VY is in Morocco – and an animation shows how she got there

Before looking at VY’s migration over the last couple of days here is a graphic by Paul of VY’s flight over the Pyrenées. The ‘panel to ground’ feature makes clear how high above the mountains she flew.

VY crosses the Pyrenées

VY crosses the Pyrenées

Back to southern Spain! We left VY on 6 September in mid afternoon, when she was moving slightly more on a WSW course after her SSW route that day. She didn’t travel much further, stopping to roost in a wood by the Arroyo del Caño.

6 Sept: VY roost by Arroyo del Caño

6 Sept: VY roost by Arroyo del Caño

The fix near the embalse (reservoir) was at 07.29 UTC on 7 September.  VY was then stationary near her roost until after 09.15.  After that she flew about 7 km and sat by the silty looking river Genil until nearly noon.

A long break by the river Genil

A long break by the river Genil

Eventually VY got underway.

7 Sept: VY's travel

7 Sept: VY’s travel

She flew high again at times, occasionally 1500m above the mountains and hills below. But her travel ended relatively early when she halted at the Embalse de Guadalcacin just before 16.00.

UV stops by a large reservoir

UV stops by the Embalse de Guadalcacin

Paul recalled that this reservoir was home to a breeding pair of ospreys in 2005 and 2006, a couple of years after the Andalucian re-introduction programme began. Here is a link to an article about the programme – the Guadalcacin pair get a mention near the bottom.

Although VY moved by 17.30 to the area marked with ‘roost (1)’  she left there after 21.00 to fly 15 km SSW to a small copse for the rest of the night.

VY has often stopped by water however there isn’t conclusive proof that she has caught a fish. Her short day of travel on 7 September – just 140 km – is probably due to the thunderstorms in the area.

On 8 September VY had her usual stuttery start, although water doesn’t feature. On the three fixes on the next image she was sitting at points by a large windfarm north of Medina Sidonia instead!

VY and a windfarm

VY and a windfarm

For the next nine hours VY flew non stop, crossing to Morocco via the Strait of Gibraltar. She left Europe at 10.21 and about 300m above the coastal terrain, making landfall near Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport at 11.34.

VY crosses Tangiers Airport runway

VY crosses the runway

After her arrival in Morocco VY carried on roughly parallel with the coast although about 30 km inland most of the way. She flew over rivers without showing any desire to take a closer look. Here is her route for 8 September, when she travelled 333 km.

8 Sept: VY's route

8 Sept: VY’s route

VY didn’t stop until 18.18, quite late for her. About 30 minutes earlier she was over the Oued Bou Regreg, a river feeding the very large Barrage Mohamed Ben Abdellah. Her roost site was near the river but there weren’t any fixes flying over or near it.

8 Sept VY's roost area

8 Sept VY’s roost area

There was another early data download today. VY set off early in a southerly direction with no apparent attempt to hunt beforehand. She is less than 200 km from cousin 7H but is more likely to overfly the Barrage al Massira, another huge reservoir near the headwaters of the Oum Er Rbia. The winds should be light N to NE with scattered cloud, so still good migrating conditions.

VY is doing well on her migration so far, as are the other tracked juveniles for which there is information. The two tracked Loch of the Lowes juveniles have exhibited quite different behaviour, one, FR3,  is having a staging post in France but the other, FR4,  who set off a couple of days later had nearly caught VY up in Spain as this graphic by Paul shows!

Relative positions of FR4 and VY

Relative positions of FR4 and VY

FR4 was heading south parallel with the Moroccan coast yesterday afternoon, but VY did reach Africa first! The Lake District Osprey Project‘s V0 has made excellent progress to the SW of Portugal in not many days (no details yet).

Adults are migrating well too. Rutland Water’s adult female 30(05) who overwinters in Senegal not far from where UV had one of his extended stays has also started her migration at an even more cracking pace than usual for her, travelling from Rutland to Agadir in just five days. She hasn’t heard the theory that breeding females leave early because they need to get back in condition after raising young!

Last and very far from least, Paul has spent hours making an animation showing VY’s travel from Kielder to Africa. His animations and graphics are derived directly from the data – so the locations, height classes and time intervals are as accurate as possible, they are documents of record.

Get set for an insight into VY’s journey. And enjoy!

play

This entry was posted in Abroad, Blue VY, Migration, Osprey updates, Osprey video and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to VY is in Morocco – and an animation shows how she got there

  1. Vivien Finn says:

    Thank you for such a detailed post, Joanna. VY is certainly a high flyer. Thanks to Paul for the video too. It will be interesting to see where VY makes her winter home.

  2. Vic Paine says:

    Glad to see VY crossed the active runway in the CAA approved manner ie in centre of runway at right angle.

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