4 Jul 2011

3 July: Steve abandoned Kilen?

Steve has been very site-faithful and localised on the foothills of the Kilen mountains 12-25 June, but since then he visited Nakkehoved north of Kilen twice (26 and 30 June), and 2-3 July he had moved south to Amdrup Land. Unless males occasionally go on longer flights for suitable feeding sites while their mates are attending the nests, the increased mobility within this fairly short time-frame suggests a breeding failure. The female would need about 5 days to lay the clutch and 22 days to incubate it, and with a median hatch-date around 7 July as we now it from studies in Svalbard (see Madsen, J., Bregnballe, T. & Mehlum, F. 1989: Study of the breeding ecology and behaviour of the Svalbard population of Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota. Polar Reserach 7, pages 1-21).