In August 7H made some adjustments to her behaviour which are clear to see in another of Paul’s excellent animations.What do we learn about 7H and foraging? In summary, although she visited the irrigated area west of Azemmour three times in the first five days of the month she made only one further trip, on 19 August. She has barely travelled upriver beyound the first area of loops. We followed 7H over winter months as she followed migratory fish upriver. In the last month her attention has returned to the section of the river near Azemmour and the coast – in fact in September she has flown to the sea to forage every day.
Now to look at a couple of the August days in close up. 27 August was one where she hunted both at the coast and about as far upriver as she travelled after the first few days of the month.
7H had roosted in the pylon area (although that is becoming less well used) but by 06.07 she was down at the loop which looks a bit like a bear’s left ear, more or less obscured by the red fixes above. She spent much of the day sitting at the top of the ear with occasional flights around that area, interspersed with spells in a wood at the loop downriver of the left ear. The circled area above was of interest to her on 27 August.
7H was flying in that area for almost an hour in late afternoon. When she was over the sea in the morning she was usually around 15m ASL – she is often twice that when foraging along the river. But some of the time at the loop she was too high at over 100m to be foraging.
On 30 August 7H had a much less busy day, only moving between the top of the ear and the bottom loop with an early afternoon scout around the river north of the A5 before she returned to the pylon area at 13.20.
On 23 September 7H will celebrate her first anniversary since her arrival in her wintering grounds (if she stays put!) Her hunting area is now starting to look like her range then. This is 4 September.
The section of the river next to the northern part of Azemmour was her normal daily range last year, with occasional forays to the river mouth. Adults will be returning from now on and perhaps the loops are home to a dominant osprey. The next few weeks of activity will be interesting!