Archer: on through the desert

Since her short day of travel on 10 September, Archer has made much better progress.

courtesy Paul McMichael

Archer flew 243 km on 11 September, 215 km on 12 September.

The terrain she has been flying over isn’t flat and featureless desert. It is characterised by  many ridges and valleys, as this atmospheric photograph shows.

desert of Es-Semara
(c) Carmel Horowitz
courtesy panoramio

Many of the hills are 300-400m ASL – just like the fells in and around Kielder Forest.

The winds are light and variable. Archer could fly SW to reach the coast of Mauritania, or head over the desert to the south to reach the Senegal River some way inland, as many ospreys do.

This entry was posted in 9L/Archer, Abroad, Migration, Osprey updates and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Archer: on through the desert

  1. thehutts says:

    Very interesting looking hills. Would love to know how they were formed. Sally

    • joannadailey says:

      Paul has the answer:-
      These outcrops are known locally as “guelbs” (which is simply the Arabic word for a small hill). They are the result of differential erosion relative to the surrounding rock. Today, the primary erosion agent is wind-blown sand but, in past eras when the western Sahara was much wetter than is is now, rainwater carved these features and left them above the general elevation. Further south, along the margin of the pre-cambrian shield, many of these geulbs are rich in iron ore and other minerals and open-cast mining of them is a major industry.

  2. Jo says:

    So glad she’s picked up …… and what fascinating terrain …… learning so much from these blogs ….. thank you Joanna and Paul

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