09 is getting closer to home; his latest data shows that he roosted close to the Atlantic coast of France last night, 30 miles south-west of Bordeaux.
After his remarkable fligth from Morocco to central Spain on Wednesday, 09 has made slightly more sedate progress since. On Thursday night he roosted in a wooded valley in the foothills of the Pyrenees, 23 miles east of Pamplona, after a day’s flight of 205 miles.
Next morning he left his roost site shortly after 9am and within an hour he was 20 miles north and approaching the French border. Forty-five minutes later he was in France and continuing to make good progress north-east. At 12 noon he turned to a more northerly heading, passing just east of Bayonne at 34kph at an altitude of 134 metres. He was now 65 miles further west than his autumn migration route and by following this more westerly course, he had avoided the Pyrenees.
He continuined to follow the coastline north for the next four hours and at 4pm he reached Lac de Cazaux, just south of Bordeaux. He remained there for the rest of the evening – and presumably caught a fish before settling down in a forested area half a mile from the eastern shore of the lake. His day’s migration of just 127 miles suggested that he was in need of a rest; and this would have been the perfect place to do just that.
The Atlantic coast of France is a great place to watch migration and yesterday two Ospreys were seen at Pointe de Grave, a watchpoint further up the coast. The Mission Migration website is well worth a look and has daily totals of birds seen at various migration watchpoints around France. I wonder if 09 will be seen at one of them as he heads for home? Given his current rate of progress there is every chance that he will be back in Rutland some time on Monday. Watch this space!