The last update about UV was written on 12 February before data for that day’s activity had arrived. We commented on UV’s tendency to spend most of the day inland so you can guess what he did on 12 February!
Since 12 February UV has spent much more time at the coast in different spots. He has also rarely been recorded flying at heights of over 200 m ASL. He has been airborne for much less than the 3-4 hours a day than he had been averaging.
Is he starting to build up reserves ready to start migration? Possibly – time will tell.
You’ll notice UV kept close to shore in the image above. He has seldom ventured far from land in the past week. Paul’s weather analysis has identified one possible reason.
In contrast with much of the winter until now, the SSTA (sea surface temperature anomaly) for 15 February shows a distinct patch of cooler-than average sea around the coast of Senegal – the green in the image. There is also a north-going current.
These changes could be affecting the type and numbers of fish available near the coast, or their distribution. Cooler water near the coast could be attracting some pelagic species which normally feed in the rich cold water of the ocean. Another colourful chart from Paul.
The red at the coast denotes more plankton presence than normal because of the additional nutrients and oxygen in the cooler water. So there could be plenty of prey for UV and his fish eating companions!
It will be interesting to see whether the SSTA continues and where UV forages over the next period.