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.