As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Grey plover flight of 13,000km from Russia to Adelaide tracked by satellite tag

Satellite tags are being used to plot the course of two grey plovers as they fly 13,000 kilometres back to Adelaide from Russia.

The birds were tagged earlier this year before they took off on their incredible long-haul flight.

The tags showed the pair flew non-stop 7,000km from Adelaide to China before they rested and continued on to Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean.

Tony Flaherty, the manager of coast and marine for Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, said satellite tags were invaluable research tools.

Every two days they plot the birds' location.

Mr Flaherty said the technology meant researchers could monitor their exact movements.
"[The tags] are very small, solar-powered units," he said.

"[They] come in under one gram [in weight]."

Previously, researchers had relied on bird sightings and made calculated guesses of their travels.

Mr Flaherty said it was incredible to watch the birds read complex weather systems and time their departures with complementary winds.

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