If you click on any images in the blog, they will be opened in a separate window, will be larger and it will be easier to see detail.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

162312 during April

The Steppe Eagle we are tracking that made an early attempt at migration (see earlier blog post), then returned to Oman is now in Iran.  162312 left the Tahwa landfill site, where it had spent much of the winter, on 8 April on its second migration attempt.  Like the other Steppe eagle we are tracking, it spend some time (5 days) on the Kuwait-Saudi Arabia border, before pushing farther north.  By 26 April, 162312 was located about 50 km southwest of Qom, Iran, following a path similar to that used by our other tagged Steppe eagle (see the April 14 post).

Bon voyage!

Migration of 162312 from Oman (8 April) into central Iran (26 April) during spring 2017.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Steppe eagle in Turkmenistan

Well, after waiting for some time on the Kuwait-Saudi border, the Steppe eagle we are tracking made a concerted push north, crossing southern Iraq and the whole of Iran.  Currently it is in Turkmenisan, near the town of Baharly.  Since leaving on migration, this bird has travelled a total of 4030 km and is now 1682 km away (straight line) from where it started.  On average it has travelled 118 km/day, but has travelled as much as 314 km in a single day.  The gap in data over the Euphrates delta will probably be filled in when the bird has a GSM connection and the transmitter can download stored information.  Remember, if you double-click on the map, it should open up larger in a new window, making for easier viewing.

Keep an eye on the blog.  This and the other eagle we are tracking are on the move, and there is always the Egyptian vulture to find out about.

Movements of a Steppe eagle during 10 March - 14 April 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

8-13 April movements of 162312

After the aborted migration effort about two weeks ago, 162312 set out again.  Early on 8 April, this Steppe eagle first headed east, then southwest.  It spent the night about 70 km NE of Qarn Alam.  It then moved steadily west and north, spending the nights of 9 and 10 April in the Saudi Empty Quarter, then on the night of the 11th, far from human habitation in eastern Saudi Arabia. By the night of the 12th it was still in eastern Saudi Arabia, west of Qatar.  By noon on the 13th (today) it was near the Saudi Arabian town of Al Hofuf.  See the map below.

If you are wondering what is happening with the other Steppe eagle we are tracking, visit the blog in a couple of days. We have some exciting news.

Movement of Steppe eagle during 8-13 April 2017.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Fool's Joke?

Well, one of the Steppe eagles that we are tracking (162312) has done something unexpected.  As reported in an earlier blog post, this bird left the Tahwa Landfill site, where it had spent much of its time this winter, on 30 March and headed west.  Over the next two days it flew over about 650 km, and on the night of 1 April it was near Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi.  On 2 April it seemed to continue its movement west, when at about 1300 local time it turned around and headed back towards Oman.  Amazingly, it flew almost as directly back to Tahwa, arriving there at around 1900 local time, 2 April.  It spent the night of the 4th perched on a pylon, where it spent the night of the 30th (just before it headed out 6 days previous).  Maybe the suggestion that this bird was migrating was just an April Fool's Day joke.  I fell for it.

I wonder what is going on?  The other Steppe Eagle we are tracking seems reluctant to cross Kuwait.  Time will tell... maybe.

Movements of Steppe Eagle 162312 during 30 March-4 April 2017.
Night time roost used by Steppe eagle on 30 March and on 4 April.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

162312 is on the move

Around 10.00 local time on 30 March, the Steppe eagle we fitted with a transmitter in January (162312) started its migration, leaving Tahwa landfill and heading east.  It spent the night of the 30th NW of Bahla, then the night of 31st in Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain.  The night of the 1st of April was spent on power pole about 10 km east of Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi.  It will be interesting to see if this bird will catch up to the other we are tracking (see earlier post), which is wandering around along the Saudi-Kuwait border.
Movements of Steppe eagle during 30 March-2 April 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 2017: Part 3, Steppe eagle 162312

In contrast to the Steppe eagle 105 (See earlier post), 162312 has not started its migration, and is currently at the Tahwa Landfill site.  The map below shows that it did make some excursions out to the Wahiba Sands, but those were almost a month ago.

Movements of Steppe eagle 162312 during March 2017.
Below is the image zoomed into the Tahwa landfill.  The red box shows is where a power pylon is located where this bird likes to perch, and the purple box is where the landfill is located.

Locations of a Steppe eagle near the Tahwa landfill during March 2017.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 2017: Part 2 Steppe Eagle 105

In January we caught two Steppe eagles (Aquila nipalensis) at the Muscat Municipal Landfill at Al Multaqa.  Look back at our January 30 blog post.  Steppe eagles are migratory and only visit Oman in the winter, so these birds were destined to someday fly off to summering areas in Asia.  For Steppe eagle 105, that journey started on 7 March, when it started moving north west from Bahla.  By 18 March it was flying over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after which it changed course and headed toward Kuwait City.  As of the afternoon of 24 March, 105 is located about 50 km east of the Saudi Arabian town of Hafar al Batin and about 200 km south west of Kuwait City.  Migration can be a dangerous time, and we hope that this bird will continue safely on its journey.

Below is a map (If you click on it, it should open up larger in new window).  The gaps you see are because the bird has been flying over areas where it has no GSM coverage, inhibiting the upload of GPS locations.  Hopefully over time, as long as it gets periods of good GSM coverage, those gaps will get filled in as the transmitter catches up and sends the saved data.
Movements of a juvenile Steppe eagle Jan-March 2017, showing 18 days of its spring migration.