Tayside and Central Scotland

Missing Scottish osprey found on beach in western Senegal

Blue YD Image copyright John Wright / Rutland Osprey Project
Image caption The osprey's tag stopped transmitting in May 2014

A Scottish osprey missing for 18 months after its tracker stopped working has been discovered on a beach in western Senegal.

The three-year-old male bird, known as Blue YD, was tagged in July 2012 at a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve near Forfar.

The bird has been seen in North Yorkshire and St Andrews since the tag stopped transmitting in May 2014.

It was spotted in Senegal by a sister charity looking for a different osprey.

A team from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, which runs the Rutland Osprey Project, travelled to Lompoul sur Mer to locate a satellite-tagged female bird.

Image copyright John Wright / Rutland Osprey Project
Image caption Blue YD is one of about 100 ospreys which spend their winters on the beach

They spotted Blue YD on a 30km (19 miles) stretch of white sandy beach where about 100 ospreys spend their winters.

Chance encounter

The Rutland team has been visiting West Africa since 2011 as part of its Osprey Flyways Project, which aims to educate African school children about osprey migration.

John Wright, field officer for the Rutland Osprey Project, said: "It was fantastic to see that Blue YD was alive and well.

"He'll no doubt be enjoying the final few weeks of warmth before he makes his way back to the UK for the breeding season at the end of March."

Jonathan Pinnick, assistant manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes visitor centre, said: "It's wonderful to learn more about the life of a bird that we have followed since it was a fledgling and it shows the value of tagging in allowing us to track the life history of individual birds.

"Perhaps he will be spotted back in Angus this summer, hopefully breeding and helping the continued recovery of the osprey population in Scotland."

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