We have received more data for 30(05)! Contrary to my optimistic estimation that she would be at her wintering grounds by now, she’s not! She’s currently still making steady progress over the Sahara. Over the past two days she has covered 328 miles / 529 km, and is now in Mauritania.
Crossing the Sahara is always the toughest part of an osprey’s migration. It is one of the hottest regions in the world, and it’s also incredibly dry, dusty and windy. 30 always slows down here, and you can see that her path wavers a bit in the map above, which could be due to the wind. The strong desert winds have the ability not only to alter the flight path of migrating birds, but to change the landscape, creating sand and rock formations that, conveniently, 30 can use to navigate. These geographical features will also affect her speed and altitude. On 8th September, she was flying at an average altitude of 1400m, and her average speed was 28kph. However, she flew at a much lower altitude on 9th September, averaging 482m. Her speed remained quite constant at around 23kph.
30 often stops at the lake just south of the Mauritania-Senegal border, near St Louis, to rest and refuel after her desert crossing. We’ll soon see if she does that this season!