The Ospreys and Black Storks have easily found their wintering sites and probably have checked over those areas by now. Black Stork Karl reached southern part of Sudan in 7th of October. Karl stops there in area where permanent water bodies may not exist. Therefore, in case of dry out Karl will fly southward, like few years ago did Black Stork Priidu. The Ospreys we follow second year, they are exactly in the same places as last winter. In the winter grounds of Kalle the GSM network has been not improved, his data we receive as irregularly as last season. Osprey Vadim we follow first year, therefore everything is new about his travel. Vadim stops (or winters) at the Turkana lake, Kenya. He is flying daily twice between Central Island in lake and mainland, that is about 25 km each time. Central Island is of vulcanic origin and in some places steam and smoke are going also now. Probably there are no suitable trees on island for safe overnight, but fishing conditions are better as along a shore. Lake of Turkana is still hudge, about 250km long, uncommon desert lake with its saline and alcaline water and wildlife in there. Most of its water is coming through Omo river, starting from highlands of Ethiopia. In the river there is built high dam for electricity, but that may cause serious damage to Turkana lake. Problems may accumulate with wide thirsty sugarcane plantations planned along plains of Omo river. Is Lake Turkana going to be the second Aral Sea, which got empty about thirty years ago? There is some documentaries about probable scenarios, like a video story or article inNational Geographic. Osprey Vadim may found new site for wintering also in case of bad scenario of Turkana, but local people depending on water level and fish, they may have no choices...
06.10.2016 Greater Spotted Eagle Tõnn is again on map
After more than two years of playing hide and seek, it is possible to observe Tõnn's migration again. Friends of Tõnn often asked if we have new information, but we didn't. We knew more about his wintering spot, since it is a small place that local bird watchers know (there is also a website about El Hondo's spotted eagles). We installed a transmitter to Tõnn in 2008, when he was still nestling. Transmitter was giving information until the spring of 2014, after that we found Tõnn again on 30th of April in 2016 during spring field work with the Eagle Club. Back then we were not aware of exactly which spotted eagle with transmitter it was, but on the 8th of September we managed to catch Tõnn and identify him. We exchanged the old transmitter for a new and lighter one, and marked him with white plastic ring with a code 7X. Tõnn and his mate raised a chick who also has a ring. We do not know the age or origin of Tõnn's mate since she has no ring. Tõnn might have nested last year already, but it is more likely that this year was his first year - it means that on the 9th calendar year of his life. It is surprisingly late, but since spotted eagle is a rare species, there is not much information gathered about them.
28.09.2016 All followed migrants are gone from Estonia
As we can see on migration map, only one male Lesser Spotted Eagle (Volli) is still in Estonia. But that individual does not fly to Africa, because was shot by poacher in 23th of August near Tartu. He has also chick to feed that time. The mate of Volli - female Karin (her we followed for years already) probably managed to bring up the juvenile eagle alone. We observed juvenile flying near nest site together with female Karin, but don't know if juvenile gained shape good enough for long migration. Environmental inspectors investigate that case.
Other migratory birds either migrate or are already in wintering grounds, like Black Stork Raivo (reached Israel in 26th of August) and Osprey Markus (arrived in 26th of September to Lefini river, Congo, over the Equator).
There are new individuals among Cranes, all juveniles (Ahja5, Ivar, Mati). More information about every individual is available in their introduction. For Ahja5 there was awaited its flight toward Ethiopia, but first it flew into Hungary, like did also Ivar. Crane named as Mati comes from Saaremaa island, therefore its western migration route is not a surprise. Black Vulture Mikho from Georgia started also the migration, but returned. Black Storks Eedi and Karl stopped for longer in stop over sites, but now they are flying ahead towards wintering sites. Different following devices forward data with different frequency, therefore the results may fluctuate in time. At the moment the leader of migration marathon of Lesser Spotted Eagles is Vahur, but with new data it may change.
08.09.2016 Autumn migration 2016
The early migrants started, but Black Stork Raivo is already in wintering place for couple of weeks. Raivo was not the first starting migration in 14th of August. Other Black Storks Karl and Eedi started earlier, in 8th and 12th August respectively, but Raivo flew quickly as usual and reached Israel fish ponds in 26th of August. Eedis migration to Saudi Arabia we were able to follow last year, but wintering place for Karl we do not know, yet. All followed Black Storks had this season also chicks and as rule males leave last territories.
