Frankly, I am relieved to report that Island Girl is definitely heading for the Texas coast. She is very likely flying south towards Padre Island as I write this blog.
Over the last two days, she "made the decision" to head for shore rather than attempt the perilous and potentially lethal Gulf of Mexico crossing.
"Island Girl is headed for land but hasn't quite got there yet. Sometime before 10 a.m. local time yesterday, she left her overnight oil platform roost and flew southwest parallel to the Texas coastline for 100 km (62 mi). Then around 10 a.m. or soon thereafter she changed course and flew west directly toward shore for another 198 km (123 mi), and apparently found another oil platform to spend the night. Her location last night was due east of Corpus Christi, Texas and about 40 km (25 mi) offshore. A visit to Padre Island sometime today is looking like a pretty safe bet."
Gregg Doney and the Padre Island Peregrine crew have been alerted to her movements and will be looking for her today.
So, will she fly to the mainland and follow the coastline south, will she move far inland or will she fly south continuing to take an offshore oil platform route?
And then there is the question of her speed and intent. Will she just suddenly rocket south and enter into Mexico today or will she proceed on a more leisurely pace and stop off to roost somewhere near, or perhaps even on, Padre Island itself?
During the fall migration period, we often see peregrines perching and roosting on the tall hotel buildings on South Padre.
Over the last 6 days or so, she has been flying fairly short distances and averaging about 150 miles per day. Her roost last night was about 121 miles north of the town of South Padre Island.
Maybe we'll get lucky this time.