearly 344 kilometres long crossing of the Alps took ten hours, almost exactly, so Ilpo flew at an average speed of 34 kilometres per hour.
The next morning (the 25th), Ilpo was already flying at 7:20 local summer time, and he reached River Po before noon. Here, he was still fishing at 11:14 local time on the 26th.
Helena, Birgit, and Seija are still staying at their previously mentioned refuelling areas. Unfortunately, we have not received further data on Tero and Agle.
19 September 2014
Tero commenced his migration on 18 September around 13 local time, when he set off very purposefully towards the south-southeast. At 15:18 local time, he crossed the border into Russia, but just barely returned into Finland at the Tuntsa wasteland soon before 18 o’clock local time. By 20 o’clock, Tero had stopped for the night, after flying 343 km this day, on the Russian side at lake Visijärvi, which is 153 km due east from Kemijärvi and 82 km west of the bottom of Kandalaksha Gulf.
16 September 2014
Ilpo started his autumn migration four days after Birgit, in the morning of the 3rd. He set out from the Porkkala headland to cross the Gulf of Finland, and reached halfway between Tallinn and Tartu after travelling 220km this day. From Estonia, Ilpo continued over Latvia, Lithuania and Kaliningrad to Poland and the bottom of the Gdansk bay, then to the vicinity of Wroclaw and over the border into the Czech Republic. In the afternoon of 10 September, Ilpo passed Prague, and then flew 60 km due west to an area north of Plzen, from where we received fixes at least until the 16th.
Helena left the nestlings in Ilpo’s care as early as the 12 August. Helena followed a slightly more eastern route over the Gulf of Finland than Ilpo, setting off from the western side of Helsinki towards Lahemaa National Park and thence to settle on the southwest side of Rakvere for the night. It seems obvious that Helena went fishing in the Emajõgi conservation area on the west banks of Lake Peipus, where she stayed until the afternoon of 14 August. Helena spent the night in Estonia before crossing the border into Latvia. After traversing Latvia and Lithuania, Helena followed the border between Belarus and Poland, then that between Poland and Ukraine, and then she crossed the Hungarian and Rumanian border area, Northern Serbia, and the north-northeast corner of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the afternoon of 11 September, Helena arrived at the coast of the Adriatic in Croatia. After spending the night, Helena crossed the Adriatic and found her next stopover place in Italy, southwest of Foggia. During the next day (the 13th), Helena first travelled to the western coast of Italy, to a headland some 50 km south of Salerno. From there, she set out at 12:08 local time towards Sicily, where she arrived at 17:50 local time. Her sea voyage was some 266 km long, so Helena flew at an average speed of 47 kilometres per hour. After cutting across over the middle of Sicily, Helena set out at 11:46 local summer time on 14 September to cross the Mediterranean. She flew midway between Malta and Lampedusa, and ended up on the Tunisian coast some 40 km from the Libyan border at 10:07 on 15 September. This sea voyage of 510 km took some 22 hours and 22 minutes, so Helena now flew at an average speed of only 23 kilometres per hour! Future weather analyses will probably show us why Helena’s two consecutive sea voyages were so different.
After reaching Tunisia, Helena has been acting strangely. She has flown along the shoreline of the bay of Gabes, zig-zagging towards the northwest, and ended up at Chott El Fejaj on the 16th. A ‘chott’ is a Saharan lake that is dry in summer and wet in winter. It may be that her Mediterranean crossing has forced Helena to find a refuelling place before she attempts to cross the Sahara?
Birgit started her autumn migration 86 days, i.e. twelve weeks and two days after hatching. She set out around 9:30 local summer time on the 30 August, flew over the Gulf of Finland, over Vormsi island between the Estonian mainland and Hiiumaa island, over Väinämere, and stopped for the night on Muhu island, after flying some ten hours and covering 271 km. The next morning, Birgit set out around 03:30 (GMT, i.e. 6:30 local summer time), flew some 685 km mainly over the Baltic Sea, and arrived around 19:45 (GMT) at the northern end of Bornholm island, where she settled down for the night. Birgit flew at an average speed of 42 kilometres per hour this day. The following morning (1 September), Birgit was already in the air at 03:21 (GMT, i.e. 05:21 local summer time) and continued her migration over the middle of the sea at the southeastern corner of Lolland, then followed the southern coast of Lolland and Langeland to the border between Denmark and Germany, and then across Schleswig-Holstein to the North Sea. Birgit stopped for the day at 14:30 (GMT), having flown some 420 km at an average speed of 38 km per hour. Her migration continued at 07:10 (GMT) from the coast straight out to sea, towards the famous Helgoland ornithological station, thence via the Schiermonnikoog national park to Dutch soil, and the lake of Nannewiid to be more specific, where she arrived at 15:45 (GMT). During this day (the 2nd), Birgit covered some 280 kilometres at an average speed of 33 km per hour. Birgit stayed in the vicinity of Nannewiid until the 12th, when she relocated some twenty kilometres southwest, to Ijsselmeer. At this stage (the 16th), Birgit has been staying in the Netherlands for two weeks.
Seija left the vicinity of her nest and the nestlings in the care of Tero on 21 August, after which she circled around quite a large area some twenty kilometres south of her nest. Seija started her actual migration before noon on the 29th, when she flew 227 km southwards. After that Seija first continued due south, then to the southeast, and finally to the southwest. Seija crossed the border at the Svetogorsk power plant in the morning of 4 September, after having flown some 980 kilometres in six days. In other words, Seija flew at a speed of 163 km per day in Finland. After crossing the Karelian Isthmus and right over Kronstadt at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, Seija continued in a steady curve to the southwest, and flew over Belarus on the northwest side of Minsk into eastern Poland. Seija crossed the Polish border in the morning of the 13th in a location 155 km due east of Warsaw. After that, Seija has slowly made her way to the south, and spent the past few days at a fish farm 180 km northwest of Krakow.
Agle set out to the south on 12 September around 11 local time. At 11:35, Agle passed Ivalo, and by 14:30 she had arrived in the northern part of the Urho Kekkonen national park. After that, we have not had any new fixes on Agle.
The links below show the older tracking history of the individuals. The newest maps can be found here.
|Autumn migration 2016||Ilpo||Tero||Seija|
|Spring migration 2016||Ilpo||Tero||Seija|
|Autumn migration 2015||Ilpo||Helena||Tero||Seija|
|Spring migration 2015||Ilpo||Helena||Tero||Seija|
|Autumn migration 2014||Ilpo||Helena||Birgit||Tero||Seija||Agle|