Dinara unravels mystery of Eastern Flyway
After an absence of transmissions from our satellite tagged birds for several weeks, a transmission just received from Dinara in central Pakistan is very welcome and exciting news. Her new location marks another important milestone in our growing understanding of the easterly flyway that some Sociable Lapwings take on route to India and Pakistan and the overall complexity of the species’ migration.
Two transmissions recorded on November 13th confirm Dinara’s location is now in central Pakistan, in the Indus floodplain, not far from Shujaabad.
Dinara’s amazing journey started quite slowly with her staying near to her breeding site until at least early September. The first news of her migration came from a satellite transmission on October 4th when she surprised us by turning up at Lake Talimarzhan in Southern Uzbekistan. Dinara spent at least a couple of weeks there suggesting the location might well be a staging site for birds taking this particular route south.
Lake Talimarzhan is a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) and Dinara’s presence there was the first record we have of Sociable Lapwing at the site or for that matter in Southern Uzbekistan. The lake is a large reservoir on the border between a developed agricultural area and the desert and is situated 45 km south-west of Karshi. Other threatened species using this IBA include Ferruginous Duck and Houbara Bustard.
In the map below you can see Dinara’s route plotted in red. The blue routes to and from Kazakhstan and The Sudan denote the westerly flyway that satellite tracking in previous years has confirmed and are primarily the routes provided by Erzhan. The green dots represent all known Sociable Lapwing records from 1850 – 2010 with the dot size scaled to flock size.