During the current Syrian Uprising, travelling even short distances around the country has become very difficult and is in most cases extremely dangerous. Vehicles are subject to frequent spot checks by security forces and, with tensions running high, travel is heavily curtailed.
In addition to the eyewitness reports we’ve received confirming Sociable Lapwing migration is now well underway; Abaj, Dina and Dana, three of the four birds we are satellite-tracking this autumn, have also begun their post-breeding migrations.
A positive signal from Abaj received in a transmission made on April 14th confirms he has now made it safely back to his breeding grounds in central Kazakhstan, just north-west of Lake Tengiz.
Following a number of ambiguous signals over the past few weeks, we have just received confirmation that Dinara has made it back to southern Kazakhstan.
After spending the winter in western India (near the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat) Dinara has set off on a long journey north back towards her breeding grounds and is now already in Tajikistan about 50 km north-east of Khorog.
Syrian conservationists and RSPB staff conducting surveys in Syria this week, were surprised to discover Sociable Lapwings present in the country and apparently already on the return leg from their wintering grounds.
Exciting news has just reached us that a country record flock of 90+ Sociable Lapwings was present at Salalah in Oman on Christmas Day, 2010.
After an absence of any firm location data since early October, Erzhan – our most experienced traveller – has just popped up on our radar again. For the fourth year running we can confirm he is now back in a wintering flock in Sudan.
A new transmission just received from Dinara now locates her close to the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
A surprise transmission from Abaj on Thursday December 23rd alerted us that he was still alive, his transmitter was once again functioning and he was probably now wintering somewhere in the Middle East. Today we have just received the great news of a further transmission from Abaj that places him a few kilometres north of Al Qa’arah in the west of Saudi Arabia.