Until late yesterday afternoon, we lacked any knowledge of Aln’s whereabouts since she was in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains early on 9 November.
We have now received a precious 100 data points, all from yesterday. Although we don’t know her route, Aln appears to be well and is living on the coast in Mauritania. For now!
As Paul’s label states, Aln is in the very far north of the Banc d’Arguin National Park, and was also north of the Park boundary yesterday. We’ve mentioned the Banc d’Arguin before. This year, when he reached there, UV changed from the direct migration mode he’d deployed over the desert to a strategy more akin to fly-and-forage migration. He took several days to return to the Langue de Barbarie.
Analysing Aln’s new data suggests she has been in the area for a while. She had roosted a short way inland then went to the coast, flew north, and was returning south on the last fix late afternoon. The ‘panels to earth’ in Paul’s graphic above show she was flying high at times. The next image shows her travelling across the desert at much greater elevation than most of her flying offshore and along the coast.
On her trip north, Aln flew low and slow.
She perched for varying lengths of time during the day. In the image above, Aln sat from 11.54-13.35 – her longest recorded period of perching – at the edge of the ocean at her most northerly point of the day.
All these behaviours are characteristic of an osprey in their wintering grounds, or at a staging post.
We may be fortunate and receive some more data over the next few days, however it is clear that cell tower coverage is not comprehensive. Those 100 or so fixes have given reassurance that Aln is safe, for now.
A few 100 km to the south, UV was also flying high – over 500m ASL – when his data arrived this afternoon. He hasn’t spent much time on the North spit of the Langue de Barbarie lately. There’ll be a short post about his activity towards the end of the week.