Whilst 7H doesn’t range as far and wide as her cousin UV she is still far from the ‘typical’ juvenile who tends to frequent a couple of square km much of the time with perhaps a longer tour for a few days in Spring. A caveat is needed, though, because the total number of UK tracked juveniles is relatively small so there is a limited data base.
Since the last update 7H has made one long circular trip to explore new areas. She covered over 80 km on 23 April.
After a night on popular Pylon 3 7H was down at a loop in the river by 06.22 GMT. All very normal! She went back to the pylons for a while but soon after 10.30 she was heading NE to the coast, by-passing her usual beach haunt. She had half an hour or so sitting at the coast before flying on then turning inland. Her altitude when flying to the point she headed south was usually well under 250m ASL, but on her next leg down towards the rectangle on the image above she reached over 700m ASL. The rectangle highlights another stop. On the current Google Earth image it looks a dry area, but historic imagery shows otherwise. Here is a graphic from Paul.
So perhaps during her approx 45 minute stop near there 7H was having a late lunch. Or at least calculating whether it might be worth returning – we shall see!
In general 7H is travelling a minimum of 10 km from west to east most days. She tends to roost on a pylon or nearby although she has used a Eucalyptus tree on the east side of the river during the last couple of weeks. Once at the river she visits the loops and sometimes flies a few more km upstream. Also 7H is drawn to an agricultural area with many polytunnels. The next image is from 15 April.
This was one of the days 7H flew north of the A5 road bridge; yesterday was another. Her normal focus is that loopy section of the river, and inland of the weir which is at the northernmost edge of the ‘ears’.
7H has also been back to the area to the west that in the last update was described as seasonally marshy farmland. In fact research by Paul has identified that there is controlled irrigation of that area from sluice gates on a channel to the north. It is entirely possible that there are fish and 7H’s behaviour reinforces that view. Another graphic prepared by Paul.
Many thanks to Paul for his success in finding the reason for 7H’s visits.