7H covers more ground on a daily basis than most juveniles because her favourite roost is some 13 km in a direct line from one of her main daytime haunts after she has been hunting. But on 22 and 23 May she spent a lot more time flying a significantly greater distance than during a normal ‘quite active’ day.
On 22 May she travelled much further upstream than usual. Here is an overview image.
She started the day in the area near the loops in the river, her usual fishing spots this Spring. But then she flew far upstream for an hour. Here is a close up of the end of her journey.
For more than 5 hours 7H explored this area although she took frequent rests! Shortly before 15.00 she set off for home and the first few minutes saw her attain a height of 537m ASL at the peak of a high flying spell. She stopped at the loops in the river before heading towards the sea to a point past the A5 road bridge. During the day as a whole she was flying for well over three hours and travelled over 50 km.
But the next day she was even more active albeit over a smaller area. Paul has made an animation which shows how 7H was foraging over the part of the river she has explored often in recent weeks. The animations are time consuming to make so many thanks to Paul because they really bring the activity to life. This still image is a ‘second best’.
You can see how 7H flew at altitude – a maximum of 717m ASL on her outward journey at top left- as she set off to the river. Then she dropped to a level where she could either hunt or at least see any fish. The animation shows the sequence of her many movements up and down the river, it is well worth a view.
7H flew for over five hours on 23 May and she travelled 72 km using a lot of energy. Little is known about the ecology of the river but a possible explanation for this behaviour is that she is searching for migratory fish travelling upriver to spawn so she needs to move – as they are doing – to identify their location.