Ospreys Markus and Kalle were not successful breeders this year, because chicks were blown out of nests during storms. Therefore they started to migrate earlier as last year. Plus we can follow Osprey named Vadim, who lives in Russian side of Peipsi lake. Probably he is quite young and does not have a sure territory, yet.
Both White Storks from Slovenia also started migration. There is Pavle born this season. Fortunas first migration we were able to look last year.
Southward flight started by Kordian, the Common Buzzard, he started from Finland.
Both Spotted Eagle species, Cranes and Black Vulture did not start to migrate, yet.
01.06.2016 Birds are breeding, but results will be known later
Birds we can follow, started to breed and results will be along we check those nests. Different species will be checked in different time, depending on development of chicks. At the moment is White-tailed Eagles survey ongoing, but will be followed near the end of June by Black Storks, afterwards Ospreys and then Lesser and Greater Spotted Eagles in July.
There are nesting White-tailed Eagles A531 (in Latvia), Pomo and Kirilla (in Russia), also both Black Storks, Greater Spotted Eagles and Ospreys. Of LSEs there are more connected to nest sites Karin, Magnus, Jaan, Vahur and Mait. Other LSEs might be stopped nesting (here is probably not good food year for LSEs).
There are also immature birds not nesting, yet. Those are Crane Savimäe, Black Vulture Mikho, White Stork Fortuna, White-tailed Eagle Meelis and Common Buzzard Kordian. Movements of these birds we upload to the migration map according the data received.
We do not have new data of White Stork Zuri, hybrid Spotted Eagle Tunne and crane Ahja 4. Of those we know perishment of Ahja 4. With others it could be problem with transmitter, hopefully.
05.04.2016 Black Storks arrived to breeding sites
Like in last years we observed, among first arrived Black Stork Raivo. He reached nest site in evening 29th of March and probably restores the nest now. Soon, in 1st of April crossed Estonian border second Black Stork named Eedi. Eedi did not fly directly to nest site, but more westward and after a day directed to Karula National Park, we suspect him to breed. He did not stay in Karula, but returned to Latvia for 80 km.
First among Lesser Spotted Eagles ( and all spotted eagles) is Aadu, he could reach nest site in two days. The row of Lesser Spotted Eagles dragged for long, finished with females Karin and Haage. Last birds still in Africa.
Osprey Kalle wintered in no network area, but started migration in morning 22nd of March from the lower Congo river and will be soon over Mediterranean sea. Into network he appeared only in Algeria and sent then all previous locations. OspreyMarkus started much earlier, in 9th of March, but disappeared from network by evening same day. We don't know if everything is fine with this bird.
Common Crane of fourth calendar year Ahja 4 perished in Sudan, New Halfa region. It is known that the cranes are hunted in this region on crop fields and probably Ahja 4 is shot. In Sudan we have good collaborator Moez, who tries to find transmitter there. Moez helped us also previously to find perished birds and their transmitters in Sudan. With other craneSavimäe it seems everything good, but he is not breeding probably, yet.
White-tailed Eagle (WtE) Pomo data are not updated anymore, because she started to visit possible nest site. Probably she did not lay eggs this season, what could be caused by lead poisoning this bird suffered. Another WtE Kirilla flew far NE (more as 1200 km) and since 1st of April is out of network.
Common Buzzard Villu arrived to the breeding site, but his transmitter is not working. Logger of Kordian awoke in the end of March, he is almost in same area in mid Poland, as at the turn of the year when Kordian disappeared.
17.03.2016 Spring migration is progressing, South Africa empties
Spring is developing in Estonia and also in migration routes of our birds. Usual earlier migrants, like Black Storks are in southern Europe and there is not so much to fly to breeding sites for them. So Black Stork Raivo stopped in Bulgaria and just started to fly ahead. Eedi only arrived to stopover place, but we will see for how long. Common Cranes probably were awaited to start earlier, because both could start to breed this year, but they know better.
Lesser Spotted Eagles (LSE) left by now southern Africa and hurry to breeding sites. Females are clearly lagging behind. Aadu and Max, the neighbors in breeding sites compete for first position, as in previous years. Hybrid Spotted Eagle Sander has flown few thousand kilometers less, so he has advantage. Greater Spotted Eagle (GSE) Iti started quite early this year, but most likely she will make a stop over in Bulgaria. Hybrid Tunne gave us last data in February and after that it is silence. The reason is not known. Broadcast of Osprey Kalle stopped in early February, Osprey Markus started spring migration, but during a week there is also no data available. White-tailed Eagle (WtE) Pomo is probably not breeding, yet and Kirilla flies northwards along Kama river in Russia. Also there is no logger data of Buzzards since late autumn.
