Since the last update VY has been in the same small area on the south shore of the Casamance River. Here is a heatmap from Paul showing her activity from her arrival until the data download last night.
She begins most days moving from her roost to the banks of a tidal creek – the Marigot de Guidele – near what look like abandoned paddy fields. That area is the bottom red patch in Paul’s graphic. Here is a close up.
None of the Google Earth historic imagery shows any plant growth in the once farmed area. The region has suffered depopulation in the low-level conflict which began in 1984 between an independence movement and the Senegalese government. Mines have resulted in agricultural land being deserted. This could have happened in VY’s area which is quite close to the main N6 road running from Ziguinchor (west of VY’s location) to Kolda in the east.
After starting her days at the Marigot de Guidele VY has been going to the river for most of the rest of the time – hence the deep red patch on Paul’s graphic. The next image is typical of her foraging activity over the first few days.
At the bottom of the map the N6 is visible and if you click to open then zoom in on the image you can see a bridge is missing; it was dismantled in 2014. This will be the result of a project funded by the US to rebuild that road. Some details appear at the bottom of this piece.
Yesterday VY changed her foraging tactics and concentrated on the shore area.
Wherever she has foraged on the river she tends to be flying for between 5 and 20 minutes then she sits for long periods mostly, although sometimes she is off again after only three or four minutes.
The weather has been quite similar over the last few days. The winds are light, mainly from the west, and it is wet most afternoons. The general climate in the far south of Senegal is different from that found in the NW where UV is. In the Casamance region and Guineau-Bissau the rainy season often continues well into October and even early November. VY experienced plenty of rain at Kielder this ‘summer’ but it will be rather warmer than Northumberland was, with temperatures in the mid 30’s Centigrade!
Finally, an image showing her travel along the river since arrival.