Just got off the phone with Don and Island Girl is already flying well out into the Gulf this morning. She was about 190 miles south of the coast already (about 550 miles east of Padre Island) and heading south over the open ocean.
She was just leaving the shallower continental shelf with its profusion of oil platforms and heading over the abyssal plain, the deepest part of the Gulf. There are fewer platforms in this area so both her commitment and her exposure are much now greater.
This is likely to be the single most dangerous part of her entire migration. If she stays in the center of the Gulf, she will have to find somewhere to roost by dark. Otherwise, it could be fatal.
Fortunately for her, there is quite a lot of ship traffic out there.
Last year, her signal during this crossing showed that she had roosted on a "moving point", which, to us, was most likely a ship.
Let's hope she finds another soon.