11 November, 2016

Over the Pacific and Approaching Chile

Island Girl is beginning her end-of-migration sprint to the finish line, as she usually does over the last few days of each migration. Yesterday she flew 371 km (231 mi) as she passed the city of Ica, Peru, and then Nazca (site of the famous Nazca geoglyphs), before roosting for the night in the foothills above a narrow coastal strip of the Atacama desert.  Although she was only 5 kilometers from the ocean, her roost site was at an elevation of 967 meters (3174 ft), as the Andes rise quite abruptly from the coast in this area.

She was approaching the “bend” in the western coast of South America where the coastline turns abruptly from a southeastern to a slightly western direction, and interestingly, this morning Island Girl headed out over the Pacific to fly a shortcut route across that stretch of open water directly toward southern Peru or northern Chile; if she continues on her current heading she will possibly make landfall in the vicinity of Arica, or even Iquique.  At her latest GPS signal this morning she was 64 km (40 mi) offshore.

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