06 May, 2010

Remarkable Wednesday For Island Girl

Island Girl had another one of those stunning days yesterday. She did something that no one expected at this stage of her migration and surprised us all by her movements.

After roosting the previous night in the mountains of central Panama, she launched WNW over the Caribbean Sea. By approximately noon, she was flying 121 km (75 miles) from land at 119 kph (74 MPH)! She apparently had a strong tail wind to be moving that fast.

She continued WNW and overflew all of Costa Rica before settling in for the night in Nicaragua on the main island, Isla Ometepe, in Lago Nicaragua. This was a remarkable jump. She covered 714 km (443 miles) for the day, which may be a record for a single day in Latin America.

She roosted in a row of trees in an area of agricultural fields on the SE corner of the island and below Volcan Maderas. She was 23 km (14 miles) from the shore of the mainland and the Pan-American Highway. I vividly recall having stopped along the road here and looked out at this volcanic island in this enormous lake with its unique fresh-water sharks.

Her roost tree was only about 142 m (155 yards) from the lakeshore and remarkably only about 210' from a dwelling.

As Don McCall noted, it looks like she will have flown across the Pacific Ocean to Panama, across the Caribbean to Nicaragua and likely out over the Pacific again on Thursday, all within 48 hours.

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