Whimbrel start heading south

It has been about 9 weeks since our satellite tagged Whimbrels arrived the breeding ground, happy to see that they are now on their way back south!

KU seems to have a successful breeding season in the Arctic. It’s breeding location is the same as in 2017 at Sakha Republic, about 140km south of Yana Bay. Based on KU’s since 1-Jun, it apparently nested at almost the same location as previous breeding season, only 1.4km east from previous year!

After 62 days mostly without moving more than 5km away from its nest, KU decided to depart Siberia on 2-Aug, which is the same date as previous year. It made a direct flight >3,400km to Yingkou in Liaoning Province at the Yellow Sea with an amazing average speed over 70km! The area where KU landed is again very close to where it spent 49 days stopping over in 2017 southward migration. Let’s see if KU is going to do the same this year.

Third-year Whimbrel LA, however, didn’t seem to have bred this year. After arriving in Chukotka on 8-Jun, it has been in three different locations covering 110km along the base of a mountain range. It was not in any of these locations long enough for nesting before it moved to the 4th location near the Chukotka-Sakha border.

Same as KU, LA departs from the Arctic on 2-Aug. After reaching the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, it turned south-east to reach the west coast of Kamchatka. The area looks popular for Whimbrel which breeds in east Siberia as 3 other satellite tagged Whimbrels by the Fudan University (Shanghai, China) are also around the same area, 2 of those were tagged in Queensland and 1 from Broome.

Migration tracks of our whimbrel