A struggle to cross the Sahara Desert

The data downloaded to mobile phone masts in southern Morocco show that Blue XD made a difficult crossing of the Sahara travelling some 2080km instead of the direct route distance of 1590km. He clearly ran into westerly winds which pushed him into Algeria see map below.

On night of 21st/22nd March he roosted in the desert north of Tidjikja in Mauritania after flying NNE during the day – which started to take him too far east. On 22nd he  set off NW to regain his normal track but by midday was again moving NNE and flew well east of the Richat depression and roosted that night well to the NE.  On 23rd he made a big mistake (or was blown) by flying east and then NE covering 400km during the day. On 24th he again flew NE crossing into the very NW part of Mali at 1206 and into Algeria at 1716GMT – before roosting in the desert, he had flown 370km. On 25th March he flew 250km NE to reach the Adrar desert.  Overnight he managed to work out how to re-orientate and in the morning set off west and flew 150km west and then NW to complete a day flight of 380km to roost in the Tindouf desert of Algeria.  On 27th March he was back on track, although well east of his previous sat-tracks, and after a day flight of 410km roosted in rocky ravines south of Gourrama.

Migration tracks 21st - 27th March

Migration tracks 21st – 27th March