The past few days have consolidated the latest trends observed, with A7 positioned at the entrance of the Azov Sea (presumably feeding on tons of young anchovies), A2 is still missing in action somewhere in the Black Sea, and J3 our most advanced juvenile in the same area of the Aegean as A5.
BREAKING NEWS!! A7, our ‘front-runnner’ who reached the Black Sea on 14 July to disappear immediately from our radars, has just re-appeared late this morning in the vicinity of the Strait of Kerch where it was detected at last by a coastal GSM sensor. We retrieved not just its current position, but also his stored SW/NE route across the Black Sea during the past 12 days. To our knowledge this is the first confirmation of a Yelkouan migration from the Adriatic Sea to the mouth of the Azov Sea. Our early hypothesis that this bird underakes such a long journey in order to take advantage of the millions of sprat (young anchovies) present until October in the northeast Balck Sea / Azov Sea appears validated. Hopefully A7 will continue to share with us his regular progress (will it enter the Azov Sea?) in coming days. We’ll keep you posted.
J4 left the Adriatic Sea and is now approaching the gulf of Corinth. Will he join the wide area of the Cyclades which J3 seems to like?
Is A9 ready to start its migration or is it just exploring for the first time the western shore of the Adriatic?
→ 11:30: Bingo! A2 concluded its non-stop flight across the straits and the Marmara Sea yesterday and reached the Black Sea just before sunset! Luckily for us, he/she has the ‘good idea’ to rest on the water during the night, just at the limit of our satellite coverage. We were therefore able to retrieve its track at the time of our 3:00 a.m. (GMT) rendez-vous with the satellite. We lost its signal since… With luck we will be able to locate it soon again (?) unless it is now flying over the high sea.
→ 17:30: Breaking news!! A2 did find its way into the Marmara Sea! Hopefully the satellite will not lose its track when it enters the Black Sea (most likely), five days after A7.
→ 11:30: We are now zooming our attention on three birds:
A7, still ‘missing in action’ over the Black Sea;
A2, which seems to search the narrow entrance of the Dardanelles strait;
J3, well engaged in the Aegean Sea, who surprises us by undertaking a ‘migration’ as a 2-month-old while the three other juveniles still linger in the south Adriatic Sea.
16.07.21 → We lost track of A7 on Wednesday morning (right upon its entry into the Black Sea) but not the hope to retrieve its path in a few hours (days?) once he gets closer to a GSM antenna on the mainland.
A5 is the likely candidate for the next crossing of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits. But when? We follow that closely.
Two of our juveniles (J1, J3) are now almost in sight of one another, at the south of Corfu while J2 and J4 still linger in northern Albanian waters. For how long?
15.07.21 → A7 has disappeared from our radar since he emerged out of the Bosphorus into the Black Sea 24 hrs ago. Hopefully it is simply because it is flying across towards one of the main anchovy spawning grounds in the region (Crimea, Sea of Azov, or central Anatolia). We should know fairly soon once a coastal GSM sensor picks up the signal.
Otherwise A2 is getting closer to the entry to the Dardanelles Strait.
14.07.21 → A7 has now arrived in the Black Sea, after having crossed the Dardanelles, the Marmara Sea and now the Bosphorus in the last 24 hrs hardly without stopping… Its trajectory so far appears optimal: it took him exactly one week to fly over 2’000 km since leaving its nesting site in Croatian waters !
This is quite a feat, compared to other Yelkouan on our radar (A2, A5) which have paused (or ended their journey ?) in the Aegean Sea, in the vicinity of known Greek colonies. For how long?
All the juveniles are back on our radar, but are making little geographic progress at this time.
Where will A7 go now? Hopefully we shall receive his signal for a while more and so gain key information about the wintering zones of (some) yelkouan shearwaters.
13.07.21 → A7 has just entered the Dardanelles Strait!
12.07.21 → A7 continues to lead the way (presumably towards the Marmara and Black Seas), having left Mytilene island a few hours ago. Will it now engage directly into the narrow entrance of the Dardanelles Strait – some 150 km north? Key question, considering that the yelkouan avoids flying overland.
We (temporarily ?) lost the signal of our juveniles J1 and J2 over the south Adriatic and northern Ionian Sea. We hope that they will reappear soon on our radar screen. On the other hand our fourth juvenile J4 made its first appearance.
11.07.21 → A7 is the most active right now, pursuing his advance towards the north-east in the direction of Chios; will he cross between the island and the mainland?
10.07.21 → Some movements in the last 24 hrs !
Three adults in or near the Aegan Sea: A5 has now resumed its journey towards the north, finally bypassing Andros island. A7 is not far behind, with a more direct NE trajectory, whereas A2 is making a long pause southwest of Athens.
Three juveniles are now on our radar as J3 has emerged of its burrow and is flying close to the nesting site. J1 has bypassed Corfu, and J2 – seemingly a day or two behind – has entered Albanian waters.
09.07.21 → Our most active adults (A2, A5, A7) are clearly pursuing their migrations. Where will they stop?
A second juvenile (J2) is showing early signs to leave the Adriatic on the tracks perhaps of J1.
08.07.21 → A5 is well ahead in the mid Aegan Sea (will it stop here or pursue towards the north?)
A2 has now entered the Aegean Sea and is not far behind.
A7 passed the strait of Otranto during the night and is now south of Corfu.
J1, only a few weeks old (!), left behind its nesting site ca. 500 km north. Do juveniles migrate? (they fly solo presumably)
07.07.21 → Two adults (A2 and A5) are now well engaged in their migration, having reached the Peloponese, one day apart. Most of the others still hover around their colony site in Dalmatian waters but some have crossed the Adriatic westward to forage near the Italian coast. Will they soon migrate to their wintering site(s)? Two of the four juveniles (J1 and J2) tagged have started to explore the area between their nesting site in the Lastovo Archipelago and Dubrovnik. We have no data yet from the two other juveniles (probably still in their burrows and therefore not transmitting).