We left UV on Friday morning, taking a break and perhaps a drink of water, on the banks of the Oloron River in south-west France. By 10:30 GMT he was on his way north again.
Despite his long-standing interest in mining operations and mineral extraction while in Senegal, the terraced limestone quarries of Cassaber did not receive so much as a second glance as UV flew over them, for he was was on a mission – and it would not prove to be an easy one…
Over the past few days, weather conditions in central and eastern France have been abysmal, with heavy rain and flooding affecting many areas. But the western margins have escaped the very worst of this, and UV had to pick his route carefully: staying far enough inland so that the stronger coastal winds would not impede his progress, but not so far east that he would run into those rain squalls.
By midday he had passed the historic city of Dax and was making satisfactory – if rather slow – progress. His tracking data shows that, as a good osprey should, he was exploiting every small wind shift and up-current to help him maintain altitude.
By this afternoon, UV had left Bordeaux on his right and soon crossed the Gironde estuary into the “Medoc” – home of the world’s greatest (and most ludicrously expensive) red wines.
His data download came in quite late this evening (Sat), by which time he was settling down for the night by a small river near Jonsac.
Since crossing the border into France, UV has flown 351 km. He still has a good distance to go, but flying conditions should be a bit easier for him tomorrow.
Many thanks to Paul for writing this blog.