Sunsets, solar panels, and the sea!

Following on from our studies of the foraging movements and migration of Baltic seabirds using sophisticated GPS tags (see: http://www.uva-bits.nl/) at Stora Karlsö in 2011, we have started a similar study around 200 km further north. 

Here at Fågelsundet (near Gävle) in the south-west of the Gulf of Bothnia we will be tagging Caspian terns (Skräntärna) and lesser black-backed gulls (silltrut).

During two visits to Fågelsundet, I, Arne, and Stefania have set-up the base-station system which communicates with the tags. So we are now ready to receive much data on how the seabirds forage in this area, and next year hope to receive data on these species’ fantastic migrations south to the Mediterranean Sea and Africa.

I and Arne putting together the base-station

Fågelsundet village is a beautiful place to stay. It is an old fishing village. In the 19th century the huts looked like this
It is a beautiful place to work, and fantastic for birds. When running in the woods I came round a bend in the track and was face to face with a male moose, only a few metres away! I’m not sure who was more surprised, me or the moose, we both jumped!

Stay tuned to hear about our first data when we deploy the GPS tags! //Tom

Another moose came to graze in the village one evening

Stefania and Arne discuss how to attach the solar-panels
The base-station installed on the jetty of the fishing hut of Kjell Holmqvist, the fisherman who takes us out to the island

The base-station installed on the island (left) and the hide (right) where we will sit to catch the Caspian terns
Leaving the island, the terns return to their nests

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