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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