Finnish Museum of Natural History
Autumn 2011 migration of Jukka the Osprey
Jukka's migration route
NB! The times shown on the map are always in GMT. Its difference to e.g. Finnish time is -2 hours and summer time -3 hours. The times may be given as local time in the text. If so, the text will mention it.
At 13 local time, Jukka was still flying in his territory. After 16, he flew past Lohja and srttled down for the night some three hours later at a forested area in the southwest corner of Lohja.
At 10 local time, Jukka was perched a few kilometres from the shore of the southern finger of the Lohjanjärvi lake. Maybe he had snatched a fish for breakfast before continuing his journey? At 13, Jukka was approaching the Estonian coast some 45 km due west of Tallinn. For the night, Jukka stopped at the southern edge of the Matsalu nature reserve.
At 4 local summer time, Jukka was still at his stopover place in Matsalu. At 7 he was flying at the northern corner of the Gulf of Riga, and three hours later, he had flown 95 km to the southwest over the gulf and was arriving in Latvia, at the tip of Kolka. He spent his night in the outskirts of the city of Talsi after covering 181 km this day.
We did not receive any GPS fixes this day. The evening and night fixes showed that Jukka had travelled 189 km, and stopped for the night on the northern side of the small Gomerta lake, 85 km north-northeast of Kaunas.
Jukka travelled 125 km during this day, and at night he arrived near the boundary marker shared by Lithuania, Poland and Kaliningrad. At this moment, Jukka was only 18 km from his autumn 2010 route, but 172 km from his autumn 2009 route. So far, Jukka has travelled some 800 kilometres.
Jukka only travelled a total of 488 km during these five days in eastern Poland, i.e. less than 100 km per day.
During this period, Jukka only progressed 33 km southwards.
We did not receive a single GPS fix.
The fixes that arrived later showed that Jukka had still been in the same area.
Jukka moved 16 km to the south and was now in a location some 60 km northeast of Krakow.
The only GPS fix of this period arrived during the night between the 7 th and 8 th.
Jukka finally decided to continue his migration. This morning at 9 local summer time, Jukka was still northeast of Krakow. During the day, Jukka covered 230 km, and spent the night in Slovakia in a location 78 km west-southwest of the city of Košice.
Jukka flew over Hungary and the eastern tip of Croatia and spent the night in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 123 km northwest of Sarajevo. During this day, Jukka flew 531 kilometres.
At 9 and 12 local summer time, the satellite discovered Jukka at the brink of River Sana in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Three hours later, he had just crossed the Croatian border and was flying at an elevation of 1,373 m towards the city of Split. At 18 o’clock, a fix arrive from the middle of the Adriatic. By 21 o’clock, Jukka had reached the Italian coast near the city of Bari, and was continuing to fly at a breakneck occasional speed of 96 km per hour, as measured by the satellite, and at an elevation of 424 m.
Around midnight local summer time, a fix from the eastern side of the Calabrian coast showed that Jukka had set out to cross the Mediterranean during the night, as he has done before. In three hours, Jukka had covered 230 km, i.e. 76 kilometres per hour on average. This time, we could draw a complete picture of his Mediterranean crossing, since all the GPS fixes programmed for every three hours were successful and showed that Jukka was continuing very directly towards the south. His elevation was highest at 9 o’clock, when he was flying at 1,028 m midway across the Mediterranean and the satellite showed an occasional speed of 96 km per hour. Jukka reached the coast of Libya after 15 o’clock in a location only 48 km west of the city of Sirte, where fierce battles are currently being fought over control of the city. Then Jukka continued 154 km due south until he reached his stopover place soon after 18 o'clock.
If we consider the 27-hour period that Jukka spent flying at the minimum, i.e. 10 Oct at 13 (GMT)-11 Oct at 16, we can see that Jukka progressed 1,554 kilometres in that time, i.e. 57.5 km per hour!
