Our young osprey seems to have left the coast for the present time and has settled in the inland waterways along the Senegal River. He commonly makes his way to the meandering river mid – morning on fishing expeditions. It is a very large river system so this must be providing an ample food source.
Blue YD has exhibited a couple of unusual behaviors in the past week. One of these is a couple of atypically high altitude flights (170 m and 240 m) at fairly high speeds (25 km/hr). This type of flight is normal for Ospreys as they migrate across large land masses but we are not sure of its purpose here. Another is his attraction to the pastoral tillage fields around the settlement of Goumel. We believe he may be flying along the irrigation ditches which provide valuable water to feed the crops in this arid region.
Just to give you some context about the climate and geography of the Saint Louis region where our Osprey has taken up residence. This region acts as a bridge both between the Savannah and the desert and the ocean and the river.
Senegal enjoys two distinct seasons, the hot humid rainy season which runs from June to September and the dry season which our Osprey is currently enjoying. This Dry season is characterized by a strong ocean air current called the Harmattan breeze which can whip up sand storms and average temperatures in January and February of 30 – 32°C. Nothing could more of a contrast to the weather we are enjoying in the British Isles at the moment.
Written by Kirstin Mair.