What happened to Glen, the hitchhiking osprey?
A young migrating osprey that has been tagged in the borders continues to surprise observers – after hitching a ride on two cargo ships.
The bird, called Glen, is being tracked as part of efforts to learn more about the species.
Environmentalist Sacha Dench described earlier this year how he jumped from ship to ship.
He now appears to be “happily exploring” Spain as he was expected to head south.
Ms Dench said she and her team at Conservation Without Borders – who are currently on her Flight of the Osprey expedition – were following its progress with interest.
“Although we are currently nearing the end of our Ghana expedition following the osprey migration route, we are closely monitoring Glen’s progress as he is the last of three juveniles in the Tweed Valley Osprey Project,” he said. she stated.
“His brother Tweed was sadly recently killed by a goshawk in Portugal and his other brother was believed to have been lost by high winds in the Atlantic.
“After his escapades on container ships in the Bay of Biscay, we are quite fascinated by the fact that he seems to be happily exploring Spain and seems to have no desire to migrate further south like most of his fellows. “
She said experts at the Tweed Valley Project where he was born had some thoughts but were “equally puzzled”.
“We’re just happy that he seems to be thriving and surviving so far,” she added.
Diane Bennett of Forestry and Land Scotland, Tweed Valley Osprey Project, said Glen had settled in Rio Anllóns in north-west Spain after hitchhiking, but didn’t seem to want to go any further south.
“In September he thoroughly explored the whole river system there and it looks like he’s thriving,” she said.
“He knows the area now, he has found suitable fishing and resting areas and everything seems to have gone well for the whole month.
“It is possible that Glen will stay in Spain for the winter months, but that is out of the ordinary – as most birds would head further south.”
She said he seemed “satisfied to stay” where he was but apparently had gone on a reconnaissance mission.
“Over the past 10 days, Glen has left the area and made a long familiarization trip all the way up the coast and into Portugal before returning north to the Rio Anllóns,” she said.
“If the weather gets worse in northern Spain in Anllóns as the winter progresses, then Glen now knows where he can go, further south and that’s a good thing.
“The fascinating thing I feel is this question of whether it’s a deliberate decision to take an exploratory trip and why – or is it random wandering?”
You can find out more about the osprey migration from Scotland at Flight of the Ospreys on BBC Radio 4 every Tuesday at 9.30am.