Fuelling up: whimbrel now in northern China

All our Whimbrels are now at inland sites in northern China. JX was the first bird to reach northern China on 11-May-18 after spending 2 weeks at 3 sites in southern China. It has surprisingly skipped the northern Yellow Sea area and flew >1,500km from Jiangsu Province to Heilongjiang Province directly. After arriving Heilongjiang Province, JX first headed to a site in Songhua River just 40km east of Harbin city. It then moved to another site further north near Qing’an on 13-May-18 and has been staying there since then.

JX’s flight from Jiangsu to Heilongjiang

KU once again demonstrates the term “site fidelity” perfectly. After stop-over in Xinghua Bay, Fujian Province for a week, it departed on 9-May-18 and made a 1,700km flight to arrive at the same site in Panjin, Liaoning Province as last season! It is amazing to see KU takes such similar migration route and stop-over sites as per 2017.

KU’s northward migration track in 2017 and 2018.

The rice field area around Panjin, Liaoning Province seems to be a popular site for our Whimbrels. On 13-May-18, after staying in Jiangsu Province for a week, LA also made a migration to Panjin! Last season, this area was used by both Whimbrels which migrated to the breeding ground (KU and KS).

Area used by Whimbrels around Panjin in 2017 and 2018

As per last year record, the Whimbrels are expected to cross the China-Russia boundary in the coming week!

Rice field in Panjin area (Photo by David Li)
Migration tracks of our whimbrels