As we followed his Autumn migration last year, it was obvious that 09 was taking the shortest, most direct route across the Sahara. It took him only four days to cross the desert, reaching speeds of 50mph. The GPS positions we received on Tuesday showed that instead of following his previous route, 09 made a distinct shift towards the Mauritanian coast. The latest batch of data shows that he carried on following the coastline and he is now making good progress in Western Sahara, setting a new speed record of 51mph!
After 3pm on Tuesday, 09 continued his journey north and by 7pm he had covered 52 miles when he decided to roost just 3 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. By 11am on Wednesday morning he had moved further up the coast and was flying at a leisurely 24mph as he headed north. Two hours later he was really on a mission and had reached an impressive 51mph at an altitude of nearly 1500 feet. As the evening set in 09 had covered 184 miles, the same daily average he covered during his migration last Autumn. On Thursday morning he was back in the desert but then made a conscious decision to head back towards the open sea, presumably to go fishing. By 3pm he was following the coastline at an altitude of over 3300 feet. That evening after flying 202 miles, 09 decided to roost 13 miles inland. So far since his departure on Monday he has covered 600 miles of his 3000 mile journey. What is really interesting is how he is currently 200 miles west of the route he took last September! Where will he go next?