The most notable aspect of the first four days of 30’s spring migration from Senegal to Rutland, was that it was not that fast. She averaged just over 200 kilometres per day; much less that her average during her 12-day autumn migration. We’re not sure what caused her slow start, but strong headwinds are the most likely explanation. Whatever the case, the latest batch of data shows that she is now gone up several gears. The most recent GPS fix shows that at 11pm last night she was less than 50 kilometres south of Agadir, having covered an amazing 1083 kilometres in 48 hours! The Sahara is now behind her.
After roosting in the Akchar Desert in central Mauritania on Friday night, 30 made good progress on Saturday morning. By 1pm she was more than 100km further on, flying purposefully north at 44kph at an altitude of 169 metres. She continued migrating for the rest of the afternoon, making a subtle change in direction, to the north-east. She eventually settled to roost at dusk, close to the Western Sahara-Mauritania border after a day’s flight of more than 360km.
After a relatively slow start yesterday morning, 30 really picked up the pace shortly after midday. The wind was clearly behind her because at 1pm she was flying north at 62kph. An hour later she was another 70km further north and then, over the next four hours, she flew an incredible 264km at an altitude of around 250m, passing 30km to the west of where another of our satellite-tagged Ospreys, 09(98) sadly died in September 2012. What’s more, she was now following almost exactly the same path as her autumn migration. To see just how similar her route is to September, check out the tracking map by clicking here.
By early evening 30 would usually begin looking for a safe place to roost, but with the wind at her tail she continued flying after dark. By 10pm, when she finally settled to roost for the night, she had flown another 231km, bringing her day’s total to a remarkable 715km. She is well and truly back on track!
30’s roost yesterday evening was in an agricultural area south of Agadir, meaning that, with a bit of luck, she would have caught her fish for at least five days, this morning.
With the Sahara now behind her, things should get easier from now on. If she maintains a steady pace through Morocco, then she may well reach southern Spain on Wednesday. Watch this space!