The last blog in early December speculated whether UV would vary his fishing between river and ocean given he had begun to hunt more in the river with the disappearance of the sediment outflow. The data shows he is using both areas and travelling inland too!
In the daily NASA weather satellite imagery the sediment ‘murk’ has been replaced by plankton bloom.
The nutrients will attract marine life and should be good news for Ospreys too!
UV has been rather more active recently. The reason isn’t clear given food supply should be ample. He is still spending most of his day on the northern part of the Langue de Barbarie but seems to be making more flights away from his perches. Quite often he is over the water four times a day whereas in autumn he usually had only a couple of flights -although there were often fewer fixes then because of cloud cover. This image shows 11 December.
UV has been flying at high altitudes more frequently than in November. This graphic by Paul has the ‘panels to ground’ feature which is so helpful.
The wind is almost always from the NE or E at the moment so he was using the tailwind well – his maximum speed was 74 kph! He made a very similar journey a couple of days later. On occasion UV gains altitude to well over 200m ASL when flying around his daytime area, so he isn’t foraging at those times.
Perhaps he is checking to see what other areas may be worth a visit. He has been to one new site, a canal running from the Ngalam River, twice in the past few days. The canal was built after 2005 with international funding. The aim was to increase horticulture in the surrounding area by supplying improved irrigation.
UV’s second canal visit was on 20 December and he went there in a meandering flight where he was over 750m ASL at highest. He checked the river briefly before heading to the same part of the canal as before.
In a straight line it is about 11.5 km to the canal, the same sort of distance UV travels to and from his roost site each day.
His behaviour now is in marked contrast to the summer, when he was seldom recorded flying above 50m ASL and his range was usually no more than 1 sq km.
There will be a blog on Christmas Eve with some previously unseen images of an historic event – the ringing of the three chicks in 2009, the first year Ospreys bred at Kielder.