Whimbrel satellite tracking 2017

The first bird to receive the transmitter was LA the Whimbrel on 12 February at Eighty Mile Beach. Since the deployment of the transmitter, LA has spent all time at the section of the beach from 40km to 50km south of the Anna Plain Station entrance at Eighty Mile Beach, near the area where it was captured and released. LA is a 2nd year bird (born in 2015 breeding season) so it will be interesting to see if it will migrate north this year.

Movement of the Whimbrel LA at Eighty Mile Beach

Whimbrel KS and KU were captured on 24 February at West Quarry at Roebuck Bay. Unlike LA, these two birds have not spent much time around the catching site since they have been fitted with satellite transmitters. Most of the time they were at Dampier Creek at the western end of Roebuck Bay and occassionally visit Crab Creek and the salt marsh in the east or even beaches in Broome town at the west. Both KS and KU are mature bird (born in or before 2014 breeding season) and are expected to start migrating north in a few weeks’ time.

Movement of KS (purple) and KU (yellow) in Roebuck Bay

Later on at the end of March, the local team in Broome set up mist nets for two consecutive nights at the salt marsh just north and east of the Broome Bird Observatory and successfully capture JX on 25 March and JZ on 26 March with the last two 5g transmitters deployed. Unfortunately, the transmission from JZ stopped a day after the deployment which could be a transmitter failure or due to the predation in Roebuck Bay. Similar to KS and KU, JX more often spent time at the western end of the Bay near Dampier Creek and occassionally visit Crab Creek and the salt marsh in the east.

Movement of JZ (green) and JX (pink) in Roebuck Bay