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Old Sunday 20th September 2015, 08:39   #1
rosbifs
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Satellite Tagged Pallid Harrier

www.luomus.fi/en/female-pallid-harrier-potku

Richard Prior kindly posted this address up on another thread.

I was hoping to track this bird to my doorstep but the info seems to have stopped on the 17th Sept. Does anyone know whether this is deliberate?

Anyway, the path has been interesting with the bird taking in three capital cities Vilnius, Berlin and Paris and a couple of other big places en-route. Could be another discussion particularly for birds migrating in populated regions - i.e. are they attracted past cities and not just at night but day time.... (obviously a sample of 1 isn't enough but there are numerous tagged birds now)
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Old Monday 21st September 2015, 14:59   #2
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She decided not to come my way but passed Biarritz yesterday.

700km in the day - at least she's fit. A chunk was in darkness.
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Old Thursday 24th September 2015, 13:03   #3
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She is a brave girl. crossed into africa - almeria to melilla in 6 hours - 100 miles of water - a bit more because she didn't aim for the nearest landfall.

She set off, probably, before day break (6am I guess wasn't quite light there) with a tiny following wind of 2mph but then looks like hit westerlies and finally WNW at landfall.

Looks like she didn't stop to rest until 5pm so another 5 hours flying...
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Old Friday 25th September 2015, 05:34   #4
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A real athlete, will she end up wintering with the Montagu's Harriers in Senegal I wonder? Fascinating to be able to follow this individual's migration like this.
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 18:27   #5
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A real athlete, will she end up wintering with the Montagu's Harriers in Senegal I wonder? Fascinating to be able to follow this individual's migration like this.
I may have guessed right re. her final destination for wintering, latest update shows 'Potku' in Mauritania, having crossed the Atlas Mts at 3600m asl instead of taking the easier coastal route, before traversing the Western Sahara.
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Old Saturday 20th February 2016, 14:28   #6
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Well, well, I'd given her up for dead, but Potku did make it to Senegal after all:


www.luomus.fi/en/female-pallid-harrier-potku

Looking forward to more information as the spring arrives, especially regarding the route the bird chooses for its return journey north, more capital city sightseeing perhaps!
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Old Tuesday 5th April 2016, 16:22   #7
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Updated info on the website shown in previous post, Potku well on the way back to Finland now having crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, over the top of the Pyrenees,the map (updated to 2 April) shows Paris may be on Potku's agenda again!
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Old Tuesday 5th April 2016, 18:28   #8
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I was in bed when she passed...
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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 06:34   #9
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Our intrepid traveller is steaming northwards again, after taking what appears to have been a spring mini-break around Paris for 9 days (and why not, it's so romantic at this time of the year ). Potku crossed the France/Begium border mid-morning on the 12th and by 4pm was in the Netherlands, so a stay around Brussels was not on the agenda............. There have been several other Pallids passing through France this Spring, it's seems that this westerly migration/wintering route is now firmly established for the more westerly breeding Pallid Harriers.
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Old Saturday 16th April 2016, 07:18   #10
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Don't forget the overwintering birds in both France and Spain. There are also some females that go 'un-noticed' but they estimate, at Gruissan alone, that there are 20-25 passing through in spring (highest official count at watchpoint is 13 but it is a long way from full time).
Good stuff particularly as we had one overwintering in Pau this year.
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Old Wednesday 20th April 2016, 16:32   #11
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Potku really moving now, in 4 days between 15th and 19th this persevering Pallid flew from the Netherlands, across Germany, through Poland to finish at the Lithuania/ Belarus border at 21h00 on the 19th. Not far to go now to the 'Finnish line' (geddit?).
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Old Wednesday 20th April 2016, 21:24   #12
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Its interesting to note that the journeys are shorter and shorter - although consistent compared to the massive trips she did earlier on...
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 19:17   #13
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24 April shows the female Pallid in Latvia, I've copied below the two reports recently posted on the Finnish website that give more detail of this last part of the spring migration:
April 13 2016

Stuck near Paris

On the first days of April I was hoping that I could soon go and meet Potku in Utajärvi where she bred last summer. At the end of the last update, early in morning of March 29 Potku was approaching Gibraltar in northern Morocco. That day became a true wayfaring day. The female pallid harrier flew 1 200 km nonstop in 24 hours! She had passed the whole of the Iberian Peninsula before the sun rose again. Her average speed was exactly 50 km/h.

Potku didn’t stop flying even after she had crossed the Pyrenees. The bird flew until the next evening , March 31, when she finally settled for the night at a patch of woodland northeast of Poitiers in western France. Her continuous flight had been more than 1 500 km long.

Half way through France she slowed down. During the three first days of April Potku flew another 400 km to northern France until she stopped altogether. On April 4 she suddenly turned back south! Potku flew approximately 100 km towards Paris and stayed there hunting on the fields for nearly a whole week. A friend of mine already joked about her staying there to breed…

Luckily, on April 12, she must have recalled her northern breeding grounds when she started to head for the northeast again.
25 April update: Potku is coming!

Finally. There’s a weather front rising from the Baltics towards the north. It’s going to bring Potku home.

One week ago Potku was flying swiftly near the coast of the Baltic Sea, but the presumably bad weather stopped her journey near the border between Lithuania and Belarus. Now the current blowing from the Baltics towards Finland seems to bring her finally home.

