First, thanks to everyone who has given support here and elsewhere following the loss of 7H. This post was in preparation when our focus had to shift to 7H’s data.
The last post about VY described her settling into a new area upriver on the Casamance after her exploration in Guinea Bissau. From 8 to 18 October her activity ranged along a 10 km stretch of coast and occasionally inland a few km.
We haven’t received data since 18 October when VY was in quite a few coastal and inland locations.
Analysis of the tracker telemetry and her behaviour didn’t indicate anything untoward and the likeliest explanation is that as the weather improved she decided to travel further afield and out of range of cell towers again. Even just a few km north, south or east there is less coverage. Obviously we had hoped contact would be re-established after a few days – as happened in late September – but there has been nothing so far. There will be an update when there is news.
Meanwhile, UV has not returned to his original territory on the Langue de Barbarie. He spent the first few days after the last update (17 October) on the Langue south of that area but since 22 October he has been hunting and perching on the north spit. Here is a close up of a typical day there. Lots of relaxing on the beach!
He roosts inland, alternating between a wooded area by a tributary of the Senegal River and the marshy land east of the Langue de Barbarie that has been part of his range during the wet season. 26 October was a rather damp day as the rainy season came to an end. This is UV’s activity that day on a graphic by Paul.
There was an early fix offshore so he probably caught a fish and went back inland for the day.
Thanks to the owners of the Zebrabar (what a great observation tower) on the mainland opposite UV’s ‘old’ area we know a “big raft” was floating there but it only arrived on 17 October, well after UV deserted his stretch of mangroves and beach. So we still don’t know why he has changed his behaviour.
We will summarise UV’s October with one of Paul’s ‘day by day’ animations next week.
A final UV related matter. In the recent Rutland Water Project post about 30(05) she made an unusual (for her) round trip 36 miles inland. Regular readers may recall UV spent several months a short distance down the coast from 30(05). During that time he spent many a day at the Darou Khoudoss phosphate mine, 30(05)’s destination! This image is a close up of UV in the area on 12 February with 30(05)’s recent position.