This blog is available in Chinese at the website of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society.
Ginny (Ying Chi) Chan from Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and University of Groningen, The Netherlands, reports – observations from 9 April 2017:
On our quest to visit sites where the Great Knots (carrying 5 gr solar-powered satellite transmitters) are directing us, we ended up in Raoping, Guangdong, China. The Raoping site features a beach fringed by narrow mudflats, a habitat that seems more suitable for beach-dwellers like the Sanderling than for Great Knots. Nevertheless our satellite-tracked Great Knot stopped there. Worth to check it out!
Our first afternoon out was sunny and we encountered a small flock of Great Knots but our bird that according the tracks we received from its satellite transmitter should be here, was nowhere to be seen. Then a thick fog came. However just before sunset we realised a few other birds flew into our flock. And that included the satellite-tagged bird!
One and a half years ago, we caught it in Roebuck Bay, Northwest Australia and deployed the transmitter. (More about this work at Global Flyway Network Australia). I felt so glad to see this beautiful bird again with breeding plumage. Seeing the same bird in places more than 4500 km apart, made me marveled at their amazing super-journeys.
It is great that we can observe this bird and its flock mates forage, and that we can sample their food. With the data we have collected at this site and other sites we hopefully will be able to explain why the birds choose this site, and why they stay for as long as they do.
The next morning we saw the bird with satellite transmitter again. The birds were very ‘jumpy’ and flew up very high at times. That is a sign that they were ready to migrate!
As we prepared this blog, on 30 April 2017, we know that the bird indeed left Raoping on 10 April 2017 to fly to the northern Yellow Sea. Since 13 April it is has been in Yalu Jang Nature Reserve near Donggang where it still is.