We left UV on 18 December when he was exploring the area at the SW end of the Gulf of Cintra. Since then he has been further south but today was back to Bajo Tortugo at the northern end of Cintra.
On 18 December when the data arrived it looked as though UV could be sheltering from some dust ‘streamers’ being blown from sandstorms further south and east. In fact he was probably just loafing about as ospreys do, because the next download showed him hunting further down the coast.
The darker red dots at the bottom of the image are UV roosting, not in the sea but on rocks off shore.
UV stayed south of the Gulf of Cintra for several days but he may have found it difficult to catch fish. This is speculation based on the fact that he has hunted much more often than previously and his stops were usually not more than 20 minutes, so if that was to eat the fish wasn’t much of a size. The image below illustrates both the more frequent hunting and shorter roosts.
He still tended to move inland for an overnight roost; the next image shows him leaving the coastal area and gaining height to over 500m before spotting a suitable dune and changing direction to drop down to it.
One reason for his apparent low success rate could be inexperience in coastal waters but another is possibly the tide times; low tide in the area has been roughly around 06.00 and 17.30 GMT, so well before dawn and at an hour when UV is starting to think of finding a roost.
Yesterday UV decided to return the Bajo Tortugo. The shallow lagoon area is probably the best for fishing in both the Gulf of Cintra and the immediate area south. Here is an image of UV’s travel back there, hugging the coast and with several short stops.
And a close up of him in his first couple of hours back there.
UV is flying well – over 55 kph at times – and there is no reason to think he is weak. He was over 50 km from Bajo Tortugo at his furthest and has gone several km into the desert to roost some nights. If recently he has caught only limited supplies a few days at Bajo Tortugo should provide plenty of replenishment of reserves.
Here is an image of his overall range between 18 and 23 December; the download today was before he left his overnight roost.
Paul has been researching more widely on the area and there is a very interesting article here on both wildlife and water in the coastal Sahara region.
There should be a post on 7H, still in Morocco, tomorrow. Christmas Eve treat!