1 week!

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

The SEO Rollers are making good progress. The 2 lead birds are now in West Africa, in Guinea and Ghana respectively. The bird in Ghana is the one from northern Spain which, back in September, flew straight across the Med. and then the Sahara, rather than following the West African coast like is more southerly cousins. However, it looks like he won’t be repeating this epic journey on spring migration, instead taking the more sensible coastal route. Another interesting observation from the map below is the fact that the east-west route is a few hundred miles further south than autumn’s west-east route. This probably reflects the fact it’s currently the dry season in the Sahel region of Africa, so all the nice habitat is slowly retreating south towards the Guinean rainforest. The birds haven’t taken a big stopover like in autumn (at Lake Chad), which is probably what we’d expect given that they’re in a hurry to get back and breed. The other two birds haven’t transmitted for a while – one bird since early February (in Namibia) and another since mid March (Congo). I’m not sure if these birds are dead, or whether the transmitters have failed, or maybe SEO just haven’t got round to processing the data. 

2 satellite tagged Spanish Rollers are powering along the Sahel belt

2 satellite tagged Spanish Rollers are powering along the Sahel belt

I started packing over the weekend, mainly to gauge whether or not I’ll need to post any equipment out to France. The RFID readers still aren’t quite there, and everyone’s getting pretty nervous. Hopefully they’ll be done by the start of next week, so I only need to post them to Cyprus and Portugal and not France too… I leave next Tuesday evening, on a train into London then back out to Luton airport, where I’ll spend the night on a bench before flying to Nimes on Wednesday morning.  

Some kit - so far I've got 48kg of stuff. The London Underground is going to be fun next week

Some kit – so far I’ve got 48kg of stuff. The London Underground is going to be fun next week

I’ve been exploring the French field site as best I can on Google maps. Unfortunately it looks like I’ve got to cycle 8km and back every day. However, the satellite view shows what looks suspiciously like an outdoor swimming pool in our garden. Wish you were here!

Home for the next few months

Home for the next few months

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