Into the Sahara

After arriving in Africa on Sunday evening Blue DF has flown the length of Morocco over the past three days and at 11:09 this morning was heading south through Western Sahara.

The previous data had shown that at 11:13 on Monday morning Blue DF was at Barrage Oued El Makhazine in northern Morocco. It is possible he caught a fish because he was then perched 8 km to the south for almost an hour. Once he resumed his migration he made good progress on a ┬áconstant south-westerly heading at altitudes of up to 1350 m. At 19:41 local time he arrived at another reservoir, Barrage Al Massira having flown 307 km since 12:45. He arrived at sunset and so it is unlikely that he caught a fish; instead he settled to roost 9 km south-west of the reservoir after a day’s flight of 380 km.

Blue DF roosted to the south of Barrage Al Massira on Monday evening, with the Atlas Mountains in the distance

By dawn next morning Blue DF had moved location several times during the night and was 56 km further south-west. He continued to make stuttering progress during the morning and at 12:10 and 12:34 he was perched beside another reservoir, 60 km north-west of Marrakesh, perhaps eating a fish. By 12:59 he was migrating again and he flew strongly south-west during the course of the afternoon, pausing briefly at Barrage Prince Moulay Abdellah and then continuing onward towards Agadir. At 17:01 reached the coast and headed south-south-east for 60 km over the sea at altitudes of between 150 and 170 m, perhaps to avoid the city. He reached land again at 18:13 and eventually settled to roost half an hour later, 58 km south of Agadir after a day’s flight of 328 km.

Blue DF flew 60 km over the sea rather than keeping to the coast over Agadir

After a slow start on Wednesday morning, when he may have caught a fish in the Massa River, Blue DF set-off again soon after 11:00, passing just to the west of Tiznit at 12:00 and then out into the Sahara, flying over some spectacular landforms in the process. By 17:11 he had flown 197 km and was migrating at an altitude of 1179 m and approaching the spectacular ridge that runs for 350 south-west across the northern edge of the desert. Many ospreys follow this ridge on their migration by Blue DF crossed it and then maintained the same southerly heading for a further 67 km before settling to roost on the desert floor on the Morocco-Western Sahara border just before 19:00. He had covered a total of 264 km during his day’s flight.

Blue DF flew over some incredible landforms as he headed into the Sahara

By 09:32 (local time) this morning Blue DF had moved 3 km to the south-west and he resume his migration soon after 10:00. At 11:09 the last GPS fix in this batch of data he was 29 km further on migrating south-south-west at an altitude of 857 m, with the vast expanse of the Sahara ahead.

Blue DF crossed Morocco in three days and is now flying south through Western

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