Since the last update on 24 December UV has continued to travel between various coastal and inland day spots. On 28 December he appeared to be perched in the water, not on the sandy shore, near Lac Guembeul.
The Google Earth image was taken in early July during the wet season so the water levels will be lower now with more sand exposed.
There have been fewer fixes over the past week – some days only every 20 minutes or so at best – because the tracker’s battery voltage level has been relatively low as this graph by Paul shows.
The tiny battery in UV’s tracker unit is charged by solar energy and the charging system is only just enough to maintain battery condition under good direct sunlight. High-altitude dust can attenuate the power of the sun by as much as 20% – even when the sun ‘appears’ to be shining.
The reason for the relatively low voltages is the amount of dust in the atmosphere. At this time of year the Harmattan affects West Africa. Paul has created an animation which shows how the dust eventually reached South America.
The Senegalese authorities issued a ‘red alert’ health warning, a relatively rare event. The fine dust reached ground level as you can see in this powerful photograph by ornithologist Frédéric Bacuez.
There are some Osprey photographs in the most recent post on Frédéric’s blog, click the link under the photograph.
Despite the impact on his battery UV’s behaviour seemed unaffected by the week long Harmattan and he was recorded at altitudes over 300m ASL on several days. In this image he was only at foraging level for a couple of fixes during an offshore flight and he flew inland at over 600m ASL.
Today’s data arrived just as this post was being finalised. UV had a busy morning visiting several inland sites but he was at foraging level just offshore for the last few fixes, perhaps finding some lunch!