Eastern Curlew

The Far Eastern Curlew project is a partnership between the AWSG, the VWSG, the QWSG and Charles Darwin University. It is being coordinated by Amanda Lilleyman.

Updates can also be found on the Wader Quest website.

April 23, 2020

All seven curlews on migration

Of the 14 GPS tags that were deployed on Far Eastern Curlews (2017, 2018, 2019) in the NT, NWA and VIC, there are seven that are still operating and sending us signals. All seven birds have left Australia. One bird from Victoria is out of GSM range so is presumed to be on migration.

Eastern Curlew tracks April 2020

One bird stopped just south of Taipei in Taiwan on migration. This waOne bird stopped just south of Taipei in Taiwan on migration. This was Curlew with ELF 18 from north-Western Australia (named MAUREEN after Maureen Christie). This bird migrated to the exact spot in Taiwan last year too.

Eastern Curlew MAUREEN in Taiwan. Photo: Chung-Yu Chiang

April 01, 2020

Seven eastern curlew still transmitting!

There are seven tags still operating, one from Darwin, four from north-west Australia and two from Victoria. Four birds have started migration (3 from NWA and 1 from VIC). We are waiting on one bird from VIC, one birds from NT and one bird from NWA to migrate.

Eastern Curlew tracks January-March 2020
Eastern Curlew stopovers January-March 2020

November 18, 2019

Update on Victorian curlews

Curlew WEE has made a full northward and southward migration journey. WEE migrated through the Philipine Sea and landed in southern China before spending time in the Yellow Sea. WEE staged near Dandong, China and then North Korea and South Korea before flying to the breeding grounds in northern China. The bird nested in the area of Heilongjiang, but quite close to the border of Russia. WEE returned to Western Port in early October 2019 and has been spending its time moving between the beaches of Koo Wee Rup (near Yallock Creek site) and Jam Jerrup / The Gurdies (in Pioneer Bay).

After avoiding Tropical Cyclone Trevor on 22nd March, the third Curlew from Victoria, RUP, has continued to head further south towards Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  RUP returned to Western Port in May and moved around mudflats all around Western Port over the austral winter.

RUP is the red track, KOO is the yellow track, WEE is the green track

August 14, 2019

Curlew WEE in East Asia and RUP still in Australia

As of early August, Victorian curlew WEE 182227 was still in East Asia and RUP 182229 was in eastern Australia. The satellite tag for Victorian Curlew KOO stopped working on 28/6/2019 during northward migration. The tag last transmitted from a mudflat in Zhoushan in China. This area is just south of Shanghai city.

August 14, 2019

Broome & Darwin curlews still in the northern hemisphere but Moreton Bay curlew back in Oz

As of early August, Broome curlews GRACE 17006, MAUREEN 180113 and BIRGITA 180114 were still in East Asia. Morton Bay curlew 40963 had returned to Toorbul, curlew 40965 had returned to Dunwich and curlew 40964 remained in Moreton Bay. Curlew 40965 is being tracked for the second consecutive year after completing a round trip journey to its breeding grounds and back in 2018. Darwin curlew AMANDA 17004 was in Kamchatka as of late July. Signals from the other curlews were lost earlier in the season.

Eastern Curlew tracks to August 14 2019

June 20, 2019

Victorian curlews on the breeding grounds

There have been no new recent reports on the Eastern Curlew carrying satellite trackers. The latest information received suggested most live birds were now still breeding on their south-east Siberian/north-east China breeding grounds.

May 13, 2019

Summary of all curlew tracks so far

The map below shows the flyway-scale movements of all curlew beginning on 2019-01-01. Many of the tagged birds are still transmitting with the exception of four birds. Curlews GAVIN (Darwin), 171332 and 171323 (Moreton Bay), and WEE (Yallock Creek) have not received any signals since the last update. Please note that all maps show raw location data which have undergone no or minimal filtering for accuracy.

Eastern Curlew tracks since January 2019

April 17, 2019

Victorian curlews on the move

All Yallock Creek curlew are on the move, with two currently in China. GPS tag 182225 – KOO is on coastline of Zhoushan, just south of Shanghai; GPS tag 182227 – WEE is near Yalu Jiang, Liaoning.

GPS tag 182229 – RUP has had a very rough go over the last few weeks! RUP left Yallock Creek left VIC on 15/3/2019 but took a path over Mildura, Vic, over Lake Frome and Lake Eyre regions, SA through central Australia into the Northern Territory where it flew over Barkly Station and continued north over the western Top End. This bird made landfall on 17/3/2019 along the banks of Mann River, south of Maningrida in the NT. It then flew east towards Milingimbi and stopped at the Crocodile Islands for a few days. Its next few positions were from the Gulf of Carpentaria on 22/3/2019 – exactly when Tropical Cyclone Trevor (category 4) was heading towards Borroloola. It then made landfall on the coast just north of Karumba. A week later it flew east over QLD to the wet tropics area, where it was close to Cairns. But it flew further south and then touched down just behind the Townsville Town Common where it has been ever since! It has been moving between this wetland and the intertidal area of Bushland Beach, just north-west of Townsville.

Eastern Curlew RUP in Queensland

April 17, 2019

Darwin curlews still in the harbour but Broome birds have left

The Darwin Curlews AMANDA and DAMIEN are still in Darwin harbour. In 2018 these birds departed mid-to-late April – so we await their departure from tropical Darwin! GPS tag 182228 – GAVIN last transmitted on 22/3/2019 so may be out of phone reception.

Far eastern curlew GAVIN

ALL Broome Curlew are on migration! GPS tag 17006 – GRACE is near Shanghai; GPS tag 17008 – MICHA is on the coastline of southern China; GPS tag 180111 – ROZ is on the coastline of South Korea; GPS tags 180112 – PRUE, 180113 – MAUREEN and 180115 – MILLY are on the coastline of Taiwan; GPS tag 180114 – BIRGITA is still in South Sulawesi, Indonesia; and GPS tag 182226 – INKA On the coastline of Davao, Philippines.

Combined tracks of all far eastern curlew

March 17, 2019

Victorian curlew migrate the same way to China

Two Curlew from Victoria have migrated with almost identical tracks! These birds were last positioned in China, just a few hundred kilometres south of Shanghai. One Curlew is still doing regular movements between Yallock Creek and The Gurdies.