For the past week or so, we have been checking the data from 30(05)’s satellite transmitter frequently, wondering whether she might set off early for home. Over the winter, we only receive data every five days, so it was an anxious wait for more information to arrive.
We can now tell you that 30 is on her way back! She left her perch on the beach in Senegal on Thursday 10th March, and travelled north-east on an almost straight trajectory. By 8pm she had covered 167 miles (270km) and was almost at the border of Mauritania.
Next morning, 30 set out at 8am, still heading north-east. During the day she covered a distance of 131 miles (211km), into the Trarza desert, where she managed to find a safe place to roost. On the morning of 12th March, 30 shifted course slightly to head in a more northerly direction, up through the Akchar desert towards Western Sahara. She travelled 143 miles (230km) before stopping to roost at 7pm.
Over the next two days, 30 travelled a further 477 miles (768km) and the last data point we have from her tracker is for the evening of 14th March when she stopped to roost right on the border between Mauritania and the Western Sahara.
It’s so exciting to know that she is on her way! Even more so when we can follow her progress over each step of her long journey. This first step of 30’s northwards journey is always fairly slow and steady, due to the unforgiving environment she has to travel through e.g. lots of hot, sandy desert with not many places to fish. Once she is clear of all the desert and begins to head through Morocco and on towards the Mediterranean, her journey will get easier, just so long as the weather does not hinder her, as it did last March.
Now that it is mid-March, we expect to receive data on 30’s movements on a more regular basis. Keep your eyes on the website – we will update the news just as soon as we have any!
Click here to follow 30’s journey on our special map.
Alternatively, click here to follow 30 using Google Earth.