The first Red Knot carrying a featherlite 2 gram solar satellite transmitter has started its migration from 80 Mile Beach in NW Australia on 21 April! The flight path of this bird is represented by the brown track.
Lee Tibbitts who skillfully ‘translates’ the data reports from the ARGOS satellites in maps with tracks, reported on 22 April that this Red Knot was flying north ‘at a healthy speed’. As of 25 April, he (it’s a male) is stopping over on the north coast of Borneo, in Sabah, Malaysia.
Today we very excitedly learned that another 2g-tagged Red Knot is in the air! This Red Knot (represented by the grey track) departed on 22 April and is now on 25 April flying off E coast of Borneo.
We are very happy to see the Red Knots migrating. And we are still holding our breath and hope that the remaining eight birds will start moving northwards too. In the past months, while remotely monitoring the birds with this new tool, we have learned that these small solar tags sometimes charge slowly and that some tags might have stopped working. We have to do this work in order to find out!
This project is part of the PhD research of Ying Chi Chan who is based at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and a graduate student in the Global Flyway Ecology Group of Prof. Dr Theunis Piersma at the University of Groningen (RUG).
Lee Tibbitts is based at the USGS Alaska Science Center, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Update 29 April 2017: The two Red Knots are still in Sabah.