Migration has been very intensive, so it was difficult to make any summary on a way. First arrived to Estonia Greater Spotted Eagle (GSE) Sander, at 11th of April. He did not fly to the nest, but visited during ten days Latvia, Russia and western Estonia before arrived to nest site in Tartumaa county. That is not usual behavior, maybe the full snow cover made eagle confused?
Next at home was at 14th or 15th of April the Black Stork Priidu, from Saaremaa county. In 16th of April arrived Latvian Osprey Eriks, also GSEs Iti and Tõnn, though Tõnn went ahead to Finland. In 17th of April arrived Black Stork Raivo and Lesser Spotted Eagle (LSE) Karin. Second LSE Magnus reached breeding grounds in 21st of April. Probably also Black Stork Pirsu is at home, but transmitter is not well working.
Good news about Osprey Piret, she did not send any information after Nile delta, but she arrived to the nest site in 22nd of April, means her tag is not working anymore. A day before the second tagged Osprey, Ilmar arrived to the web camera nest in Tartumaa county.
The White-tailed Eagles do not migrate really, but move around. Non of them is breeding, yet.
06.04.2013 A new White-tailed Eagle on map
A ESTLAT Eagles project leader Janis Kuze paid a lot of time to trap another adult White-tailed Eagle and finally it was succeed in 1st of April. The female eagle of known origin (born in Latvia, 2008) was trapped and fitted with transmitter. She was named after the ring number - A540. So we can see movements of two five years old eagles male (A531) and female (A540), who are not breeding, yet.
Latvian Osprey Eriks crossed Mediterranean Sea in the same day, 1st of April and spent for that more as 12 hours, starting about 9 at morning. Somehow surprisingly he took not the shortest way over the sea, but eagle knows better... Estonian Osprey Ilmar is not transmitting, but that is normal if crossing Sahara. Osprey Piret still stops over on the edge of Nile delta, but probably soon will go ahead. Actually the nests of both Ilmar and Piret are planned to equip with web cameras, so most probably everybody could see the arrival of those birds home and their breedings.
At the spring migration at the moment is leading Greater Spotted Eagle Sander, but followed by Black Storks Priidu and Raivo.
News written during Ecotone telemetry conference in Wierzba, Poland, not far of White-tailed Eagle Sillu.
30.03.2013 Cold weather in Europe
The observations of migratory birds in Europe show quite similar results
- birds are behaving not as usually, but gather in strange places or
migrate back southwards. Similar things we can see also with our tagged
birds, black storks Raivo and Priidu flew back south for couple hundreds
of kilometers and greater spotted eagles Iti and Sander stop over in
Bulgaria. In the Itis place at Dragoman marsh went colleagues from
Bulgaria and noticed Iti to be at good health and condition, one photo
of that visit is added to Itis gallery. But the weather is also there
unusually cold, what could cause longer stop over of Iti. The birds still in Africa probably do not suffer of cold weather, so
Latvian osprey Eriks is approaching Mediterranean Sea after long trip
over wast Sahara desert. Estonian osprey Ilmar will be soon crossing the Sahara also. Osprey Piret is still stopping over in Nile delta and
keeps watchers senses alive, because everybody remembers Erikas fate in
the same place. Finally started greater spotted eagle Tõnn and we can follow on map
white-tailed eagle Sillu as well. There we wait for waking up of Tores transmitter, yet. The data from cranes were weak during last
transmission, but only the time will show the reason.
24.03.2013 Good news and bad news in one
Let start with sad ones. The oldest of our Ospreys, Erika perished in
migration stop over site on the edge of Nile delta, in the place she
used for stop over already for six years we follow her. She was searched
and found by an Estonian in Egypt Toomas Mikkor and local Nuweiba
Bedouin Salman. It was challenge to search a transmitter near military
airports... but they found it and noticed the dried blood in the place
the bird was fallen to ground. The place was some meters of high voltage
electric power line, so the death of Erika is most probably connected
with the power line. No signs of shooting or predator action was
noticed, but Salman supposed the reason of death is the break of neck of
the bird. If anybody knows somebody who could bring the transmitter back from Sinai in next days, please contact.
