Over the past few weeks, three of our tagged Sociable Lapwings have begun their long journeys towards their breeding grounds in the north. Unfortunately, we have not heard from Stepaniya since the 25th of October 2014, so her trail has gone cold. Irina’s last transmission was on the 13th of January 2015, so perhaps we have finally lost contact – although in the past she has surprised us by reappearing. However, despite this bad news, we can still track the progress of Boris (tagged in 2013), Shirin and Hanna (tagged in 2014) – and a final set of tags is on order, ready to be fitted to a new group of birds in June in Kazakhstan.
Boris overwintered in Sudan, as did Shirin, and he is currently in Saudi Arabia, near the city of Buraydah.
Shirin has made more significant progress, and is already in Azerbaijan, after spending a short time in Syria and flying across the south-eastern corner of Turkey. Last year, Boris and Irina were reunited in Azerbaijan, so this is clearly an important stage of the journey (see previous blog).
Meanwhile in the east, Hanna has spent time moving around southern Pakistan, with a brief foray north (the apparent trip to the west and back again is an artifact of the satellite data and not an incredible side trip). While we cannot be sure, perhaps she was ready to attempt a crossing of the mountains, but poor weather made her change her mind and head back south to the area east of Sadiqabad where she could carry on feeding before having a second go.