FK8’s journey so far
FK8 has travelled far and wide across Scotland since her return to the UK in early May. After her northern Scottish exploration she ventured south to Loch Garten and Loch Insh, and it looked like she would head down to the Borders. However, she then turned north again, travelling as far up mainland Scotland as she could go. She ventured west of Wick, roaming remote valleys and lochs. There are no roads or human inhabitants, just moors and lochs and she spent her time exploring the landscape from 17th May to 22nd May.
Since she has been back, we have heard from people who have spotted her. As well as being a reality TV star at Loch Garten, she was seen being chased by herring gulls off Bardsey Island in Wales, and in the distance as she passed over Haddo House.
We love to hear reports of any sightings of her and matching the tracking data to the sightings. It is really exciting when a fresh batch of data comes in and once opened up on Google Earth, the globe can be rotated and zoomed in to the exact tracker points. The detail is stunning and the world of FK8 is slowly revealed to us as we embark on the journey of her discovery almost alongside her (data delay means we are lagging a few days behind her)!
The journey begins in Portugal
Her travels began on 3rd May when she left her favourite two reservoirs in southern Portugal to begin the trip north. The first leg of the journey was 250km. She roosted in a plantation of trees east of the M503 road to Estreito. She set off early the next morning at 6.30am and continued northwards for a further 300km into Spain and spent a night roosting in another tree plantation beside a reservoir off the damned Rio Mino near Currelos in Lugo.
She then headed for the coast of Spain 100 km further north and spent a couple of days along the coast travelling eastwards, until she crossed the Bay of Biscay on 7th May.
Crossing the English Channel
The journey continued without a break as she crossed Brittany reaching the coast at 6.40pm on 7th May. She then crossed the English Channel, reaching the shores of Plymouth in the UK at approx. 9.00pm where she ventured further inland to find a roost for the night at a farm in Ivybridge, Plymouth. This leg of the journey was an incredible 920 km covered in one day.
Travelling across England and Wales
At first light on 8th May she was on the move again across Lee Moor and the China Clay works flying north west at an altitude of 202m averaging a speed of 35 knots. At 7am she crossed the Bristol Channel soaring high at 400m travelling at 40 knots and entering Swansea at 8am approximately. She carried on across the west tip of Wales reaching Cardigan Bay at 9.26am. She crossed the bay and passed the edge of Bardsey Island where she was spotted being chased by Herring Gulls by Steve Hinde at 10.40am. Undeterred, she pressed on past the coast of Anglesey, then over the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland.
A flying visit to Northern Ireland
She pressed on through Northern Ireland and crossed over the sea again into Scotland, where she eventually roosted for the night having travelled another 700km during the day.
Exploring the Outer Hebrides
Her journey took her further north into the Outer Hebrides Islands of Lewis and Harris, an expedition which lasted a few days before returning to mainland Scotland and traversing the country west to east.
A brief appearance on camera
After exploring the north eastern tip of Scotland she crossed the sea and headed south west. She visited the famous Haddo House Estate and then put in an appearance on the live camera at Loch Garten where she delighted visitors by posing on camera.
Since then she has made an epic journey back to the north of Scotland where she is still roaming remote lochs up to the last data received on 22nd May.
Last data showed FK8 exploring remote Scottish Lochs in the north east of Scotland.
FK8 has made an incredible journey of migration of 2335km to reach Scotland from Portugal and she has flown a further 1500km during her exploration of the Scottish landscape.
Where will she go next?
We can’t wait to find out!
Watch FK8’s journey so far