7H: a lot has been going on! Part 1

Now that we are receiving data again from 7H’s tracker she has decided to provide some entertainment! The last week has seen a lot of intriguing behaviour which can’t be definitively explained, although it is hard to resist the conclusion that another osprey (or ospreys) are the reason. This post will give an overview of what has happened, with another tomorrow showing some aspects in a bit more detail.

Before that, the following image has been produced by Paul from the data available to late January.

7H's flying 'hotspots'

7H’s flying ‘hotspots’

It shows clearly 7H’s preferred area of the river for fishing and the other fish sources she frequented – the resort pond and the mouth of the river. The pale green areas are the pylons (the strip under the pond area) and the gravel extraction/beach area, top right. By removing stationary fixes distortion eg from the overnight roost is avoided.

The map is a neat introduction to the last week. The six weeks of missing data would fit into the image above comfortably. But more recently 7H made a radical change to her range. Here is an image showing points from the afternoon of 14 March to around noon on 19 March.

7H leaves her usual haunts

7H leaves her usual haunts

The orange paths towards the river mouth are her previously favoured areas. Suddenly, apart from roosting overnight on the pylons, she had not even flown over any of them until yesterday afternoon. Paul has researched detailed weather data – it has been settled around Azemmour so no help there. Out to sea it has been stormier which may have driven estuarine fish further upstream but those conditions have occurred before without any similar response from 7H.

She also took two trips to the west during this period. First, on 15 March she flew to Jorf Lasfar, a busy port and industrial area she has visited before. It was just an afternoon trip and flying back at dusk she roosted a few hundred metres west of the pylons on her return. On 18 March she travelled to El Jadida, or rather the headland around the city. The majority of time was spent in her new range.

The next post will examine her behaviour in a bit more detail.

Finally, readers may recall that during their trip to Morocco Pip and Vic noticed that Ospreys near Agadir still fished on a Sunday when local people were enjoying the beach. But the birds were unsettled by the human activity, taking their meal elsewhere. Paul did some preliminary work to see if the same could apply to 7H at Azemmour. When the backlog of data arrived he did more.

7H avoids sitting either side of the river mouth on Sundays

7H avoids sitting either side of the river mouth on Sundays

7H spent some time sitting near the gravel extraction site (top right) but it is unlikely that is a popular spot with local residents. Thanks to Pip and Vic for the observation (and so much more!) and to Paul for graphics, research etc.

 

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