UV’s travel through the desert has more variety of scenery than might be expected. His roost on the evening of 6 October was below exposed ground where seasonal water courses can be seen, supporting plant life.
The next night was a more typical desert roost.
On 8 October UV covered 294 km on a mainly SW course with much of his travel over 1000m above the terrain. Near the end of his flying he curved around almost as if sightseeing when he was near Aoussard.
There is an UN base to the east of the hills, which are the subject of a number of photographs on Panoramio.
UV’s roost was another desert floor perch but on 9 October he reached the Mauritanian coast increasing the options available to him. He started his migration in the early hours, travelling over 90 km by 05.56 UTC when it was still dark.
UV arrived at the Atlantic Ocean at the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, an important overwintering area. In 2014 he had travelled down the coast from the Bay of Cintra and halted on an offshore island; this year he perched on the mainland.
UV carried on near to the coast although his roost was inland in the dunes once more. He had flown 416 km assisted by stronger winds as he approached the coast. His maximum speed with wind assistance was 80 kph.
On 10 October UV continued his migration at a slower pace with several stops. He was often close to the N2 major road. He skirted round the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, in the early evening and roosted inland once more. The distance covered was 156 km.
UV left his roost in the early hours and flew almost 100 km before perching inland before 06.38. He flew on to the coast for another stop, one of several on 11 October. By 13.00 he was just a few km from the Senegal River but he felt in no rush to return to the Langue de Barbarie. He perched in irrigated agricultural land north of the river.
Then he explored part of the Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj although he didn’t land as far as the frequent fixes show.
The assessment of ‘Threats to the Site’ in the BirdLife link above makes worrying reading.
Finally UV crossed the border between Mauritania and Senegal at 14.31. As this post was being finalised we received new data. UV reached his winter home territory shortly before 18.00 and went straight to a roost tree he had used before commencing his Spring migration.
173 days after he left the Langue de Barbarie he was back safely.
Paul will be writing an overview of UV’s autumn migration – not the fastest even excluding two stopovers but an interesting journey nevertheless.