Whimbrels Still Alive and Transmitting in 2019
March 14, 2019
Still alive & transmitting
Two Whimbrel fitted with satellite tags by the Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG) in February, 2017 are still transmitting. Both Whimbrels, tagged LA and KU, were captured at Eighty Mile Beach and Roebuck Bay, Broome respectively.
KU subsequently successfully migrated to the northern hemisphere breeding grounds in both 2017 and 2018. It is hoped that the transmitter will last sufficiently long to give us a third year of data on this bird in 2019.
The second Whimbrel, LA, was an immature two-year old bird and did not migrate to the breeding grounds in 2017 but subsequently migrated in 2018 without successfully breeding. In February 2018, this bird famously dodged Cyclone Kelvin, which hit Anna Plains Station by moving 145km south for a few days until the cyclone passed. It is hoped the transmitter will last long enough to tell us if LA migrates to the northern hemisphere to breed this year.
KU and LA are both demonstrating high site fidelity as in previous years. KU is using the mudflat near Crab Creek (east of Roebuck Bay) and Dampier Creek (west of Roebuck Bay, while LA remains at its favourite section of 80 Mile Beach, 45-48km south of the Anna Plains Entrance.
Whimbrel by Laurie Boyle via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Whimbrel flock on Roebuck Bay by Katherine Leung © 2019. Used with permission.
Whimbrel being fitted with a 5g satellite tag by David Chang © 2017. Used with permission.
Whimbrel LA release on 80 Mile Beach by Prue Wright © 2017. Used with permission.
Whimbrel flock flying by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
All figures and tables prepared by Katherine Leung for the AWSG. Written by Katherine Leung for the AWSG. Edited and published with permission by Amellia Formby for Wing Threads © 2018.