05 October, 2011

Island Girl Enters Mexico

Sorry for the late post. Called out of town yesterday.

On Monday morning, Island Girl left her offshore roost site east of Corpus Christi, Texas, and flew south over the Gulf of Mexico. A morning signal indicates she was flying 38 miles (61 km) offshore of the Texas coastline. Her next signal showed her flying parallel with South Padre Island but now over the mainland, about 9 miles (14 km) west of the main trapping area (Deer Island). For those familiar with Padre, it appears that she may have crossed up by the Mansfield Channel, better known as the "cut".

So, unfortunately, Gregg and team were not able to see her as she went by. She is certainly an elusive creature.

Gregg did mention that she seems to have joined a solid movement of birds that day. The night before they saw alot of new adults and juveniles and considered this the first real "push" of the season. Gregg and Nick banded 11 juveniles that evening and say the "stuff was really moving through".

Island Girl continued to follow the coast south to Brownsville and crossed into Mexico there. She looks to have flown over Matamoros.

She was obviously having a determined day of migration as she continued on down the coastal plains of Tamaulipas (flying well east of Ciudad Victoria) and crossed the Tropic of Cancer in the afternoon.

She roosted atop a hill in heavy sub-tropical forest about 27 miles (43 km) south of the Tropic line and about 13 miles (21 km) inland from the Gulf.

 She covered a solid 344 miles (554 km) for the day, obviously intent on getting south. This was her third longest distance for this migration. Was her migratory instinct thwarted/frustrated during the Gulf layovers?
Is she making up for lost time?

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