Godwit spring migration has already started

This video from Hong Kong says about itself:

A lot of the color out on the mudflats during the northerly migration through Hong Kong is from the Black-tailed Godwits. Here is a video of some of the thousands of them as they gather ahead of the rising tide. There is one Asian Dowitcher amongst them in the early part of the video.

Videoscoped with a Sony RX 100 and Swarovski STX 95 mm Scope and DCB 11 Adapter

Mai Po Nature Reserve, Hong Kong, China.

April 2013.

Translated from BirdLife in the Netherlands:

Godwits with transmitters are migrating from West Africa to southern Europe

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

‘Amalia’ and ‘Amsterdam’ are two black-tailed godwits with transmitters of the ‘Kening fan ‘e Greide’ project. They left last summer to West Africa (Mauritania) to hibernate, but have recently started to go back north. Both birds are staying in the Coto Doñana, Southern Spain.

Bird migration is often very different from the simple idea: away in the autumn, back in the spring. This appears from the adventures of eleven godwits with transmitters of the ‘Kening fan ‘e Greide’ project, which were fitted with backpack transmitters, by Theunis Piersma’s research group, in Extremadura (Spain) in February 2013. Almost all Dutch godwits proved to leave our country early. In mid-July there were already five godwits in Africa south of the Sahara. Only one transmitter godwit was still in the Netherlands, another one stayed at the breeding grounds in Iceland. The rest remained in southern Spain for long.

Amalia and Amsterdam push northwards

Amalia, who stayed in the breeding season at Britswerd (Friesland), was until recently in Mauritania. On December 11, Amalia, however, was already discovered in southern Spain, in the Coto Doñana. So, a long way to the north. Amsterdam, in 2013, bred in Ameland; left Mauritania on December 10 and was also found in the Coto Doñana on December 15. Here are also two transmitter godwits which have not gone to Africa: Nantes and Rotterdam, an Icelandic godwit.

Nouakchott in Sierra Leone

In addition to these four godwits, godwit ‘Brussel’ also stays on the Iberian Peninsula, in southern Portugal. Brussel last spring did not migrate to the north, but resided in the south of Spain and Portugal all year. The other birds in this research are still in West Africa. Two (Lisbon and Badajoz) in southern Mauritania, two (Bissau and Madrid) in Guinea Bissau and one (Paris) is in Guinea. Nouakchott finally spends the winter as the most southern godwit of all, in Sierra Leone.

Not yet in the Netherlands

So, while winter is yet really to come, our godwits already looking to the north, in the direction of the nesting area. However, even if there won’t be a harsh winter, we will still have to wait for the godwits: they won’t be coming until February to the Netherlands and with a little bad luck in March.

Follow the journeys of Amalia and other godwits on www.keningfanegreide.nl.

Sign the petition to protect the habitat of grassland birds: www.redderijkeweide.nl.

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Rare spoon-billed sandpiper in Hong Kong

This video says about itself:

Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a critically endangered and unique wader. A digiscoping video using a Swarovski ATS65HD, DCA and 25x50WA Zoom Lens coupled with a Nikon Coolpix P5100. A wintering bird on the Gulf of Thailand in February 2010.

From John’s Hong Kong Birding Blog, with photos there:

4 April 2011

Spoonie” at the boardwalk, Mai Po

A 2.2 metre tide brought a good pack of waders close to the hides at Mai Po today. The star of the show – first spotted by Annika Forsten and some other visiting Finnish birders – was a winter plumage Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

Heritage Expeditions – a BirdLife Species Champion supporting Spoon-billed Sandpiper – struck gold this week when they, and the passengers they have taken to the Russian Far East, helped discover a previously unknown breeding population of these rapidly declining waders: here.

WORLD FIRST: spoon-billed sandpiper chicks hatch in captivity: here.

Spoon-Billed Sandpiper: An Action Thriller Rescue: here.

Effects of climate change on species occupying distinct areas during their life cycle are still unclear. Moreover, although effects of climate change have widely been studied at the species level, less is known about community responses. Here, we test whether and how the composition of wader (Charadrii) assemblages, breeding in high latitude and wintering from Europe to Africa, is affected by climate change over 33 years. We calculated the temporal trend in the community temperature index (CTI), which measures the balance between cold and hot dwellers present in species assemblages. We found a steep increase in the CTI, which reflects a profound change in assemblage composition in response to recent climate change. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first evidence of a strong community response of migratory species to climate change in their wintering areas: here.