Vyan heads west

[We have identified a problem with the automatic emailing process for this blog, and apologise if you have not been receiving the latest posts – the technical team are looking into the issue.  To find out more about the summer tagging, click here and then read the more recent posts in date order.  To meet the new birds, click here and then read forwards to learn about their Amazing Journeys]

After fooling us into assuming he was taking the eastern migration route, Vyan has headed back north-west and then flown straight to Azerbaijan, another unusual direct flight across the Caspian Sea.  Five of the tagged birds are heading towards the Middle East and North Africa, with Sanjar already in Iraq.  Nikoo and Shirin are taking a break on the Muş-Bulanık plains in Turkey, while Ajaz and Canan are still in Russia (and although Viktor Fedosov has been looking, Ajaz has remained elusive and there are few sightings of any Sociable Lapwings).

Sociable lapwings Oct 4th

Tagged Sociable Lapwings Oct 4th 2015 (note, the colours have been amended from previous maps to make routes clearer)

Further east, the survey team in Turkmenistan has been sending regular update texts from the field.  With the help of coordinates from tracking Maysa, the first night (1st October) yielded a total of 720 Sociable Lapwings – much to everyone’s excitement.  With colleagues on either side of the border, the two teams are able to co-ordinate counts and warn of arriving flocks – and daily tension is mounting to see if the previous counts can be beaten:

2nd October – 3,100 in Turkmenistan, with another 1,000 in Uzbekistan.

3rd October – 3,200 in Turkmenistan, with another 1000 across the border

4th October – 3,340 in several flocks in Turkmenistan – a new record!

While eight of the birds are providing us with new knowledge of migration routes and patterns every day, one bird is surprising us in a different way.  Kiryl still hasn’t left the breeding grounds.  Getting a bit worried that he may have met an unfortunate end, we have looked at his latest movements and not only does he appear to be very active, there are several transmissions from the weekend.

Kiryl's movements around the Zhanteke area

Kiryl’s movements around the Zhanteke area

Kiryl still moving around on the 3rd October

Kiryl still moving around on the 3rd October

[Header image Viktor Fedosov]