After surviving Scotland’s wet summer, a young osprey may have flown into the history books by completing a record-breaking journey from Strathspey to Africa. In just two weeks, ‘Alba’ left her natal home at Loch Garten and made her hazardous 3,000 (4,828 km) flight, from the RSPB’s Loch Garten reserve, near Aviemore, to West Africa in just two weeks. It was making its first migration, journeys that usually takes the birds months to complete. Alba and sister Caledonia were fitted with tags before leaving their nest. The birds can be tracked online by the RSPB and the public
Having only hatched earlier this year, the female bird has astounded online audiences who have been following her journey on the internet.
Alba and her sister Caledonia were fitted with satellite tags before leaving the nest so that both staff and the public could follow their fortunes and movements.
While the pair fledged successfully towards the end of last month, Alba made short work of the journey to their wintering grounds and is now believed to have made the fastest migration of any tagged European osprey.
Richard Thaxton, site manager at RSPB Scotland Loch Garten Osprey Centre, said: ‘It is astonishing that in just a fortnight, Alba has travelled from Loch Garten in Strathspey to southern Mauritania close to the border with Senegal. Other tagged birds have taken months to do this! It is all the more remarkable when you think that this is her first migration, with sea crossings to contend with and all sorts of weather. It’s good to know she has arrived there safely.’