The weather in Azemmour has taken a downturn, with some rainfall every day last week except Tuesday. Friday was the wettest and windiest day and 7H did very little.
But since the last update 7H has travelled some distance along the river on two occasions. On 20 November she went to an area she visited fairly soon after settling at Azemmour, but not recently. She spent the morning mainly by the coast then headed inland late morning, arriving at a distinctive bend in the river by 12.24 GMT. She flew low to explore and by 12.33 was sitting in trees by the water. After about 30 minutes 7H had another spell over the water before heading back to her favourite fishing grounds by just after 14.00. The image below shows her stopping off point. You can see a stepped weir or dam.
She arrived at the weir area from the east having taken an inland route. Here is an image of her return trip along the river.
On 23 and 24 November 7H stayed on more familiar territory, although she went further south on the river than usual both days. Her longest exploration was on 25 November when she went about 15 km upriver. She was at the estuary at around sunrise and spent a bit of time on a couple of pylons before heading away at 13.33. 7H went to the bend she had visited on 20 November first but only for 8 minutes before heading up to the main road, the A5, for a look around. She had been flying at around 200m altitude mostly and returned to the river still flying fairly high until from 14.47 she had a spell of 50m altitude or under. Here is an image of that part of her journey; it wasn’t long before she started to head back.
She reached the weir area by 15.25 but didn’t tarry and was back to a roost by 15.50.
Several factors may have influenced this greater interest in new areas of the river. It may be more difficult to catch the estuarine stock as some fish will have migrated. But on some days she has only been in her usual haunts so must be having success. And there is no strong indication from the fixes that she hunted on either of the longer trips, although she may have had a small catch on 20 November before roosting by the water. The weather may have played a part as winds just off the coast were much stronger than inland most days. Or perhaps she just fancied an odd ‘day out’!
Paul Wildlifewriter has produced an animation of 7H’s first couple of months at Azemmour. It gives a very good insight into how her activity altered over time. Here is a link to the video; many thanks to Paul for his work.
Meanwhile… In SW Portugal the weather in the last week went from warm (23°C on 21-22 November) and sunny to much cooler (12°C in midweek) and wet and/or windy at times. On Wednesday afternoon gusts reached 70 kmph in the area and 28mm of rain was recorded. So no surprise that UV appeared to do very little that day. But the previous couple he had gone a little way both west and south of the reservoir, travelling at least 6 km on Monday. That’s a long way for him! He continues to favour just a few roost areas for either day or night use.