Flying comeback: UK Conservation Without Borders: Missing Osprey lands on Galicia beach near A Coruña

A CLOSELY monitored Osprey has surprised its trackers and landed on the shores of Spain after it vanished out at sea for more than two days. 

Its sudden appearance on the shores of Galicia triggered many questions from UK group Conservation Without Borders, who were tracking the bird´s route since it left the tip of Cornwall on September 10. 

The large bird of prey, named Glen, was presumed dead until it then appeared on a small outcrop of rock off the tip of Galicia in northwest Spain after it went off radar for an “unusually long time”. 

Osprey Conservation Without Borders (2)
Glen the Osprey landed off Galicia after conservationists lost track of the bird for more than two days. Photo: Conservation Without Borders

Conservation Without Borders chief executive and United Nation Convention of Migratory Species ambassador Sacha Dench said she was surprised to see the alert, but was “even more shocked” after discovering how Glen made it to land. 

“Glen took off in a pretty strong head wind coming from the north west so after two days we thought he probably didn’t stand a chance,” she told The Olive Press. 

“But then at 10pm on September 13 we got a ping from him and on the radar you will notice there are many straight lines and an exact 90 degree angle”. 

Osprey Route Conservation Without Borders
An animation from a ship tracking website showed the Osprey´s route at sea as it hitched a ride on two vessels. Photo: Conservation Without Borders

Dench said Glen had first been blown off course, and the exhausted bird then spotted a fishing vessel to land on. 

Glen then swapped over to a large shipping container when it realised it was headed in the wrong direction, before eventually taking flight and discovering land, and most likely delicious seafood in Galicia. 

Conservation Without Borders started the Flight of the Osprey expedition this year, tracking the movements of Ospreys as they make their annual migration south from the UK to west Africa.

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