Jukka crossed the Mediterranean two days earlier than in autumn 2009, but as much as nine days earlier than in autumn 2010. When he reached the Libyan coast, Jukka had been travelling a total of 24 days and 3,682 km, i.e. an average of 153 km per 24 hours. His corresponding speed in autumn 2009 was 180 km per day and in 2010 123 km per day. In 2010, Jukka stayed in Poland on 22 Sept-8 Oct, and progressed less than 60 km in his migration direction during the eleven days 26 Sept-7 Oct. If we subtract at least ten fuelling days from the total duration of the migration, the average speed of the active migration days would be 263 km per 24 hours.
At noon local time, Jukka was in flight 56 km south of his stopover location. After covering 338 km, Jukka stopped for the night in a location 66 km east-northeast of the town of Sabha, and only some 20 km east of his autumn 2010 route.
During these two days, Jukka proceeded 656 km along a route that, at its farthest, ran about 180 west of his autumn 2010 route.
Jukka crossed the border between Libya and Niger the day before, then increasingly turned his course southward and closer to his routes of previous autumns. At this stage, Jukka was four days ahead of his autumn 2009 migration schedule; in autumn 2010, Jukka did not fly in these latitudes in Libya until 13 November because of the loop he had made back on his way. During this day, Jukka flew 350 km and at dusk, he settled in the sandy desert for the night.
The fix at 10 local time still came from the stopover location. After proceeding 314 km, Jukka settled down for the night in a place very near his migration route in autumns 2009 and 2010.
This day, the migration progressed 328 km, and took Jukka near the Nigerian border. At this point, he is only some 700 km from the Lagdo reservoir in Cameroon, so two longish day trips away.
During these three days, Jukka flew 616 km over the northeast part of Nigeria, and on the evening of the 20th he reached his wintering country, i.e. he crossed the border into Cameroon. At first, Jukka closely followed his route of autumn 2009, but on the afternoon of the 19th, he curved to the southwest and his route of autumn 2010. He crossed the Cameroonian border at exactly the same place as in autumn 2010, but 38 km to the southwest of his crossing point in autumn 2009. At the time of writing this, Jukka is only some 125 km, i.e. four hours of flying, from his customary wintering place at the southeast corner of lake Lagdo.
The fix at 7 local time still came exactly from the stopover location. At 10, Jukka had returned to the river at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon; at 13 he was flying 30 km from the northern shore of the Lagdo, and at 16 he was also in the air, east of the southeast end of lake Lagdo. At 19 local time, the fix came from the delta of River Benoue, which spreads out into the Lagdo reservoir. This is where Jukka spent his previous two winters.
Summary of Jukka's autumn migration 2011
Jukka reached his wintering area after travelling a few hours over 34 days and covering 6,619 kilometres. The shortest route from Äimälä in Pälkäne to the Lagdo in Cameroon along the great circle of the Earth is 5,902 km, so this time 717 km, i.e. 10.8%, of Jukka’s journey was 'extra.' Jukka reached Cameroon five days earlier than in autumn 2009, but otherwise his migration was very similar to that of two years ago. During his 2010 autumn migration, however, Jukka had some difficulties, in spite of which he got there in the end – one month later than this year.
In total, Jukka progressed at an average speed of 195 km per day. If we leave out the ten-day refuelling stage spent in Poland, his average speed on actual flying days was 276 km per day. The corresponding numbers for autumn 2009 were of the same order, i.e. 205 km per day and 282 km per day.
So far, we have monitored Jukka’s migration for two years, two months, and three weeks. In this time, we have received 5,996 GPS fixes on Jukka, showing that Jukka has flown a total of 43,217 kilometres, i.e. somewhat more than the circumference of Earth. The real number of kilometres, including twists and turns, must be much larger.
If anything noteworthy occurs, we will describe Jukka’s winter in the chapter Winter 2011-2012 for Jukka the Osprey.