UV had been more or less following a routine since before Christmas at the northern end of the Gulf of Cintra. A fairly typical day was Saturday 17 January, when he stayed in almost exactly the same spot in Bajo Tortugo all afternoon.
This was one of his less active days, possibly because of dust clouds over the coast.
Sunday 18 January started as usual – off his roost to the nearby escarpment then eventually to the coast at 12.37 GMT. He went to the west side of the lagoon first and then off past the point, lingering over the offshore rocks. It was a couple of hours after high tide so a spot of sea fishing wasn’t too odd. But when he came back to the lagoon he didn’t settle in one place but moved along to the east every few minutes, then at 14.00 he flew out to sea again via the rocks at the end of the point before going approximately 1.5 km offshore. He turned and headed back across the bay.
The path with yellow points is the start of his departure from Bajo Tortugo; the other paths are his earlier hunting round the area. UV landed on the coast part way round the curve of the bay and stayed in that area on 19 and 20 January. The image below is the slightly more active of those days.
Did something happen on Sunday afternoon that spooked UV? We’ll never know, but he had explored the Cintra area well and apparently settled on Bajo Tortugo as the most productive hunting area. Suddenly (to a human) he abandons it. Was there some human activity, the most probable being a beach fishing party, that led to his move? Or was it just ‘time to move on’.
Yesterday, 21 January, began with UV roosting quite near the 18 January point. He was flying over the sea at 10.11 and went further down the bay to a roost inland. At just after noon it was ‘farewell Cintra’ and the next stage of his migration began. More very shortly.