Beaumaris, Australia
Beaumaris, Australia

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Minton C.,165 Dalgetty Rd | Gosbell K.,17 Banksia Court | Johns P.,7 King St | Klaassen M.,Deakin University | And 4 more authors.
Wader Study Group Bulletin | Year: 2011

In 2010, following successful trials with geolocators on Ruddy Turnstones in 2009, a total of 105 units, of four different models, were deployed at five locations on Ruddy Turnstones and Greater Sandplovers. Geolocator retrieval rates were 44% on Ruddy Turnstone and 27% on Greater Sandplover. Complete (59%) and partial (15%) technical failure rates on geolocators were high and were mostly the result of wear and saltwater corrosion. All 30 units from the Swiss Ornithological Institute failed. Only half of the Mk10 and Mk12 units from the British Antarctic Survey produced full migration histories. The northward migration of Ruddy Turnstones was on a narrow path with many birds completing an initial non-stop flight of 7,600 km to Taiwan. Later, most made a stopover in the Yellow Sea. Median migration duration was 39.5 days and average migration speed of the first major leg of the journey (assuming the birds followed the great circle route between stopovers) was 63.4 kph. Southward migration paths showed a much wider spread, ranging from Mongolia to the central Pacific. The latter involved the same bird that had been tracked along this route the previous year. It has now been logged on similar 27,000 km round trips in two successive years. The median duration of southward migration (78 days) was nearly twice that of northward migration and data on average migration speed for just two migration legs indicated that it might be lower, 30 and 40 kph being the values recorded. Greater Sandplovers were only tracked on northward migration but seemed to follow a similar migration strategy with a large initial non-stop flight followed by shorter flights and more regular stopovers. Plans are outlined for further analyses and future deployments of geolocators.

Minton C.,165 Dalgetty Rd | Gosbell K.,1 19 Baldwin Rd | Johns P.,7 King St | Christie M.,Carpenter Rocks | And 5 more authors.
Wader Study Group Bulletin | Year: 2013

Geolocators were deployed on waders in Australia for a third successive year, in Feb/Apr 2011 including on Eastern Curlew and Sanderling for the first time. Retrieval rates, in the 2011/12 austral summer, varied markedly between species. Technical performance of the geolocators was better than in previous years. However units on Greater Sand Plovers, migrating to breeding grounds in the Gobi Desert, China/Mongolia, again behaved erratically, and exhibited symptoms suggesting extraneous electromagnetic interference. Generally, for each species studied, the results confirm earlier indications that the first step of northward migration from Australia is a long non-stop flight. Subsequent movements to breeding areas are usually shorter with up to three stopovers in SE Asia or Siberia. Similarly southward migration strategies include at least one long nonstop flight, though this is usually the second (or later) leg of the journey. The timing of migration appears to be particularly related to breeding latitude. Eastern Curlews, which breed at relatively southern latitudes, depart from SE Australia from early March, reach the breeding grounds and lay eggs in April, set off on return migration in early June and, after a long stopover in the Yellow Sea, arrive back in SE Australia in early August. In contrast arctic-breeding Ruddy Turnstones do not depart from SE Australia until mid/late April and do not arrive back at their non-breeding locations until October, with the last individuals (which have taken a trans-Pacific route) not returning until late November/early December. Recorded migration speeds (assuming the birds take a great circle route) were quite variable, ranging from 32 to 84 km/h, presumably due to wind conditions. They generally averaged nearer to 50 km/h rather than the 60–70 km/h which waders are known to be capable of achieving and which has been the basis of some past flight range calculations. © 2013, International Wader Study Group. All rights reserved.

Minton C.,165 Dalgetty Rd | Lane J.,4 Queen St | Pearson G.,21 Gratitude Way | Clarke A.,4 Queen St | Chapman A.,PO Box 264
Stilt | Year: 2015

The breeding behaviour and movements of Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus), have long been an enigma, ever since the first conclusively identified breeding colonies were located in 1930. The few colonies reported over the ensuing 65 years (to 1995) had mainly been found after young had hatched and become mobile, or even after colonies had been abandoned (normally following breeding failure). Few birds were banded and, at the time of the breeding events in the Western Australian goldfields area in 1995, only one banded bird showing movement had ever been recovered. In April – June 1995, at Lakes Ballard and Marmion, more than 800 chicks were marked, with at least 480 being flagged and 325 with metal band only. Twenty-four sightings of these birds (one involving three flagged birds) have subsequently been reported, in the period up to December 2014. Initially most of these were within Western Australia with birds moving as far north as Port Hedland (approximately 1050 km), and to various places along the lower west coast of the state from Busselton (700 km) to Rottnest Island, and up as far as Yarra Yarra Lakes (550 km). More surprisingly, at least three individuals were seen in the breeding Banded Stilt colonies at Lake Eyre in 2000 (around 1550 km east). The largest movement, also to the east, was a bird seen at Lake George in South Australia, over 1900 km. More recently there have been six further sightings in South Australia (five possibly being of the same bird) with the latest being 19 ½ years since the chicks were flagged. It appears that Western Australian Banded Stilts will move around between breeding events to any suitable habitat in the state, south of the Kimberley. They are also not totally isolated from the Banded Stilt which occur in south-eastern Australia and which breed in south-eastern parts of Central Australia. This movement data is a foundation for the much larger volume of Banded Stilt movement information now being generated from further extensive flagging and from satellite transmitter studies. © AWSG.

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