It’s a country with an amazing landscape, a vibrant cultural scene and a fascinating history—but they say the one thing missing from Scotland is the sun. Perhaps a bit of extra vitamin D was the reason the osprey Blue YD left his home on a Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) nature reserve in 2014.
Although the bird had been tagged with a satellite tracker, the tracker had stopped working, leaving the SWT clueless as to his whereabouts. Eventually, Blue YD was discovered by a sister charity sunning himself on a Senegal beach, some 18 months after he was originally reported missing.
A team from English charity the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust had travelled to Lompoul sur Mer in Senegal on the trail of a different osprey, which had been tagged with a satellite tracker. Instead, the team spotted Blue YD.
“It was fantastic to see that Blue YD was alive and well,” said John Wright, a field officer for the Rutland Osprey Project. “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 SWT Loch of the Lowes visitor centre, said: “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.”
Or perhaps, as Twitter user @NivenJ1 suggested, Blue YD will stay in Senegal and, like many Scots abroad, spend his time “in a pub…talking about how great Scotland is”. Time will tell.