Good news are like co-incident connected with Latvian Osprey Eriks. We
lost him in the beginning of October 2012 and did not get any
information up to 23th of March. Now we know, no GSM network available
in wintering site of Eriks over Ndogo Lagoon in Gabon and if he started
spring migration in afternoon 19th of March, all the data of five month
started to upload to the server. So soon we can add those to the
migration map as well, including autumn 2012 data. Eriks was last year breeding together with other ESTLAT project Osprey Ilze, who perished in Calabria, Italy during the autumn migration, unfortunately. So Eriks needs to find new mate for to breed successfully.
But there will be good news more, you can find soon those on the map by
yourself! Hope, no bad news in near future we need to write...
19.03.2013 Only Tõnn is not migrating
Nearly all tracked birds have been started to the spring migration, only Greater Spotted Eagle Tõnn is still on wintering grounds (at 19th of March).
In 19th of March started his spring migration Osprey Ilmar, who wintered in SW Angola. We are going to install on Ilmars nest a web camera, to see the arrival of Ilmar. Hopefully it is possible. To the same county (Tartumaa) are proposed to arrive also both Lesser Spotted Eagles and Greater Spotted Eagle Sander. Osprey Piret follows the Nile valley to the probable stopover site in Nile delta and then to home. The arrival of Piret will be also most probably watchable through web camera.
Suspicious are the data about our oldest Osprey Erika, as her locations are from the same place in Nile delta during several days. Toomas Mikkor, the Estonian living in Sinai, Nuweiba, will go and check the situation on place.
Black Stork Priidu is catching up Raivo and latter left in 19th the stopover site in Bulgaria to migrate ahead northwards.
Still we have no data about some birds we hope to see soon on map.
03.03.2013 Spring starts in Africa
The long-awaitedspring migration ofbirdshave begun. Because of technicalnuancesweknow only now that thefirst started the Black Stork Raivo, in 21 February. It isfrom the Middle Easttoward thenest site in NE Estonia. Raivois also themostlong-term partner among our birds, we are observing already inhisseventhspring migration. The secondstarted Priidu, on 26February. He wintered inthe Central AfricanRepublic.Priidu breeds in Saaremaa Island and his sixth spring migration we can follow right now.Third BlackStorknamedPirsutook offfrom Cameroonin 1st of March.This yearwe hopeto seehimsuccessfulnesting in NW Estonia. Spring migrationhasalso begun toOspreyErika, but her transmitterdoes not want togive outthe exactGPS locations. Sowe canonly indirectlysuggestthat Erikawas by thefirstMarchalreadyflownnearly 1,200kilometers, but in the21stFebruaryshe wasstill at wintering grounds. Erikawillprobablystop inthe Niledelta,beforeflyingonto the north.
Whostartsnext?CanPiret andIlmar soonstart to move? WhatmakesAhja2this year?Will come LatvianEriksstill to network? MaybeLatvianA531takesplace finallyin Estonia? CouldTõnnbreedthis yearand ...and so on. The questionscontinue.
15.02.2013 Spring approaching
couple of days gap in migration map availability, because of server problems,
but that seems to be solved. Nevertheless, form 15th of February we
need to turn migration map page, starting with spring 2013. It is difficult to
presume, when exactly the birds start their journeys to north, but could be
that Lesser Spotted Eagle Magnus already started his spring migration. Migration
is hard challenge for birds, but it has been the same during thousands of years
and strongest ones could produce the offspring. For to fill this aim, the birds
should arrive to breeding grounds in right time. Individual birds migration is
possible to follow by transmitters, but the trapped individuals could be not
the strongest ones in the population. But from other side those are a random
sample of the species (we hope so) and could give us average picture about the
population. There is few possibilities that transmitter on bird could improve
the survival, but at least one case we know similar among our tagged birds. Most
probably it will be never so much transmitters used as rings on birds, therefore
we need to use as much information of tagging as possible for to enhance the
conservation of those species. The current migration map is built mainly for
informative purposes, to share the knowledge we have gained working with those
page on migration map we will not see the birds lost during last season (autumn
2012). For sure we know perish of four birds (Crane Hauka, White-tailed Eagle Nimetu, hybrid Spotted Eagle Luule and Latvian Osprey Ilze), but there could be
more. Same time we got good news about
Black Stork Valdur, who supposed to be perished in March 2012 – simply his transmitter
is not working anymore. Read more here…
02.02.2013 Two-tree weeks to wait only
We can assume that up to spring migration there is two-three weeks to wait. Ilmar, the male Osprey winters so far, that needs to start quite early to reach breeding ground by the first decade of April. Probably also Piret and Erika start to move before the end of February, because last winter Erika started about 20th of February. Exact date is not known, as also then transmitter got discharged during the wintering and started to charge again during flight.
