From February on we are again standby for going out for capturing divers at the North Sea. In dark and calm nights it is planned to equip up to 20 divers with satellite transmitters until April 2016.
Since mid-October there were no major news to report from diver movements, but since end of November things are getting exciting as birds started to move again. Red-throated Divers moult their primal feathers between October and December which makes them flightless for that period. Four of the Sibirian Red-throated Divers spent this time in the Gulf of Riga, one Sibirian bird at the Dutch North Sea coast and the West-Greenland diver spent this moulting period at the Scottish coast. In the meantime the bird moulting at the Dutch coast relocated to the British east coast and also the birds moulting in the Gulf of Riga have largely left this area. One of these birds lately sent its position from close to the capture area in the North Sea west of Sylt.
After spending the summer in the Ob River estuary in Siberia and using several stop-over sites on the way back (among others, Kolgujew, White Sea, Gulf of Finland), diver #40 is back to the German Bight, north of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. More than 9000km of flight since transmitter deployment in March 2015.
Almost all Red-throated Divers equipped with satellite transmitters last winter – and still transmitting – have left their breeding / summering grounds and started to move. It will be interesting to see if and when these birds arrive in the same wintering areas in the German Bight, where they have been captured last winter, and how these birds will use or avoid areas with offshore wind farms there.