Bohai 2018 Update 4: 22 May

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Adrian Boyle and Matt Slaymaker post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the fourth of this season.

This week the team reports a lot of exciting information about bird numbers. We will not give it all away here. Besides the shorebird work, the birding this week has been fantastic. On top of the good numbers of regular migrants, they found a few unusual and/or out of range species. Read for yourself in the PDF at GFN website.

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One the study sites at Nanpu, the Hangu wind farm. Note the potential moving hazard for shorebirds and the introduced Spartina grass becoming established on the mudflats. Photo: GFN Team Bohai Bay

Bohai 2018 Update 3: 13 May

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Adrian Boyle and Matt Slaymaker post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the third of this season.

In short, the team reports that it has been a busy week  in Bohai with early mornings, lots of people and loads of birds. They did a shorebird count of the whole study site coastline and nearby salt ponds, and of course spent long hours re-sighting. This time they also report on an invasion of human visitors to the coast:

Drew, Leiming, Tong and Hebo, together with a large team of volunteers, joined to work on their various projects, and of course Theunis was there!

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Left: Mud sampling by Red Knots and shorebird researchers. Right: Researchers catch up with Theunis at Nanpu. Photos: Chris Hassell and team, taken from Bohai Update 3

Also Katherine Leung from Hong Kong joined for a week’s scanning. Scott Weidensaul from the USA spent a few days with the team and Terry Townshend dropped by for a weekend.

Hank and Wendy Paulson spent a morning birding on the sea wall and surrounding area. The Paulson Institute has been influential in helping to attain Nature Reserve status for Nanpu mudflats and the birds behaved impeccably for their visit!

And there is a competition! With a prize for the 1st mail to Chris Hassell with the correct subspecies of a Mai Po – Hong Kong re-sighting (photo in report).

For an overview of this season’s reports go here.

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Bohai 2018 Update 2: 3 May

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Adrian Boyle and Matt Slaymaker post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the second of this season. The team reports:

Scanning come rain or shine…

We have had a bit of everything this week, Thunder and lightning, rain, wind and sun. Good days, bad days and completely useless days when the tide simply failed to come in, remaining 100’s of meters offshore. This happens occasionally, out of sync with the days either side, and ruins our scanning plans! Perhaps it is due to weather, atmospheric or environmental conditions elsewhere in Bohai Bay or the Yellow Sea?

Generally, numbers of birds on the mudflats are increasing daily. Great Knots, an early migrant, are already here in good numbers; however, Red Knot were a little later than usual. The last few days have seen a significant increase in numbers but there are still plenty of ‘Broome birds’ yet to get here.

Our second count of the season, scheduled for the next couple of days, will hopefully  provide a more accurate measure of what is here. While many shorebirds are still some way to the south, others have started to leave with a small flock Eastern Curlew seen migrating north over  town on the 25th April…..The full report can be found at the website Global Flyway Network Australia.

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Red Knots roosting in the salt ponds at Nanpu, Photo: Adrian Boyle, taken from Bohai 2018 update 2.

Bohai 2018 Update 1: 19 April

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Adrian Boyle and Matt Slaymaker post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the first of this season. The team reports:

Here we go again… another year and another season in the Yellow Sea!

This year your early-season correspondents are the Bohai stalwart Adrian Boyle, here for his 10th year in a row, and Matt Slaymaker, a former regular returning after a three-year break spent experimenting with a full-time ‘normal’ job.

We both arrived on the 10th and were out in the field the following day to find a good spread of Great Knots across the usual study area with smaller numbers of Red Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and other species scattered through the intertidal areas and nearby saltpans……. The full report can be found at the website Global Flyway Network Australia.

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EntBar-tailed Godwit 4RRYB. This bird was banded at Broome in October 2013 and has been recorded in Bohai Bay on northward passage every year since. Photo: Adrian Boyle, taken from GFN Bohai 2018 Update 1.pdf

And an extra story! 7YRYB Great (K)not following the rules.

A short story about a Great Knot by Chris Hassell: PDF and embedded video are here.

Our study site and major staging site for Red Knots in Bohai Bay, China, may become protected

Chris Hassell of GFN reports:

A step in the right direction!

The East Asian – Australasian partnership reports that our major field site in Bohai Bay, Nanpu at Luannan coast is part of the planned Nanpu Wetland Nature Reserve.

Although in the article there is no mention of GFN or of Beijing Normal University, these two have been instrumental in collecting the data that has led to this ‘step in the right direction’.

The GFN work that has contributed so much has been funded by BirdLife Netherlands (2007-2012), WWF Netherlands (2010-2014, 2016) and Spinoza Premium of Netherlands Organisation Prize for Scientific Research to Theunis Piersma (2014-2016).

www.eaaflyway.net/building-nanpu-wetland-nature-reserve-for-a-healthier-ecosystem/

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Bohai 2017 Field Updates

The GFN team has been in Bohai Bay, China, during the last weeks, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Adrian Boyle and Bob Loos post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is an overview of the season.

Read here about the “lost and found” Red Knots. The team found them eventually between the Hangu Power Station and the Hangu Wind Farm, a 29km direct flight form the main Luannan Coast study site.

Or read here about how Red Knots started to use the complex of ponds to forage in during the last few days. As in previous years they prefer the large shallow ponds and forage on any exposed wet sediment and in very shallow water.

In Update 6 the team wraps up the season.

The full reports can be found at the website Global Flyway Network Australia.
Note: most reports have great photographs of birds by Adrain Boyle, and not only shorebird!

 

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Bohai 2017 Update 3 – 12 May 2017

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Ady Boyle and Bob Loos post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the third of this season. The team reports:

“Well a lot has happened since the last update it has been a busy 10 days!

We have a new addition to this year’s team, Bob Loos from GFN-Netherlands has joined us again as he did in 2015 and 16. GFN’s scientific leader and general head Honcho, Theunis Piersma, also dropped in for his annual visit.

The New Zealand Ambassador to China and Chinese dignitaries visited the Luannan Coast.

We have been pondering why the Red Knot subspecies proportions have changed this year.

And exploring new areas and seeing lots of bands and flags along the way, of course.”

The full report can be found at the website Global Flyway Network Australia.

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Bohai 2017 Update 2 – 3 May 2017

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Ady Boyle and Bob Loos post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the second of this season. The team reports:

“The weather this season has been amazing, as it was last year. This fine weather has allowed us some great scanning from the sea wall where we do most of our resighting work, either on incoming or outgoing tides, while the birds are close enough to read colourband combinations, engraved leg flags (ELF) and score breeding plumage and abdominal profiles. Mornings are by far the best for observations as the sun is behind us.”

Here is the link to the full story Bohai 2017 Update 2.

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Bohai 2017 Update 1 – 24 April 2017

The GFN team is in Bohai Bay, China, to study Red Knots and Great Knots on northward migration. Chris Hassell, Ady Boyle and Bob Loos post regular updates on the Australian Global Flyway Network website. Here is the first of this season, about cordgrass and “puzzling” Black-tailed Godwits.

Here is the link to Bohai 2017 Update 1.

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