The last update on UV covered his first few days back at the Langue de Barbarie in the very far north of Senegal. He has spent time here before – was this another ‘mini-break’? The answer is a resounding ‘NO’. On the whole he appears more settled in this area than elsewhere in Senegal. Nevertheless, recently his roaming instincts have been apparent too.
To recap, the Langue de Barbarie is a long peninsula ( ‘island’ on the image below, but the southern part is now connected to the mainland) with an inner tidal lagoon which flows into the Senegal River.
UV has a choice of fishing in the relatively calm and shallow lagoon or offshore over the sea. During the last few days of April he hunted almost exclusively over the lagoon. In May there was a gradual shift. On 3 May he had several expeditions just offshore over the sea in additon to one recorded outing to the lagoon.
On 4 May he flew much further out to sea in a total of five forays.
The first two trips are the green and yellow modest flights, then the red and blue longer expeditions. The last one in purple was early evening, a time of fewer fixes.
Since then, the data has seldom recorded UV over the lagoon. Generally he inhabits the area shown in the above image, which is near the northern tip of the peninsula. That tip has tended to be the limit of his flights but on 12 May he went beyond the self-imposed boundary and just about reached the mainland!
The following day was a quiet one but on 14 May UV explored further south than usual without leaving the peninsula. On 15 May he went beyond that point.
And on 16 May even further!
As you can see, UV almost reached the winter quarters of 30(05) from Rutland, in itself only 20 or so km from his previous base in Senegal. There was no weather event to trigger his move, which would have used a fair amount of energy for no obvious gain. Yesterday and this morning UV restricted himself to the approximate area shown on 4 May image above.
UV’s behaviour over the last two to three weeks has been fascinating to observe as he refined his foraging area, then started to look further afield at other opportunities. Until his activity over the last three or four days it seemed safe to say he had found a long term base. It’ll be interesting to see what DOES happen next!