Africa awaits for 09

At 6pm yesterday evening 09 was just 70km north of Tarifa. The weather in southern Spain today is sunny with a light southerly wind and so there is every chance that as I write 09 will be crossing the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco.

At 8am yesterday morning 09 was 20km south-west of his roost site, perhaps eating a fish. Two hours later he was flying again, heading south west at 56kph. By midday he had covered 100km and was now flying south-west at 1863m (over 5000 feet). He made steady progress south-west during the afternoon, flying another 150km over the course of six hours. At 6pm he was perched in a field of cork oaks after a day’s migration of 250km. He was within striking distance of several large reservoirs and so will have ample opportunity to catch a fish before continuing his journey.

09's position at 6pm, 9th September


It was interesting that 09 maintained such a south-westerly course during his day’s flight. Whereas AW made no real deviation through Spain and crossed the Mediterranean well east of Gibraltar, 09 has made a definite change of direction, possibly in order to cross the Straits of Gibraltar at the shortest point. Or has he? Numerous Ospreys from northern Europe now winter in southern Spain and so there is a possibility that he won’t go any further. It will be very interesting to see where he is when the next batch of data comes in.  Here’s a comparison of 09 (red line) and AW’s (orange line) flights through Spain.

09 and AW flights through southern Spain