Lesser Spotted Eagle Karin, who winters most far in south, she started migration last year only at 8th of March. If last year Karin did not reach South-African Republic, then now she is in this country.
We hope that with spring development and light increase also lost birds will show themselves, like Eriks, Tore, Meelis and Sillu.
Since mid February we turn the map page here, starting with spring migration 2013.
11.01.2013 About the Cranes we know by now a bit more
In the beginning of the year we got information about juvenile Crane Hauka. We found stopped migration near the end of November in southern tip of Sinai peninsula and there it also perished. We do not know, if Hauka perished immediately or got first injured. That was not possible to estimate by people, who found the remnants. There are many possibilities, for example Crane might stop at sewage pools at Sharm-el-Sheikh, drink there and get some intoxication (very similarly behaved Black Stork Piia in 2008), about 1 km of the place is big electric line, where Crane could get injured a wing and then might walk to the place of perish, there is not excluded a shooting, though local bedouins do not believe that. It is possible that the Crane got some slight intoxication already in Turkey, but also is possible that Hauka was not able to feed enough during stop over for to stand long flight over the deserts. There could impact several reasons together. Anyway that is the third juvenile Crane, whom we lost in this region. But we have to thank the people, who searched the remnants of Hauka, local bedouins from Nuweiba and their inspirator, local Estonian Toomas Mikkor!
Nevertheless, two Cranes are disappeared, but two (Juula2 and Ahja2) are wintering in NW Tunisia. Of those Ahja2 is quite local, but younger Juula2 flies long distances, like searching for suitable place. Btw, in 4th of January they both were on the same field, at the same time.
Greater Spotted Eagle Tore did not sent us any information, but during spring migration disappeared Black Stork Valdur we found on images of the phototrap (trail camera) installed on the nest of neighboring pair of Valdur. So we can assume Valdur winters at the moment in Ethiopia, but we can't confirm that.
23.12.2012 Transmitter of Ilze is lost
The conditions to find transmitter of Latvian Osprey Ilze seemed good enough to be viewed from afar, but despite the efforts of the German and Italian colleagues, however, to find the transmitter failed. Eriks, mate of Ilze during the breeding season, did not send data to us, and hopefully is on its wintering grounds outside GSM network area and by spring we will see again Eriks moving on the map. Tagged Ospreys of Estonia seem to be all right. Piret returned in the end of November after a month and half of absence to the GSM coverage again and send the data nicely from South-Sudan, as well as Ilmar from Angola. It would be interesting to know if anyone has been to the area and made pictures there about the landscape? Both of the young White-tailed Eagles have not been in the sunshine and the transmitters batteries are low. We do not know where these eagles are now. It is interesting behavior of young Greater Spotted Eagle Tore. He/she has to rush to the south, but Tore spent ten days at the lake Constance, Austria and Switzerland, up to the strong snow fall there. Recent data suggest, however, some movement to the south, rather it seems the Italian way...Unfortunately, the transmitter does not work so well, as his/her brothers one and Tores current location is not well known to us. Anyway, stop over at lake Constance was well documented by local bird watchers, as Greater Spotted Eagle belongs to the very rare birds in this area. Black Stork Priidu moved from Sudanese Darfur to the Central African Republic at 10th of December. The same he has done for many years around the same time. Guess, in Darfur remained dry and the rivers in the south still suitable for fishing.
Worse stories seem to be to hybrid Spotted Eagle Luule, whose transmitter is floating in the Ionian Sea. Luule started to fly directly from Greece to Sicily, but by unknown reason did not arrive...Two Cranes are either lost tags or killed during migration - Hauka in tip of Sinai Peninsula (Sharm-el-Sheikh neighborhood) and Ahja3 in Ukraine Kherson region. If anyone is planning to move to these areas, then please contact... there will be the opportunity to find these transmitters!