Potku’s spring migration across Europe took a more coastal route than in the autumn. On April 14, flying between Antwerp and Brussels, the bird crossed Belgium in a day. The next night she rested at a field west of the city of Nijmegen. From there Potku’s journey continued to northern Germany with the aid of a brisk tailwind. At one point her flight direction seemed to be taking her across the Baltic Sea by the longest possible crossing. However, at the border between Germany and Poland, at the shore of the Szczecin Lagoon, she changed her course more towards the east. Northern Poland was crossed in two days on April 17 and 18. Her last field hunting period took place in western Belarus near the village of Kaziany on April 20 to 24.

With some luck Potku will the hit coastline of the Gulf of Finland today!
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Old Saturday 7th May 2016, 05:33   #14
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Back in Finland after roughly two months migration - I'm impressed!
See the map at:

www.luomus.fi/en/female-pallid-harrier-potku
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Old Saturday 7th May 2016, 07:35   #15
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Co-incidentely this bird passed, loosely, our house in the Pyrenees but then went on to pass my aunties summer cottage in Finland (paijane - pulkalin harju (something like that))...

Hope she breeds and gives us another visit in autumn.
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Old Saturday 7th May 2016, 14:32   #16
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Obviously part of the family now Rosbifs!
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Old Monday 5th September 2016, 13:53   #17
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This Pallid Harrier's migration strategy (or lack of one!) is fascinating, another spectacular u-turn on the map! See the latest updates at:
www.luomus.fi/en/female-pallid-harrier-potku

Those of us in more westerly countries of Europe may have fewer young Pallids passing through this autumn as it seems the recently developed Finnish breeding population had a disastrous season (I'm guessing that the increase in observations in recent years is linked to the increasing number of Finnish breeders).
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Old Monday 5th September 2016, 15:30   #18
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Any reason for that disastrous Finnish breeding season Richard?

Really interesting read so far.
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Old Monday 5th September 2016, 16:00   #19
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Nick, I've lifted this from the website that follows this bird's progress: "In total, the summer of 2016 was very bad for pallid harriers in Finland. There were almost no voles at all in the best known breeding area around Oulu and, accordingly, not a single successful breeding event. I managed to find one brood of four chicks in Kittilä, central Lapland, just 35 km away from the site where Potku stayed for a week in mid-May. So far, this has remained the only known brood in Finland this year."
It'll be interesting to see if as a result, numbers are down in say, Holland, Belgium UK, France and Spain this autumn/winter compared to recent years where, if I'm not mistaken, records have been increasing each year as has the breeding population in Finland....

Cheers

Richard
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2016, 03:45   #20
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At least the numbers of migrants in southern Finland are not down, but quite good. Attached a map (www.tiira.fi) of observations from the last three weeks. (The density of dots also correlates with human population density quite well.)
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Old Thursday 8th September 2016, 05:22   #21
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Thanks Richard, I did wonder/presume if it was simply down to a vole crash. I love Pallid Harriers as much as Hen and Monty's, hoped this population would become established. Maybe it still will.

Staggered at the amount of sightings attached in the map in the post above, though clearly must relate to the same birds to a significant degree.
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Old Thursday 8th September 2016, 05:35   #22
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Originally Posted by rosbifs View Post
Co-incidentely this bird passed, loosely, our house in the Pyrenees but then went on to pass my aunties summer cottage in Finland (paijane - pulkalin harju (something like that))...
.
First time I have looked at this ...but according to map plot in the spring, she went within two hundred metres of my house too! But it was the straight line, not the points, so I guess in reality it might have been a little more :)
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Old Thursday 8th September 2016, 09:46   #23
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First time I have looked at this ...but according to map plot in the spring, she went within two hundred metres of my house too! But it was the straight line, not the points, so I guess in reality it might have been a little more :)
I could have attached your Xmas card to her back....
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2016, 10:01   #24
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You've missed her again Rosbifs! This is an amazing creature, I've just checked the map plotting Potku's migration this autumn, after having taken a much more easterly track (St Petersburg, Belarus etc) before her u-turn in S East Ukraine in August, the female Pallid Harrier then spent a month further north (!) in S.west Russia before getting the compass working again and steaming west across Belarus, Poland until picking up last year's path through Belgium and France down into E.Spain , see
www.luomus.fi/en/female-pallid-harrier-potku for the details. Will she end up in Senegal again I wonder.....
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2016, 10:47   #25
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You've missed her again Rosbifs! This is an amazing creature, I've just checked the map plotting Potku's migration this autumn, after having taken a much more easterly track (St Petersburg, Belarus etc) before her u-turn in S East Ukraine in August, the female Pallid Harrier then spent a month further north (!) in S.west Russia before getting the compass working again and steaming west across Belarus, Poland until picking up last year's path through Belgium and France down into E.Spain , see
www.luomus.fi/en/female-pallid-harrier-potku for the details. Will she end up in Senegal again I wonder.....
Clearly I upset her in the spring - after passing within a couple of hundred metres of my house on the northbound migration, her southbound route includes an almost perfect arc that suggests a deliberate detour to keep a safe distance of about 400 km from me southbound. :) Make I should have invited her in for a cup of tea or something!
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