UV has been very settled since his arrival on the Langue de Barbarie in late April. As a hotspot for migratory birds including ospreys it was possible that some behavioural changes could become evident from mid/late September when dominant adults return, but at the moment it is very early in the season for any adults to have reached Senegal.
However, over the last few days there have been changes in UV’ s activity. He has made a couple of short trips to the mainland – not that unusual albeit they aren’t frequent – and he has hunted much further out to sea and/or south along the spit than the norm. This image for 23 August shows both a visit to the mainland and an extended foraging trip.
The two trips offshore to the right of the extended one are more representative of his usual range. On 24 August he flew several km along the Langue.
Apart from these changes he still seemed very settled, spending hours perched on favourite trees or a stump in the sand.
Then yesterday afternoon, having flown south along the beach again, he was off on a 90 km one way journey. This graphic by Paul also shows the probable reason.
The muddy looking patch on the sea is in fact just that – sediment and mud washed down from the upper reaches of the Senegal River by the rains. A dense plume reaches 10 km out to sea. This satellite weather image courtesy of Paul shows it clearly.
Thanks to Paul for the analysis which enabled the probable reason for UV’s travel south to be identified.
The graphic of UV’s travel shows he was flying high (the ‘extensions to ground’ feature) as he left his base and again as he turned inland. He roosted very near a spot he used when exploring in February. The last data download shows he started to head north this morning. He could return much closer to the Langue before the water clarity becomes a problem although visibility will be affected about 30 km from the centre of the patch. It will be several weeks before the water around the Langue de Barbarie returns to normal so UV’s behaviour will be interesting to follow.
Meanwhile in Morocco 7H is quite settled and is foraging over a reduced range compared to a few weeks ago. This is a fairly typical day, although the early foraging by the estuary is a less common event.