It’s a pain that this can’t play on here but do click through and be amazed. Brought to our attention by Helen Macdonald via Twitter.
Based on real data (latitude, longitude and height) from the University of Amsterdam the animation initially shows the tracks of 12 birds, but then concentrates on a pair – male and female, as they migrate south in Autumn 2010 from the Veluwe forest in the Netherlands to warmer weather on the African coast (Liberia, Ghana and Cameroon). After wintering in Africa, in Spring 2011 the birds fly back. But en route we see the female lose her way – possibly due to unfavourable winds. After a long journey the male arrives back in the Veluwe forest and waits for her.