The latest batch of data has just come through and it shows AW has made amazing progress south through France.
Having set out across the English Channel at 3pm on Saturday, AW made light work of the crossing- reaching the French coast an hour later at Etaples, about 50km south of Calais.
Not content with that, he continued to make steady progress south towards Paris, maintaining an average speed of around 30kph. He eventually settled to roost at 8pm in an area of forest just 30km north of the Fench capital having covered an impressive 425km on his first day of migration.
Looking at Google Earth AW probably didn’t fish that evening, but by 8am GMT next morning he was almost certainly fishing in the River Seine just 20km north west of the Eiffel Tower! An hour later he was another 25km south suggesting he probably didn’t catch. He continued to make steady progress through the morning and by midday he was just north of Orleans migrating at an altitude of 92m at 27kph. At this point he switched to a more south-westerly course, passing over Orleans Forest and the Osprey nests monitored by our good friend, Rolf Wahl. AW maintained speeds of around 35kph during the afternoon and at 5pm he had reached Etang de la Mer-Rouge a lake about 2km long, 40km west of Chateauroux.
He must have caught a fish because an hour later he was perched 3km to south, presumably eating his evening meal. After finishing the fish AW moved to a small copse to roost having covered 305km during the course of the day. The image below shows his fishing and roost sites.
AW left his roost in the copse at 8am on Monday and headed south west. By 1pm he was 30km east of Bordeaux heading SW at 35kph at an altitude of 33m. He maintained remarkably consistent progress and by 4pm was just north of the town of Dax. Dax is just north of the Pyrenees and so by heading south west AW seems to be intentionally avoiding the high mountains that lie to the south. I wonder if he will head to the coast to avoid the mountains altogether? It will be fascinating to see where he roosted when the next batch of data comes in. He had already covered 360km by the time he reached Dax but I suspect that this experienced navigator will be heading to the coast somewhere near Bayonne.
Since leaving Rutland Water on Saturday morning AW has flown over 1000km in three days. It will be really interesting to see whether he is heading for a stop-over site in Spain, or whether he will continue south into Africa. Here’s his flight so far…