Since 2015, our colleagues in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have been carrying out monitoring every October at Tallymerjan, the very important stopover site on the Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan border. So far, all tagged bird travelling on the eastern flyway have stopped there and spent 4-6 weeks before continuing their journey to the wintering grounds. Perhaps up to a third of the global population use this site for refuelling before tackling the crossing of the Hindu Kush.
This year we still have one last tagged female Sociable Lapwing called Maysa. Every September and October, she has a special role in the coordination of the field monitoring groups in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and simultaneous counts of Sociable Lapwings during autumn migration finished ten days ago.
Colleagues from Turkmenistan reported that “The number of birds staging in the Turkmen part of the Tallymerjen area increased during the period 3rd to 8th October, reaching maximum of 3,354 individuals on the 8th October. After that, the numbers gradually decreased to the entire absence of Sociable Lapwings on the 14th and 15th October. As in previous years, Sociable Lapwings used the territory along the state border (4-6 km wide, south of the border), an inaccessible area for our field team due to the border authority restrictions. We often observed flocks fly past and land in the restricted area, where they were presumably spending the night.”
Anna Ten, field team leader from Uzbekistan explained that “Our team focused terrestrial surveys in the surroundings of Tallymerjan Reservoir from the 29th September until the 3rd November. We had a maximum number of 4,060 Sociable Lapwings on the 10th October. That same day, Maysa was picked up by our telescopes. A significant role in this year’s monitoring was played by one of our local IBA caretakers, who helped survey and provided us with information about flock sizes of Sociable Lapwings in the region after the 12th October.”
Ruslan Urazaliyev, ACBK, added “Every morning I started with checking coordinates from Maysa’s transmitter and sent new locations to the field teams. Maysa has helped us to coordinate joint monitoring in the Tallymerjen region since 2015. Once again, our colleagues from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan did a great job. I would like to thank all team members! You make an invaluable contribution to the conservation and bright future of Sociable Lapwing.”
Maysa left Tallymerjen on the 3rd November and reached Pakistan on the 5th, where she will stay whole winter until March next year and her long journey north again.
Field team (Turkmenistan): Eldar Rustamov, Juma Saparmuradov, Petar Iankov, Atamyrat Veyisov, Shaniyaz Mengliev.
Field team (Uzbekistan): Anna Ten, Mukhtar Turaev, Valentin Soldatov, Sherzod Salomov, Ravil Toncherov, Burkhon Razhabov, Chori Norboev.