Bonjour de France!

Today we had a foreign surprise up in Björkfjället… Johannes has been studying Dunlins around Ammarnäs since 2008. Since last year, we have been collaborating in a circumpolar project on nest predation/survival rates in sandpiper species, focussing on Dunlin. This year, this was extended with another circumpolar collaboration, which aims to map the migration route of all subspecies of Dunlin (there are quite a few, depending on your taxonomic taste).

This morning we went up to Björkfjället to deploy geolocators on three Dunlins. After I retrieved the third bird from the trap, I noticed it had a metal ring! In previous years, Johannes colour-ringed a number of adults, and metal-ringed many chicks in the preceding years. Hence, my first and only thought was ‘this must be a bird ringed as a chick by Johannes’. Little did I know… I handed the bird to Christian, who had a proper look at the ring. ‘PARIS’ it read!! Hence, this bird got his ring somewhere in France.

Dunlins colour-ringed at Ammarnäs have been resighted in, e.g., The Netherlands and Portugal, showing a south-western migration direction. In this respect, the connection with France is not very surprising. However, which stopovers individuals use for what period is not revealed by these colour-ring resightings, but will hopefully be uncovered next year… if we manage to recapture them!

Yesterday, we had great success with Red-necked Phalaropes. We recaptured two males that received a geolocator last year by Michiel, Piet and Tim. Both birds had a full year of data, showing nice tracks down to the Arabian Sea.

IMG_0440_dunlin_parisBonte Strandloper Paris01IMG_0452_view


4 thoughts on “Bonjour de France!

  1. Johannes June 23, 2016 / 11:42 pm

    Nice catch Rob!
    Though a recapture of a Dunlin ringed as chick would have been also great, since it has happened yet….

  2. Juan June 26, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    Hi Rob! and congratulations to all the field team 2016, very nice retrap! Remember Paula and I also ringed adult dunlins and many pulli in Bjökfället as well in 2010 ;). We hope you can retrap one of these birds!

  3. robvanbemmelen June 28, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Ah, of course! Sorry about that! Would indeed be nice to recapture those. However, we won’t attempt more captures of adult Dunlins, as we’ve deployed all eight geolocators; 4 in Raurejaure, 1 in Gelmetje (on one of the old birds, ‘ACL’), and 3 in Björkfjället. Fingers crossed we can retrieve them next year!

  4. robvanbemmelen January 27, 2017 / 3:52 pm

    Just received news about where and when this Dunlin got his ring. It was ringed just south of La Rochelle, France (, in November 2010 as a first-year bird. Hence, it was about 6 years old when we captured it. I wonder where it is now, whether it still has its geolocator working and whether it will retrap it next summer in Ammarnäs!

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