Abaj springs Christmas surprise

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A surprise transmission from Abaj on Thursday December 23rd brought us the very welcome news that he was still alive, his transmitter was once again functioning and he was probably now wintering somewhere near the Red Sea in the Middle East.  Unfortunately the signal received was not of a good enough quality to locate him specifically but it gave us hope we might soon receive a further transmission that would confirm his whereabouts.

Today we have received the great news that Abaj has just made another transmission – this time of a sufficiently high quality to enable us to accurately place him just a few kilometres north of Al Qa’arah in the west of Saudi Arabia.

With no news from Abaj since September 14th 2010, we feared that he had either died on migration, or his transmitter had failed so it is a great relief to learn of the new transmission. Back in mid-September, at the beginning of his migration, we had initially tracked him travelling east from his breeding grounds through the Kazakh steppes but had then lost track of his progress with no further transmissions since.

It is likely that Abaj has now completed his migration and that he will now winter at this site but we will, of course, be standing by for further transmissions in case he does move further south.

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