01.03.2016 Spring migration 2016 started
It is not easy to say, when exactly started the spring migration. Among typical migratory birds first stared Black Stork Raivo. We can follow him already ten years. Worn transmitter of Raivo woke up of hibernation in 13th of February and in 17th we can notice Raivo starting the migration form Beit Shean Valley of Jordan river. Since today Raivo has covered about 1800 km and stops in central Bulgaria, known place for Raivo.
Also White-tailed Eagle (WtE) Kirilla moves northwards, but she started alraedy in 4th of February and does not hurry much. We will see where Kirilla goes. WtE Pomo stops in Baltic sea shore in Kurgolvo peninsula. If she starts to nest, we stop public following of Pomo - like with all stricktly protected species. In general WtEs are not listed as migratory species.
Lesser Spotted Eagles (LSE) also move northwards, but it is still difficult to say if that is really migration. Though males seem to be more interested in spring duties. LSEs have to fly longest distances of our birds we can follow here.
Not all birds are on map, because not all of them sent data since mid February, when we turned page in migration map. But in general during the migration there will be more often new data available and relevantly migration map will be updated.
14.02.2016 Autumn season terminates
In the mid of February the autumn season on current migration map will end and we start with spring migration season. Therefore on default map, there may not occur all birds at once, but according the data we receive. Part of birds send us data after every ten days only. But there are some news for to complete autumn season.
Two White-tailed Eagles (WtE) are new birds on map, both most probably females - Kirilla and Pomo. The following of Kirilla is possible since end of January and since 4th of February she started moving north-east direction. Her nest site is not known, neither age and origin. Wintering area is situated eastward of Volga river on border of Uljanovsk and Samara regions. WtE with preliminary name Pomo appeared with lead poisoning in vet clinicum of Life Sciences University of Estonia and was seriously treated during nearly a month. After recover the eagle was released in 12th of February on shore of Peipsi lake. Surprisingly eagle directed eastward and flew quickly to the peninsula Kurgolovo in Russian shore of Baltic sea. It is possible that this eagle breeds in that place, because according our colleagues in Russia the area is suitable for WtE and eagles have been observed there as usual.
Pleasant surprise was caused by German colleagues who send photos and observations of Common Buzzard Villu. We lost communication with Villu in northern part of Czech Republic in 11th of December. Villu was found wintering exactly in the same field as last year. By descriptions Villu feels there like at home, photos are uploaded into Villus gallery. We need to think about removing the malfunctioning logger if Villu returns.
Unlike the past Crane Ahja4 does not winter in Sululta plains near Ethiopian capital, but returned northwards to the Tana lake, where stopover site of Ahja4 is known. The reason is drought in Ethiopia, what led the entire region close to humanitarian crisis. In usual wintering area Ahja4 did not find safe water bodies for overnight anymore and had to find other place, easiest probably was to fly in to known place.
The Lesser Spotted Eagles (LSE) used for moving on wintering area almost the same patterns as previous years, adult birds have own tracks they use during the winter, e.g. Jaan used to fly eastward (Mozambique) before spring migration, but Max northward, to have better start position to migrate into Estonia.
14.12.2015 Not all reached wintering grounds, yet
The most distant migrants, Lesser Spotted Eagles (LSE) fly around in a hudge wintering ground, but some much closer migrants did not hurry. Probably both Common Buzzards are still on a way, but we don't know about Kordian that exactly, yet. Kordian could winter in mid Poland. And the Cranes will continue the migration most probably.
There is new species on map - Black (or Cinereous) Vulture named as Mikho. Mikho got the tag in Georgia and moved up to now into border area between Iran and Pakistan. We don't know if this is his wintering place or flies he further.
Black Stork Eedi is wintering in Saudi Arabian SW corner and spends most time on a wadi, where probably some water and food inside. Raivos transmitter is ten years old. We did not get signals since end of November, but probably the feathers of black bird cover the solar panels there. Same story with White-tailed Eagles.
Osprey Kalle has been disappeared more as for one months, but now he has moved and sends the data from past situated on lower Congo river basin. This area is not good for GSM network as also other Osprey, Markus has been lost during last ten days.
Greater Spotted Eagle Tõnn, whos transmitter is not working is wintering again in El Hondo wetlands, Spain.
Part of transmitters are working on winter schedule to save energy in poor light conditions. Also not all birds are in GSM network all time. Therefore data update could be irregular on map.