All three Whimbrels
are on their way back home!
JX, the Whimbrel
which didn’t make its way to the breeding ground this season, started its
southward migration on 9 Aug 17 after staying in Palawan, the Philippines for
107 days. After flying south for 1,984km with an average speed of 41.3km/h, JX
is currently 46km south-east of Bima City in Indonesia. It is uncertain at this
moment whether JX is making a stop or is flying continuously. The next
transmission in 2-day time will tell us more.
Fig 1. Southward
migration of JX
Fig 2: KS and KU
southward migration paths
Meanwhile, the other two front runners from the Russian breeding ground have made their first stops in China on their southward journeys.
crossed the Russian-China border on 3-Aug-17. After landing in Heilongjiang
Province, KS flew south-west until it made a north-west turn on 6-Aug-17. It is
now about 185km east of Harbin City, in a reservoir called Shuanfeng, which
means Double Phoenix. The reservoir was built in 1965 with total area of 175km2
and is associated with the commercial aquaculture of Prussian carp. Satellite
image of the reservoir does, however, show that there are extensive mud banks
suitable for shorebirds. Could this be a place which KS has visited before
hence it suddenly changes its flight direction?
3: KS’s making a turn in Heilongjiang Province, China|
4: KS’s movement at Shuanfeng Reservoir|
made a continuous 4-day flight from Siberia to Liaoning Province, China, with
an average speed of 33.7km. It is now at the north-east corner of Bohai Bay
near Yingkou, currently utilising aquaculture ponds and mudflat areas. Yingkou
is an unprotected important area for waterbirds with a high count of 53,199
individuals in spring 2016, according to the “Yellow Sea-Bohai Region
Coordinated Waterbirds Survey 2016”.
5: KU’s movement in Yingkou, Liaoning Province, China|
has also made a small change in the area it is using in the past month. Compared to using 43-52km south of the beach entrance from Anna Plain Station in the
past 6 months, LA has moved to the 33-40km south area in August.
6: LA’s movement at Eighty Mile Beach in August|
As of 11 August 2017:
Migration tracks of our Whimbrels:
Migration summary on our Whimbrels
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