Blue DF is in Africa

After a relatively slow start to his migration Blue DF really increased his pace over the weekend, flying the length of Spain in just over two days and crossing the Strait of Gibraltar to Africa yesterday evening. The latest data shows that at 11:13 local time this morning he was at Barrage Oued El Makhazine in northern Morocco.

In our previous update on Friday evening Blue DF was flying south through northern Spain and we now know that he continued flying until around 20:30 loal time, when he was perched beside the Rio Duero having flown 315 km from north of Biarritz.

Blue DF spent Friday evening perched beside the Rio Duero, 130 km north-east of Madrid

On Saturday morning he left his roost site at 08:15 local time but then spent an hour-and-a-half perched another 8km further south. By 10:50 he had resumed his migration and was soon flying through mountains to the north of Madrid, climbing to over 2000 m in the process. He then skirted around the west side of the Spanish capital before continuing on a south-westerly course through eastern Extremadura towards the Sierra Morena mountains. ¬†At 16:42 he was at an altitude of 2879 metres and would have had a good view south towards Embalse de Cijara. He was flying low over the reservoir half an hour later and then perched at the water’s edge for the next hour-an-a-half, presumably eating a fish. At 18:44 he was migrating again and he continued flying until after 20:00, covering another 71 km in the process. By the time he settled to roost in the Extremadura plains he had flown 364 km during the course of the day.

Blue DF skirted around the western side of Madrid on Saturday

The satellite data suggests Blue DF caught a fish at the EMbalse de Cijan in Extremadura on Saturday afternoon

On Sunday morning Blue DF made a fairly slow start to migration, finally leaving his overnight roost at 10:30. At 13:10 he had reached the northern edge of the Sierra Morena and he continued south across the mountains before pausing beside the Rio Guadalquivir for almost two hours during mid-afternoon; perhaps to eat a fish. By 17:11 he was heading south again and at 17:59 was passing to the east of Seville at an altitude of 850 m. Conditions must have been very good for migration because he showed no sign of letting up, continuing south through Andalucia. By 22:06 he was over Algeciras and, even though it was now an hour-and-a-half after sunset, he headed due south across the Strait of Gibraltar, making landfall near Eddalya at 22:55 Spanish time after a 17 km crossing.

At 22:06 on Sunday evening Blue DF set out across the Strait of Gibraltar in darkness towards Morocco

Despite reaching Moroccan airspace in the dark Blue DF continued flying for another 55 km before eventually settling to roost on a forested hillside after a day’s flight of 389 km.

This morning Blue DF had already left his overnight roosting site at 06:48 local time, but he then stopped again 11 km to the south. He resumed migration just before 10:00 and by 11:13 he was heading south over Barrage Oued El Makhazine reservoir having covered 64 km.

Blue DF’s flight 15-18 Sept

Don’t forget that you can check out Blue DF’s migration on our interactive map.