Unlike AW who took just over two days to migrate south through France, 09 has taken his time a little more. The previous batch of data had shown that after leaving Rutland Water on Friday he had crossed the English Channel on Saturday morning.
09 continued south towards Paris during Saturday afternoon – covering about 100km in four hours. At 4pm GMT he was at almost 3000 feet over the French countryside and made a sudden change of direction – heading east to a series of lakes just south of Pacy-sur-Eure. Although the lakes were 11km away he would have been able to see them from such a great height. 09 obviously caught a fish because two hours later he was perched on the south side of a large wood 2.5km from the lakes. He roosted in the wood and then remained in the area until at least 8am the next morning.
09’s progress next morning suggested the weather wasn’t good for migrating. At 10am he was perched on a ploughed field 20km south and at midday he was resting in a wooded area just north of the village of Gazeran, having flown another 20km south west. He eventually set off again just before 2pm and flew another 80km south east during the afternoon, settling to roost by a small lake close to the village of Montliard where presumably he also caught a fish. The lake is very similar in size to some of 09’s favourite fishing sites in Rutland. He was now 40km north east of Orleans.
On Monday morning the weather was evidently better for migration because 09 left his roost site earlier. He was already migrating at 8am and his southerly course took him over the River Loire sometime after 9am. At 10am he was flying south at 50kph and he continued to make steady progress for the rest of the day. At 2pm he was at an altitude of more than 3000 feet, heading south west. He continued on this course for another four hours before stopping beside another small lake close to the village of Masvaudier.
At 6am yesterday morning 09 had moved to a line of trees 2.5km south west and two hours later he was perched a further 6km south on a ploughed field. By 10am though he was migrating again, heading purposefully south west at 44kph at an altitude of almost 3000 feet. He maintained a remarkably direct south westerly course for the next six hours, covering almost 200km. He was still going at 4pm and was now just 140km away from Pyrenees. If he maintains this south westerly course he will have to fly through the mountains and so it will be really interesting to see if he changes direction to avoid them. John and I have watched migration at the Organbidexka watchpoint in the Western Pyrenees in early September for the past two years. A small number of Ospreys pass through the mountains each day – including eight yesterday. I wonder if 09 will be one of the ones counted by the migration watchers today? You can read more about Organbidexka on the Mission Migration website. The website includes daily total of migrants seen at various watchpoints around France.
09’s radio is transmitting on a three day duty cycle meaning by the time we receive the next batch of data he will probably be well into Spain. In the meantime I will email the guys at Organbidexka and make sure they keep an eye out for him over the next couple of days!