Slow progress through France

Over the last two days Blue DF has made fairly slow progress through France and at 11:14 this morning was approaching the Atlantic coast, 80 km east-north-east of La Rochelle. You can check out his latest location on our interactive map.

The last GPS fix in the previous update, at 10:37 on Monday morning, showed that Blue DF was heading south through Lower Normandy. That afternoon he continued flying until 14:17 when he was perched beside Étang du Lory, a small lake in a forested area north of Tours. He remained there all afternoon – and presumably caught a fish – after a day’s flight of 120 km.

Blue DF spent much of Monday afternoon beside Étang du Lory and then next morning was perched beside nearby Étang du Petit Puis.

After roosting away from the lake, Blue DF was back at nearby Étang du Petit Puis at first light next morning, indicating that he may have caught a fish before resuming his migration. He set-off again soon after 08:00, passing to the west of Tours and then stopping again for three hours beside the River Vienne near the village of Rivière; so if he didn’t catch a fish earlier in the morning, he definitely did then. The weather was clearly poor for migration because having resumed his journey soon at 14:00 Blue DF only covered another 25 km south before stopping again at another small lake. He remained there for an hour before flying 2km south-west to a forested area to the west of the village of Bethergon where he remained to roost after a day’s flight of just 87 km.

Blue DF stopped beside the River Vienne for three hours on Tuesday – suggesting he probably caught a fish there.

This morning Blue DF was obviously eager to press on because he left his overnight roost soon after first light, on a a south-westerly heading. A strong strong south-westerly wind would have made for fairly tough going, but at 11:14, the last GPS fix in this batch of data, he had covered 70 km, heading towards the coast north of Bordeaux.

Blue DF was approaching the Atlantic coast of France this morning

Finally, thank you very much to Val Gall for sending this superb photo that she took of Blue DF earlier this summer. Our thanks to Julian Orsi and Rothiemurchus Estate for allowing us to catch and tag Blue DF at Rothiemurchus last week.

Blue DF at Rothiemurchus Fishery earlier this summer (photo by Val Gall)