The last update on UV ended with him heading back towards his base near Fas Boue after a trip north. He was home by early afternoon on 15 April and remained fairly local until 20 April, when he toured north and back for about 40 km in total.
Over this period UV changed his overnight roost area to a more SW patch of scrub. It is 6 km or so from his area of activity and seems no different from Google Earth to the previous preferred place.
On 21 April on he began a much bigger exploration – to a previously unvisited part of Senegal south of Dakar. He didn’t set out until sunset and roosted north of Kayar, an area he has visited before.
On 22 April UV travelled to the new parts of Senegal; here is a graphic by Paul which shows well his different elevations as he flew towards Dakar and then beyond.
Those higher flying points were never over around 300m ASL though, which is about half the altitude UV has reached in other explorations. His making that journey is interesting in itself, but looking at the detail is also fascinating.
He didn’t leave mangroves near the coast until 11.20 and had a couple of stops near familiar lakes including Retba, famed for the dwarf fish. Then it was pastures new and a flight over a more urban area – the capital of Senegal – than he normally undertakes.
He carried on offshore, dropping his height, and made a fairly thorough exploration of the smallest national park in the world, the Îles de la Madeleine.
Here is a link to a photo of ‘Serpent Island’. After leaving there at 14.41 UV then flew up and down Cap Manuel, where as Paul’s graphic shows he was at altitude and not hunting. UV checked the Île de Gorée before crossing the bay to reach land north of Yonne Tode.
By 16.51 UV was over the Forét de Popenguine. Here is a link to a description of quite inspirational involvement in restoration of degrading marine and mangrove habitat in that area by local women. Thanks to Paul for the alert about their work; here, in French is an even better description of their efforts.
UV’s roost for the night provided another opportunity to learn more about Senegal, because he was very near the new international airport for Dakar! (It isn’t yet operational despite the target of 2014.)
On 23 April UV stayed inland and explored an open cast mine (his equivalent of 7H’s pylons). There is nowhere visible on Google Earth for him to have fished that day unless he went out to sea in the early morning when fixes are about an hour apart. He roosted in a mining area, where there is a deposit of valuable crystalline minerals. Here, even though it is an abstract, is all you could wish to know about Palygorskite and Sepiolite!
Although UV returned to the coast on 24 April he made the 25 km trip back to the mining area to spend the night! He was only slightly further away from his base near Fas Boue – inexplicable.
Yesterday the data came in just before 14.00 GMT and UV had been past his favourite mine at Darou and was heading more or less for his ‘base’. At that point he had travelled 348 km since 00.00 on 22 April at an average speed of 13.4 kph. These figures indicate he was exploring, rather than ‘on a mission’ travelling at speed.
Today’s data shows that ‘base’ was NOT where he went, either yesterday or today.
More details fairly soon!