1 Feb 2012

13 January 2012: Highland Ringing Group joins the Brenttags team

At last success.  After having set nets 5 times and spent around 50 hours of trying, Simon Foster and Carl Mitchell from the Highland Ringing Group finally succeeded in catching a little group of 10 Light-bellied Brent Geese near Nairn on the Moray Firth, Scotland. The birds were colour-ringed individually with “our rings”. This capture is exciting because previous records of metal as well as colour-ringed birds from this region of Scotland have involved birds ringed in Svalbard, Lindisfarne and Denmark, thus from the East Atlantic flyway-population, but also birds ringed in Ireland and Iceland, hence from the East Canadian High Arctic flyway-population – but we do not know whether this area is an overlap zone or whether birds from one flyway-population are “regulars” and birds from the other are “stragglers” blown over. It will be exciting to see if some of these birds fly to spring-staging areas in Denmark and others to Iceland, or they all move in one direction. 

Photo is Simon Foster holding one of the 10 caught birds. The map shows the two mentioned flyways as currently understood - where the orange dot indicate the catch area.

13 January 2012: Loff second bird returning to Denmark

After almost two months of silence from Loff's transmitter - he suddenly started to uplink data to the satellites on 13 January, and it is evident he is back in the vicinity of the catch sites. The map gives the few locations collected in January 2012. The exacyt departure from Lindisfarne however remains unknown (last location over there 21 November 2011).

16 December 2011-20 January 2012: Steve moves over to Denmark

After 28 days of silence from the transmitter a single ‘beep’ came out over the North Sea, when Steve on 16 December at 12:07 was approaching Denmark 10 km of the mainland coast. This flight of approx. 630 km from Lindisfarne to Denmark obviously gave a burst of sun to the solar panel, charging the batteries to some extent. On 23 December he was located at Karby Enge and 6 January he was observed on the very same spot by Erling Andersen, one of our keen local observers - only 8 km northeast of the site where we caught him last spring. During the flight over the North Sea he also passed the “10,000 km mark”, the minimum distance he has moved since we released him with a satellite transmitter on 3 May 2011. The next two weeks he was moving around the Western Limfjord, including visiting the vicinity of the catch site at Boddum (marked by yellow pin). 

September-November: 10 weeks with the four transmitter birds in Lindisfarne

Ebbe in Lindisfarne 15-20 September
Fridtjof in Lindisfarne 18-21 September
Loff in Lindisfarne 15 September-21 October
Steve in Lindisfarne 18 September-21 October
After the arrival of Ebbe, Loff, Fridtjof and Steve to Lindisfarne we managed to track their utilisation of the site for a few days or weeks - dependant on when the transmitters batteries exhausted (or the transmitters were lost?). The charts above gives the GPS locations collected during the period mentioned. From doppler locations we know that the birds certainly stayed longer. The last doppler locations from Lindisfarne thus were 21 September (Ebbe), 21 October (Loff), 4 November (Fridtjof), and 18 November (Steve). The different colours on individual maps has no different meaning (un-explained error occurring when plotting the maps with the Earth Point - Excel to KML plug-in for Google Earth).