Aln: reaching Andalucía

Aln arrived at the border between the regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Andalucía on 28 September and roosted there.

crossing agricultural land and mountains

She’d spent the previous day near the largest city in Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete.

the inset shows what lies beneath all the red fixes

The Canal del Salobral is nearby – and feeds the tank – but there are no fixes over it. The two fixes at the bottom of the image are of Aln flying near it early on 27 September, so she may have been foraging around that time. To us, it seems an odd place to spend a day when on migration, but Aln must have had a reason.

On 28 September she left the area at 09.03 UTC, but soon stopped for about 15 minutes. By another sump! She carried on over agricultural land on a SW course. By 10.45 she was approaching the Sierra de Alcaraz, a mountain range with a highest peak of 1796m.

heading into higher terrain

Just before 11.00, Aln stopped at a fish farm.

did Aln catch a fish?

Between 11.31 and 11.37 the tracker dropped 11°C, suggesting it may have been immersed in water.

After setting out again, Aln followed the course of the Rio del Jardin before heading SW over agricultural land. At 14.25 she arrived at the Pantano del Palomar.

a thorough inspection

Aln continued on for less than 2 hours. She stopped on a steep hillside overlooking a tributary of the Rio Guadalamena – the border.

a roost with a view

A more osprey-like place to roost than the previous night’s choice!

Her late start, two pauses and an early finish meant that Aln flew only 102 km in the day. Exploring, rather than migrating.

She continued in the same vein yesterday. She set out earlier, but by 09.31 she decided to perch by the Embalse del Guadalamena for 10 minutes or so.

a short stop – top left fix

Over the rest of the morning, Aln stopped briefly at other watery spots – irrigation tanks being favourite!

The data for later yesterday hasn’t arrived yet.

This entry was posted in 7L/Aln, Abroad, Migration, Osprey updates and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Aln: reaching Andalucía

  1. Sal Lloyd says:

    Can you tell me please what kind of heights they have to fly when and if they cross the Sahara?

  2. Sal Lloyd says:

    Yes I realise the Sahara isn’t flat, hence the question. I wondered if Aln would have to fly higher than any of the mountainous regions she has encountered so far

    • joannadailey says:

      The Atlas Mountains lie between the north coast of Africa and the Sahara. Depending on Aln’s route, crossing them means she is likelier to fly at higher altitudes than to date.

    • Some birds – such as certain species of migrant geese, cranes, and others – can migrate at very high flight levels (> 9000m). They have evolved specialized adaptations to cope with the low oxygen levels and extreme cold that is encountered at these heights. Ospreys don’t have these adaptations, so their strategy is (usually) to follow the terrain and take advantage of thermals, local up-currents and low-level winds that vary from place to place. Satellite tracking has shown us that even juvenile ospreys on their first migration have the instinctive ability to exploit these conditions.

      • Sal Lloyd says:

        Thank you, Paul, fascinating stuff! How on earth do some species develop this ability and others not…….
        …. Whatever the reason, it never fails to astound.

  3. Gerry Valliere says:

    I’m an arm chair traveler so I delight arm chair traveling with them. My greatest wish is if they were like a flying carpet and I could hitch along with them.Thanks to them and you for the adventure.

  4. Jo says:

    Loving Aln’s exploring mode – all experience ….. thanks Joanna :-) and thanks too Paul ….. I’ve been reading up about Pantano del Palomar and the surrounding Estate – but I can’t, for the life of me, discover what the circular enclosures are .. irrigation areas?

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