Brent Goose Satellite Tracking Update
A quick update on the satellite tracked Brent Geese as of 13th May 2019. Unfortunately we only have one tracker still working. The following is the latest update.
BRAN01 stopped working on 22nd Feb 2019 giving 243 location fixes whilst working all in the Crouch Estuary. We know this bird is still alive and it has been observed in Germany in early May.
BRAN02 is the one transmitter still working and this bird has been working its way along the Dutch coast for the last few weeks.
BRAN03 stopped working on 29th January giving 91 location fixes whilst it worked all in the Crouch Estuary. We know this bird was still alive some weeks after the tracker stopped working as it was observed by David Low at Blue House Farm.
BRAN04 stopped transmitting on 1st May giving 732 location fixes whilst it worked we tracked this bird to Germany and showed some great site fidelity on staging. We are fairly sure from the acvitivy on the tracker that the bird was still alive and well although it has not yet been observed in the field after the tracker stopped working.
BRAN05 this bird died between 17th and 20th April in the German Wadden Sea. It gave 693 location fixes before the bird died. We have no idea of the cause of death as the bird was not recovered and appeared to have died at sea (possibly roosting at night) and was carried by the tide.
The map below shows BRAN02 between 2nd April and 13th May working its way along the Dutch Wadden Sea using islands and the mainland.
All satellite tracked Brent Geese now Migrated 3rd April 2019
On 3rd April our last satellite Brent Goose made the trip across the North Sea. The data we have got from the three movements is quite incredible. All three birds have moved at night and left between 10pm and midnight arriving in Holland by 6am the next morning. All have staged for a short period before moving further one a short distance, one a little further and one much further into Germany.
BRAN02 the last bird to go followed almost the exact same route as the previous two and has stopped in Holland resting on the sea about 4am at first then moving onto the island of Richel in the Wadden Sea by 6am. This bird moved to the coast just off of Foulness and stayed there for about 3 hours before starting the migration. The speed seemed farily constant across the sea and with half hour data points on the UHF settings we can see the exact route and timing (see map below). The data points on the map below are every half and hour and shows a pretty direct flight to the Dutch Wadden Sea. Travelling about 340km in around 6 hours before resting on the sea. This gives an average speed of 56kmph (around 35mph).
This morning BRAN02 has moved a little further to Terschelling and appears to be settled there for the day. We await to see if it moves further or stages there with the large number of Brent that David Low has been watching on his recent trip.There is speculation that as the first two birds went early and have staged in Germany they may be wintering birds from the Crouch and this bird may be an early moving bird which had actually wintered further south in northern France with some of the other colour ringed birds that have clearly done this such as Green AN ringed in 2018 and wintered in France before going back to Netherlands this spring. (see http://www.southern-colour-ringing-group.org.uk/index.php/recoveries/brent-goose/bird/GBT-GV77530).
We wait for the next few weeks to see what will happen to these birds and when they move further on their migrations and hopefully we can track them to the breeding grounds.
BRAN05 Moves direct to Germany 13th March 2019
Early this morning our second satellite tracked Brent Goose moved across the North Sea and straight to Germany. Again leaving very early morning and taking a similar route to BRAN04 this bird did not stop until early morning on the island of Juist in Germany. Hourly datapoints showed the speed and timing of this movement as well as the distance. We will see if this bird stages here or makes a further jump in the next few days.
Brent Goose Satellite Tracking Update 21st February 2019
The Brent Goose Satellite tracking project is going well. However, one tracker has appeared to have stopped working BRAN03 last sent data back on 29th January and we were unsure what had happened.. However, we now know it is on the bird because David Low has observed the bird in the field matching the colour ring (Green CC) and the collar is still on the bird OK and it is feeding and behaving normally. The remaining four are sending back excellent data and we have now raised the number of data points each day to show some very intereting data on the specific feeding and roosting sites. Most birds have generally roosted on Bridge Marsh Island and feed on Blue House Farm. However, in the last few weeks the birds have split a little and a couple have now joined the South Woodham Ferris flock, some of which appear to now roost south of the river. Some of these birds are likely to start to migrate in the next few weeks and we wait in high hopes we can track the precise route, speed and timing of this as they move across to Holland. With this in mind we have raised the number of data points collected on a daily basis for the next few weeks to see if we can get a more accurate idea of these movements.
The maps below show the February movements for each bird:
BRAN01 - Colour Ring Green CD Metal Ring GV77655 - This bird took a sigle trip out the the coast and back which is interesting.
BRAN02 - Colour Ring Green CA Metal Ring GV77652
BRAN04 - Colour Ring Green DL Metal Ring GV77653
BRAN05 - Colour Ring Green CM Metal Ring GV77651
First few days of Brent Goose Tracking 11th Jan 2019
The first few days of tracking Brent Geese has been very interesting. In general all birds seem to be roosting on Bridgemarsh Island and grazing on the fields at Blue House Farm during the day. All five geese have spent the last three days grazing within a few yards of each other - that is quite fascinating and shows that group caught together have for at least three days stayed together. Most of them have also roosted overnight on Bridgemarsh Island in pretty much the same spots most nights which is also very interesting, although one roosted the other side of N Fambridge and in the creek by South Fambridge on one night.
David Low has been out in the field observing the birds and we have established that of the 14 birds we caught it consisted of five pairs (ten individuals) and 4 individual unpaired birds. This added value and information is quite remarkable and will give us some incredibly enhanced data. He has also observed all the neck collared birds all of which seem to be behaving normally and showing no issues with their collars. The photo below shows one bird preening and David's observations have been very encouraging along with the tracking data showing all birds appear to be behaving as normal with the rest of the flock.
Green DL in the field - Photo David Low
Below are the maps for the first four days of tracking for each bird.