The typical image of an overwintering osprey is of a bird feeding once or perhaps twice a day, maybe having a short fly around now and again but mainly perching by or near water.
GPS trackers are the main source of this information. We have already mentioned how the ARGOS trackers which are usually programmed to give fixes 4 hours apart can ‘hide’ activity revealed by the 2nd generation GSM trackers. But even an ARGOS model would have shown more activity by UV than his ‘normal’ on 27 January.
He flew for as many hours as he would on an average day of migration. First he took a 75 km circular inland excursion as Paul’s graphic shows.
Early in the day fixes are between 20 and 40 minutes apart – you can see the shorter time intervals as he neared the coast on return. The data indicates that during his exploration UV wasn’t at particularly high altitude nor travelling at speed. He’s gone inland around this area before so would remember there is no fish source. So was it just a ‘wander’ before perching for much of the day?
On his return UV didn’t land but travelled up and down the coastal strip of the Langue de Barbarie. Here is just one part of that activity, much of which was at altitudes over 200m ASL.
UV was flying over the coastal area at a maximum altitude of 1015m ASL for over 4 hours.
He wasn’t done for the day, though, and was airborne for almost 2 hours in late afternoon.
Weekend data revealed UV was back to ‘normal’ for recent days which means mainly perched inland but extended sorties, often at high altitude, around the coast. Another graphic from Paul contrasts UV’s Sunday midday ‘probably foraging’ trip at low level with a later ‘overview’ flight.
If there is one certainty from UV’s recent activity it is that he is a fit young osprey!
There’ll be a January overview post later this week.