The last post about UV described his increased high altitude flying. That aspect of his behaviour continued in the last week of December. Here is a link to Paul’s ‘day by day’ animation of December – the orange deepens the faster UV flies so you can see he was also speedy quite often. Many thanks to Paul for the animation.
Apart from UV’s more frequent activity across a greater range the most noticeable aspects of his behaviour in December are the recent near desertion of the northern part of the Langue de Barbarie as the favoured daytime territory and a possible attempt to reoccupy his old base in the National Park on the southern part of the Langue.
On 30 December UV had spent the morning and early afternoon in the area around the outflow from Lake Guembeul. But in the afternoon he went back to his old area. This is an overview of the day.
As is clear from the number of fixes UV spent a LOT of time flying. Here is a close up of all the action!
He spent the first hour flying mostly over the channel or the spit but he was too high to be foraging. Regular readers will remember the report from Rafa Benjumea who saw UV interacting with other Ospreys, and whose monitoring work with his colleagues in connection with Project Tougoupeul resulted in an estimate of around 300 Ospreys in the area overall. Another article has just been published where the writer saw 3-4 Ospreys at a time in late December. The third paragraph contains the Osprey (Balbuzard) details but the whole article is well worth translating. Bird Paradise!
UV’s behaviour is highly suggestive of an attempt to find his own place. He did land in one area (the yellow circle above) a little north of his old base. But he was there only 40 minutes. Will he try again in January?
For the last week or so of December the area just south of Lake Guembeul has been one of UV’s most frequent destinations – as on the morning of 30 December – but he is also sitting on the mainland, or areas that seem detached from it. The imagery on Google Earth cannot reflect the physical reality in the rapidly changing river mouth. This graphic by Paul shows UV seeming to perch in the water – it is a favourite place to sit and he was there today as this post was being drafted.
One reason UV is foraging offshore less often is the height of the waves currently. On 2 January the authorities banned fishermen from going out in their pirogues beyond the breach because of dangerous conditions. Sadly two fishermen were lost overboard in separate incidents on 31 December. The video in this news article shows how difficult fishing must be.
UV is spending time in marshy ground near both Lake Guembeul and the Ngalam River. On 26 and 31 December he visited the same patch of wetland near the Ngalam. On 26 December he overflew the river too but didn’t appear to bother on 31 December.
On his return from the Ngalam area on 31 December UV had a tail wind and as he neared the coast he was at 918m ASL after being over 600m ASL most of the way. Ending the year on a high note!