Common ringed plovers from Öland to Lappland

Finally, the breeding season for waders has started at Ottenby, Öland, after some weeks of rough weather. For my part it means the initiation of the field season. In particular I am interested in the common ringed plovers in the area close to the southern point of Öland. This population is subjected to a study regarding the migration of this species by using light-level geolocators. These are deployed and retrieved during the breeding season by catching the birds while incubating. 

The aim for the study is to learn more about migratory patterns and strategies between populations that breeds on different latitudes. This species is very interesting because it have a ‘leap-frog’ migration pattern, where populations on northerly latitudes migrate furthest south during winter. The population here at Ottenby, which have been studied since 2013, is only one part of the project. Later in June, when the breeding season starts in Swedish Lapland I will also visit Abisko where geolocators have been deployed since 2014. 

At the moment the time is spent searching for plover nests on the meadows and counting how many individuals with golocators that have returned this year. So far 10 nests are active and about 15 individuals have returned. In addition, some attempts of catching have been done, where I have been lucky: three individuals with loggers have been retrieved. In addition, one of these was deployed in 2014 and might contain two years of data! 

Another highlight so far is the return of an old acquaintance of mine; #3568266. I caught and ringed her as a chick in 2010, about a week after she had hatched. In 2013 when the project started at Ottenby I re-caught her while breeding and equipped her with a geolocator. In 2014 she returned and the logger was retrieved. However, last year she was absent. But this year she has returned and is now incubating. Unfortunately she has been reluctant to walk into the walk-in trap so far. 

//Linus Hedh 

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