On Tuesday UV left Portugal at 13.38 UTC from the south coast west near Salema, a village now more focused on tourism than fishing.
He had green rolling hills behind him as he set out over the ocean.
Yesterday at about 08.25 he made landfall in Morocco and perched for a while in a rather different landscape.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post this point is just 14.2 km from UV’s landfall in 2014. Paul explains how this is not coincidence:-
“Even by osprey standards, UV’s landfall is a remarkable feat of navigation. We think that birds (and many other creatures) use a positional / directional method known a “time-compensated sun compass”. As the name implies, this requires the animal to have a sense of the passage of time (because the sun and other celestial bodies change their apparent angle in the sky as the Earth rotates.) UV’s flight tells us how accurate that internal circadian “clock” must be. To get within 15 km of the target after a flight of almost 1000 km – much of it at night – requires the time element to be estimated correctly within about thirty seconds.” This article describes research into the method; thanks to Paul for the link.
Yesterday morning UV travelled on after a brief rest. He changed course slightly when he met the only significant road on his route.
Yesterday was UV’s 26th day of migration but at least part of 19 of those have been at stopovers in England and Portugal. In 2014 his first staging post was SW Portugal and he spent nearly 3 months in the Alentejo region. This year he stayed just 13 days. In 2016 he explored slightly different areas to 2014 so he now has quite comprehensive knowledge of resources at his disposal! His last outing this season was on 2 October when he travelled to the Rio Corona again. He had halted there on his migration then returned during his stopover; on 2 October he wasn’t attracted by the river, though, but explored the reservoir.
UV was too high to be foraging. He went back and forth, sometimes quite quickly. Was he interacting with another bird or birds? We’ll never know, but usually he takes a close look at any water when visiting a reservoir or river.
He won’t be seeing either of those features for a while as he crosses the desert. There are few cell towers away from the main road much nearer the coast so we may not receive data for a few days.