30 Jun 2011

30 June: Jan Ove did fly over the mountains - or at least he tried?

Yesterday we suddenly recieved a few signals from Jan Ove's PTT - which now happens to be located in an open part of a forest 140 km NW of Oslo. So he obviously also took the route  from Oslo-fjorden up through Hemsedalen and over the mountains towards Western Norway, or at least he tried to do this. As reported on 5 June he might have lost the transmitter - else we have a dead goose laying on the ground in Hemsedal. Hope to send out some of our Norwegian friends to tjeck this shortly.

29 Jun 2011

29 June: Loff in Sassendalen

After his failed attempt to reach Greenland on 23 June, Loff over the last week gradually moved east via Coraholmen in Ekmanfjorden, Kap Wijk and Sauriedalen to Sassendalen, where he arrived 28 June. Map reproduced with permission from Norwegian Polar Institute using TopoSvalbard

29 June: Fridtjof moves north

Since his arrival to Danske Øer in Northeast Greenland on 14 June, Fridtjof has moved quite a bit around - visiting  Île-de-France, Norske and Franske Øer. This morning he has moved further north and was located at Eskimonæs.

28 Jun 2011

28 June: Niels still at Van Keulenfjorden

Niels after his arrival to Svalbard almost immediately went in to the bottom of Van Keulenfjorden - and there he has spent most of his time at the foothills of Dishogdene, but with occasional visits to the nunataks between the glaciers Dobrowolskibreen and Liestølbreen. Might suggest his female is sitting on a nest near Dishogdene. Map reproduced with permission from Norwegian Polar Institute using TopoSvalbard

24 Jun 2011

23 June: Ebbe sits on a nunatak

Ebbe most of the time sits on the nunatak Manhøgda west of Lomfjorden in northeast Spitsbergen, but occasionally visits the valley below the glacier Skinfaksebreen. The best interpretation of this behaviour must be that his female is sitting on a nest at Manhøgda 10 km inland from Faksevågen. Map reproduced with permission from Norwegian Polar Institute using TopoSvalbard

22-23 June: Loff heading for Greenland ...

In the morning of 22 June Loff flies over Longyearbyen at 8:00 and heads west over the ocean towards Greenland. The three westernmost dots are from 22 June at 18:00 and 19:00 and 23 June at 7:00. But he turns around and heads back to Prins Karls Forland, where he arrives 23 June at 18:00. Have no clue about why he changed his mind. Strong head-winds? Fog ?

22 Jun 2011

20 June: Caretaker and Steve settles to breed

Caretaker and Steve have most likely both settled to breed. The map shows positions form 12-19 June and evidence that the birds are quite stationary at Prinsesse Thyra Ø (Caretaker) and the interior of Kilen (Steve). As previously mentioned these sites are two known breeding locations for Light-bellied Brent Geese in North Greenland.

20 Jun 2011

19 June: Fridtjof moved a bit south

After flying over the Atlantic to Greenland on 14 June Fridtjof have spent four days on Danske Øer, but in the early morning of 19 June he moved south to Île-de-France

19 June: Magnar heading for Greenland?

After his climb over the mountains in southern Norway Magnar slowly made his way up along a more near-coastal route than the other geese, and spent some time on the west coast of Andøya. 19 June just around midnight he took off and by 18:00 he had moved 800 km out over the north Atlantic with a steady course towards Greenland. He thereafter stopped for a break at least four hours on the ocean, and at 22:00 the PTT stopped transmitting data to the satellites so we will have to wait another five days for the full story.

19 Jun 2011

18 June: Loff abandons Tusenøyane

Loff was previously noted as being the first bird we ever tracked with satellite transmitters to Tusenøyane - despite these islands are considered the most important breeding site for the geese. With the last weeks data we can now see it was only a brief visit. Loff quite soon went back to Edgeøya - and has now moved northwest to the eastcoast of Spitsbergen.

16 Jun 2011

16 June: PTTs changed protocol

During the summer period, where the Brent Geese will be less mobile (either because they breed and have nests and chicks to attend or because they moult and can't fly), the transmitters have been programmed so they store less GPS locations and submit data to the transmitters less frequently. So we have to wait two days for news to come out of the sky, so to say. We use this protocol in order to avoid loosing to much battery power - so the PTTs are 'fit for fight' when the birds start moving around again after moult or when their goslings fledge.

15 Jun 2011

15 June: Fridtjof gone west!

Fridtjof arrived at Danske Øer, a group of small islands east of Jøkelbugten in Greenland 14 June at 20:00 - having departed after 6:00 in the morning from Prins Karls Forland, the westernmost island in Svalbard. Note the little funny triangualar shape just west of Prins Karls Forland. This is evidence that Fridtjof actually took off already 13 June at 10:00 - but decided to return to the north end of the island and spend another day feeding. A detour of 100 km oceanic flight without getting anywhere.

14 Jun 2011

14 June: Caretaker moved to Prinsesse Thyra Ø

Caretaker is furthest north of all. After short-stops in Amdrup Land, at Kilen and at Nakkehoved, he has been on Prinsesse Thyra Ø since 9 June in the morning juni - an ilsand where several breeding pairs of Light-bellied Brent Geese were observed during aerial surveys in the summer of 2008 (Boertmann, D., Olsen, K. & Nielsen, R.D. 2009: Seabirds and marine mammals in Northeast Greenland. Aerial surveys in spring and summer 2008. NERI Technical Report No. 721). Apologise, but this Google Earth imagine could be better!

