30 speeds up – 1000km in two days!

After a slow start to her migration, the latest satellite data shows that in the last two days 30 has made much better progress and now has Europe firmly in her sights. Non-GPS locations showed that last night she roosted on a wooded hillside close to the village of Douar Aghrame, just 70 miles south of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Having roosted close to Western Sahara-Mauritania border on the night of 17th March, 30 resumed her migration shortly before 9am. Not long afterwards she crossed the border into neighbouring Algeria. By 1pm she had covered 158 kilometres and was flying north at an altitude of 550 metres at 39kph. She was now clearly determined to make up for lost time. By 6pm she had covered a further 230 kilometres, but she showed no signs of letting up. She headed powerfully over the Anti-Atlas Mountains and at 10pm was at an altitude of 270 metres. Conditions must have been good for migration because she continued flying until after midnight, not settling to roost until the very early hours of 19th March after a day’s flight of a staggering 740 kilometres.

30 flew 740 kilometres on 17 March

30 flew 740 kilometres on 17 March

30 flew across the Anti-Atlas Mountains after dark on 17th March

30 flew across the Anti-Atlas Mountains after dark on 17th March

30 roosted on the southern slopes of the Atlas Mountains

30 roosted on the southern slopes of the Atlas Mountains

The Sahara may have been behind her, but yesterday morning 30 had to tackle the high peaks of the Atlas Mountains. She set-off at first light and by 7am had already flown 26 kilometres north. After a brief rest at 8am – perhaps waiting for the weather to clear – she approached the highest peaks shortly after 9am. The hour-by-hour data does not show her exact path through the mountains but she is likely to have flown through a mountain pass near the village of Tighermin to avoid the high peaks of over 3500 metres.

Google Earth gives us an idea of the mountainous terrain that 30 had to navigate as she flew through the Atlas yesterday morning

Google Earth gives us an idea of the mountainous terrain that 30 had to navigate as she flew through the Atlas yesterday morning

By 10am she was clear of the mountains and she continued to make steady progress north for the rest of the day, passing Fes at 2:30pm. Unlike the previous day she flew only until dark, before settling to roost on the forested hillside near Douar Aghrame having covered 333 kilometres during the day.

30 flew 333km on 19 March

30 flew 333km on 19 March

30 roosted on a wooded hillside last night

30 roosted on a wooded hillside last night

As the map below shows, 30’s route over the past three days has taken her much further east than previous migrations. Westerly winds are the most likely explanation, but now she is in northern Morocco she is well and truly back on track.

30 has taken a much more easterly route than previous migrations

30 has taken a much more easterly route than previous migrations

30 now has Europe firmly in her sights, but the weather forecast for the Strait of Gibraltar is for rain today. It may be that she will need to spend an extra day in Africa. We’ll have to wait and see.

To see the latest location of 30 – and also the other Ospreys we’re following as part of World Osprey Week, check out our interactive map.

 

For more information about World Osprey Week click here. 

 

3 responses to “30 speeds up – 1000km in two days!”

  1. David Inglis

    It is lovely just watching the progress as it flies north to return to Rutland.

  2. Lynda James

    These incredible birds never cease to amaze me

  3. BecOwl

    It is amazing to be able to follow her path north and interesting to see the more easterly course probably caused by the Westerlies. No wonder she put her foot down to get across the desert asap.