With Spring in the air – Boris, Irina and Ainur, the three Sociable Lapwings we fitted with satellite tags in Kazakhstan last summer, have all left their wintering areas and are now on the way back to their breeding grounds.
Hot on the heels of the news that Boris had arrived in Sudan, we discovered that Ainur has continued her, very different, journey south too and that she is now in southern Pakistan.
After staging for several weeks close to the Turkish border in northern Syria, Boris embarked on the next leg of a particularly interesting and lengthy journey south on November 13th.
All three of our satellite-tagged Sociable Lapwings are still transmitting strong signals. Of note is the particularly fast migration south by Irina who is now in Eastern Turkey.
With a lack of trackable Sociable Lapwings to report on over the last year, we are delighted to now reactivate the Amazing Journey website to bring you news about the migrations of three new birds that scientists from RSPB and ACBK fitted with satellite tags earlier this year.
Further to the news that more than 400 Sociable Lapwings had been found at a stopover site in Uzbekistan in mid September, news has now reached us that at least some birds migrating along this ‘Eastern Flyway’ have reached the Indian Sub-continent.
This summer, scientists from ACBK (BirdLife in Kazakhstan) have been monitoring Sociable Lapwings again at their main study site in central Kazakhstan for the seventh year of a long term research project supported by RSPB, BirdLife International, Swarovski Optik and The UK Governments’ Darwin Initiative.
Each spring since April 2009, Nature Iraq has conducted ornithological survey expeditions in and around the vast arid western and central deserts of Iraq, hoping to find Sociable Lapwings that might be passing through the country on their northerly migration back to Kazakhstan.
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.
BirdLife International scientists monitoring migrating Sociable Lapwings in the heart of the Great Steppe have recently discovered the largest single flock seen in Kazakhstan since 1939.