13 June: Steve shopping around in Greenland

Steve obviously can not decide where to reside. After his arrival to Greenland he first moved up from the coastal parts of Amdrup Land to the well-known and in some years important breeding site Kilen. Then he moved north to a little coastal strip of open land NW of Nordostrundingen, then returned via Kilen to the inner parts of Amdrup Land - just to return again to Kilen where he was back 12-13 June.

12 Jun 2011

11 June: Magnar climbs over the high mountains

At last Magnar seems to be heading north. He crossed Skagerak already 30 May in the morning - but have since then spent well over a week around a handful of small islands in Langesundbukta NE of Jomfruland. 8 June at 22 he flew uphil, crossed the mountains between Telemarken and Setesdal, and made a stop-over at a small lake between Storemidtfjell and Rassteinnutane 9 June from 4:00-18:00 at approx. 1200 m height. 9 June at 20:00 he was heading further north crossing the mountain Revseggi near Røldal flying at 1731 m height. From there he flew  east of the Folgefonna glacier and more or less straight North - reaching the coast just north of Herøy 10 June at 03:00. Since he has gradually moved up the coast - with last position 11 June at 14:00 just north of Smøla.

11 Jun 2011

10 June: Loff on Tusenøyane

Loff moved down to Tusenøyane (most likely Lurøya) 8 June in the morning - and is in fact the first of 17 Light-bellied Brent Geese we have tracked to the Arctic by satellite telemetry that have gone to this area, which back in 1985 held most of the breeding population

9 Jun 2011

8-9 June: waiting for my GIS system !!

Sorry - but Google Earth is not very good when it comes to zooming in on Svalbard!! What a crab picture showing that Ebbe has moved northeast on Svalbard.

Swapped from Windows XP to Windows 7 - and that killed ArcView I would normally use to produce nice maps of Svalbard!

7 Jun 2011

7 June: Steve continues to Greenland

After his extremely fast non-stop flight to Svalbard, Steve made a few short-stops of a few hours duration at Breinerflya (Sørkapp Land) and on Nordenskiöldskysten, a five day stopover in the surroundings of Daudmannsodden, and another short-stop on Prins Karls Forland - before embarking on his next flight to Greenland 6 June before 9:00 in the morning. Arrived in Amdrup Land 7 June at 12:00 after quite a detour over the Greenland Sea.

6 Jun 2011

6 June: Ebbe observed live in Adventsdalen

5 June was a wonderful sunday in Longeyarbyen - and the local bird observers from LoFF went out to look for birds, including Henrik Nygård who found a flock with a satellite tagged bird in Adventsdalen, and Øystein Varpe who later relocated the flock and read the rings of Ebbe and his associated female. Later today we learned that the birds had already been observed in the valley by Milla Niemi and Camille Posocco 31 May, and photographed by Trond Haugskott during the week. Enjoy his photo of the birds and Øystein Varpes photo of the spring habitat the Brent Geese use in Svalbard!

5 June: Caretaker heads on to Greenland

Caretaker as previously mentioned flew to the eastern part of the Svalbard archipelago, but we must now consider this as a major detour. Having spent less than 4 days on Svalbard visiting several short-term stopover sites, Caretaker headed on for Greenland on 5 June at 4:00 and arrived after an 8 hour flight to Amdrup Land at 16:00.

5 Jun 2011

5 June: what happened to Jan Ove?

Someone might have noticed that Jan Ove departed from Denmark 26 May with the first batch of satellite radio birds, but we have remained silent about his progress towards the Arctic. The story is that he migrated straight up to the top of Oslofjorden (perhaps heading for a climb over the mountains like Fridtjof and Loff), but we have received no further data when the transmitter was supposed to uplink data (30 May, 2 and 5 June). So either the transmitter fell or we have had some kind of technical failure (the last reported battery value of 3.89 V suggest OK battery charge).

2 June: Loff second bird climbing over the mountains

Loff departed 30 May at 4:00 - and took the route via Oslofjorden and over the mountains just as Fridtjof. Arrived 2 June at 14:00 on Edgeøya, and was therefore also the second bird going east this summer.

4 Jun 2011

1 June: Caretaker goes east

Caretaker is the fifth bird to arrive in the Arctic. Departed 30 May at 12:00 and arrived 1 June at 21:00. In contrast to the other geese we followed this year, all of which went to southwest Spitsbergen - he travelled east to the island Edgeøya. This is only the second bird of the 16 we have followed so far during 1997, 2001 and 2011 that went east for its pre-breeding stop-over.

2 Jun 2011

31 May: Steve beats them all!

31 May at 12:00 Steve landed in southwestern Svalbard. Having departed in the morning of 30 May at 6:00 he finished a non-stop journey of approx. 2,400 km in 30 hours. The GPS data we down-loaded indicate a non-stop flight - with an average groundspeed of c. 80 km/h, and occasional speeds of up to 127 km/h. The latter obviously must be with a good taild-wind, because we normally believe their own flight speed is around 60-70 km/hour.

1 Jun 2011

31 May: Niels the second goose on Svalbard

The PTTs only transmit data to the satellites every third day with the programming we have - and some times data are a bit delayed as well. Data downloaded today reveal that Niels in fact was the second goose to arrive in Svalbard. He departed 26 May at 03:00 and arrived 29 May at 17:00. Crossed the Skagerak and made a major detour towards Oslofjorden before migrating around SW Norway. Made three stops of some hours duration each, one off Askerøya (coast south of Tvedestrand), another in a bay just west of Sola (Stavanger airport), and a third at Ryggsteinen north of Sula.