If you click on any images in the blog, they will be opened in a separate window, will be larger and it will be easier to see detail.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Steppe eagle in early June

The steppe eagle we are tracking is still in far western Kazakhstan, between the Aral and Caspian Seas.  After spending much of its time during the last 2 weeks near what appears to be a water well, in recent days it has made a 200 km move NW.

The other eagle is still out of touch, presumably in some area where there is no mobile phone network over which the data can be downloaded.

Movements of a Steppe eagle during 1-15 June 2016.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Egyptian vulture turns up

After 40 day sof silence, the Egyptian vulture we are tracking has turned up!  It seems that this bird has probably been staying within the confines of the Wadi Sareen Reserve, where mobile phone coverage is limited.  I must admit that I was worried. Given this bird's age I would not think that would be a breeder, rather that it stayed in Wadi Sareen because it offered cooler, shady roosting sites during the summer. It should, however, be noted that the incubation period for Egyptian vultures is 39-45 days.  Below is a map of the movements since 2 June, when it reappeared.

I'll update the blog about Steppe eagles in the coming days, so check back.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 2-9 June 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Steppe eagle during May 2017

It's been about a month since I last reported on the movements of birds we are tracking

The Egyptian vulture we are tracking has not been heard of for about a month.  I hope it is either breeding or simply avoiding the Oman summer heat in a place where there is no GSM coverage.  We'll wait and see.

One Steppe eagle that we have been tracking also disappeared about a month ago on the border between Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.  I hope this is because it is now in an area where there is no GSM network, and that it will come into range sometime this summer or when it starts migration in the autumn.

The other Steppe eagle that we are tracking seems to have slowed its migration in far western Kazakhstan.  Evgeny Bragin from Kazakhstan tells me that this area has a high density of Steppe eagles, both breeding and non-breeding, and that a tracked Eastern imperial eagle also ranged in this area.  A close look at the Google Earth imagery suggests the area is very remote, but the eagle seemed to spend some time around some wells (as suggested by the vehicle tracks), but is slowly wandering north.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day is tomorrow!  For more than ten years now, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) has raised awareness about the need for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats, about the threats they face, their ecological importance, and about the need for international cooperation to conserve them. Every year people across the planet take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD. Although the main day for the international celebrations is 10 May, but activities can also be undertaken at any time of the year when the regional peak of migrations is best.

The Steppe Eagles we have been tracking from Oman have been "celebrating" WMBD for some time now, as they make their own migrations.  Below is a map of their movements since they have left Oman. Currently, one is in far western Kazakhstan and the other was in northern Turkmenistan when it was last heard on 22 April.  We may not hear from the bird last heard in Turkmenistan for a while because its transmitter uploads data via the GSM network, and it is likely that there will be no network in many of the places it might visit this summer.  We'll have to see.  When it does find a network, it will dump the archived data, and fill in the gaps.

Anyway, Happy WMBD!

Northward migration of two Steppe eagles fitted with transmitters in Oman in early 2017.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

162312 during April

The Steppe Eagle we are tracking that made an early attempt at migration (see earlier blog post), then returned to Oman is now in Iran.  162312 left the Tahwa landfill site, where it had spent much of the winter, on 8 April on its second migration attempt.  Like the other Steppe eagle we are tracking, it spend some time (5 days) on the Kuwait-Saudi Arabia border, before pushing farther north.  By 26 April, 162312 was located about 50 km southwest of Qom, Iran, following a path similar to that used by our other tagged Steppe eagle (see the April 14 post).

Bon voyage!

Migration of 162312 from Oman (8 April) into central Iran (26 April) during spring 2017.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Steppe eagle in Turkmenistan

Well, after waiting for some time on the Kuwait-Saudi border, the Steppe eagle we are tracking made a concerted push north, crossing southern Iraq and the whole of Iran.  Currently it is in Turkmenisan, near the town of Baharly.  Since leaving on migration, this bird has travelled a total of 4030 km and is now 1682 km away (straight line) from where it started.  On average it has travelled 118 km/day, but has travelled as much as 314 km in a single day.  The gap in data over the Euphrates delta will probably be filled in when the bird has a GSM connection and the transmitter can download stored information.  Remember, if you double-click on the map, it should open up larger in a new window, making for easier viewing.

Keep an eye on the blog.  This and the other eagle we are tracking are on the move, and there is always the Egyptian vulture to find out about.

Movements of a Steppe eagle during 10 March - 14 April 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

8-13 April movements of 162312

After the aborted migration effort about two weeks ago, 162312 set out again.  Early on 8 April, this Steppe eagle first headed east, then southwest.  It spent the night about 70 km NE of Qarn Alam.  It then moved steadily west and north, spending the nights of 9 and 10 April in the Saudi Empty Quarter, then on the night of the 11th, far from human habitation in eastern Saudi Arabia. By the night of the 12th it was still in eastern Saudi Arabia, west of Qatar.  By noon on the 13th (today) it was near the Saudi Arabian town of Al Hofuf.  See the map below.

If you are wondering what is happening with the other Steppe eagle we are tracking, visit the blog in a couple of days. We have some exciting news.

Movement of Steppe eagle during 8-13 April 2017.