Missing Rutland Water osprey found dead in Morocco

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AN OSPREY from Rutland Water which missing in the Sahara Desert has been found dead.

The Rutland Water osprey project was tracking the bird, 09, as he migrated south using a satellite transmitter.

The bird is one of the original ospreys in the project and one of the first to be given the transmitter two years ago. But the transmitter readings show he has not moved since 3pm on Tuesday last week.

Osprey project officer Tim Mackrill appealed through his blog for help in finding the missing bird and yesterday (Thursday). He received a text confirming his fears that the bird had died on its journey.

In his blog, Tim said the bird had been found on the ridge in southern Morocco by a photographer who offered to help while he was on a trip. The osprey was found in a “remote, inhospitable place”.

Tim said in the blog: “This is really sad news, but it confirms what we had expected. It also demonstrates that even an experienced osprey like 09 – who has migrated the equivalent of three times round the world in his lifetime – is not immune to the dangers of the 3,000 mile flight to west Africa.

“Migration is an incredibly demanding time for the birds, whether juveniles or adultsand our satellite-tracking studies are proving that.”

Tim had been hoping that the transmitter had fallen off. The transmitters are designed to fall off once the harness holding it in place has rotted but this doesn’t usually happen within two years.