Tuesday, 20 June 2017

AWSG Whimbrel tagging; Busy breeding.

It has been quite a while since our last updates and we are delighted to see that both KS and KU have reached their breeding sites!

KS and KU have chosen different areas to nest approximately 630km apart from each other in the Sakha Republic, Russia.
Fig 1. Breeding location of KS and KU in Sakha Republic, Russia

KS reached the west of Momskiy Mountains in the last week of May. After spending two days there to replenish, it flew 157km east across the 2000m mountains to reach its nesting location.
Fig 2. KS flew across Momskiy Mountains

Within a few days of arriving, KS has chosen its nesting area. The movement of KS in its first week of arrival was quite extensive, covering up to an area of 500km2. Moving on to the second week, movement significantly shrunk to less than 100km2. Movement further limited to a 5km x 5km area in the third week indicating that KS is highly likely to be nesting.
Fig 3a. Movement of KS around nesting location - Week 1: 30-May to 5-Jun

   Fig 3b. Movement of KS around nesting location - Week 2: 6-Jun to 12-Jun
Fig 3c. Movement of KS around nesting location - Week 3: 13-Jun to 19-Jun
KU also arrived at its potential breeding area in late May. However, it then spent over 1.5 weeks exploring the area on both sides of a mountain before it finally decided its nesting area 17km north of the mountain, 27km west to River Yana.
Fig. 4 KU exploring its breeding area between 25-May and 5-Jun

Also within a week of arriving, a significant change in area of movement was observed. In the first week, KU moved in a wider area of up to 520km2. Afterwards, it settled down in the second week within a 13km x 10km area.
Fig 5a. Movement of KU around nesting location - Week 1: 7-Jun to 13-Jun

Fig 5b. Movement of KU around nesting location - Week 2: 14-Jun to 19-Jun
In the coming weeks, both KS and KU will be busy nesting and incubating their eggs. Later on their movement pattern might change again indicating fledging of their young.

On top of KS and KU which successfully made their journey to the breeding ground, we still regularly receive signals from both LA (at Eighty Mile Beach) and JX (at Palawan, the Philippines).

 As of 20 June 2017:
Migration tracks of our Whimbrels:

Migration summary on our Whimbrels
Katherine Leung
20 June 2017

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