Leaving Ammarnäs

After only three weeks of fieldwork, we are leaving Ammarnäs today already. With no breeding skuas and lower-than-usual abundance of some waders, including Red-necked Phalaropes, it was a rather short and ‘slow’ field season. Even so, we have been successful in deploying 14 new geolocators on phalaropes, and, more importantly, we managed to recapture four of them; two males and two females. I will dedicate the coming period to the analysis of these tracks in comparison with those obtained at other sites between Greenland and Tobseda (or Yamal, if Jasper has been successful!).

Catching the last five phalaropes has been a rather wet experience. For some reason, the few small flocks of phalarope females choose to occupy the least accessible ponds: those with extensive buoyant vegetation mats. Its easy to sink deep into this… We are using adjusted rubber boots to enter these ponds, with holes in it to let the water out. And we take off our pants to keep them dry… But in several cases this was not enough: we were sinking waist-deep into the mud and vegetation. The last phalarope to be captured took some extra effort. Christian eventually swam to it in order to flush it into the mistnet, successfully!

During the last few days, we ringed some chicks of Red-necked Phalaropes, Ruff, Redshank and Common Sandpiper. Another highlight for all of us was a recently hatched Common Cuckoo chick in a Meadow Pipit nest. The little monster had already showed the door to the Meadow Pipit chicks, which lay dead outside the entrance.

One of the lakes in Gelmetje with floating vegetation and Red-necked Phalaropes.
Ruff chicks!

5 thoughts on “Leaving Ammarnäs

  1. Åke Lindström July 1, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    Great work again Rob et al.! Welcome back next year… /Åke

  2. Herman van Bemmelen, father of Rob July 1, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    After a successful 2015, this year less success.
    But nevertheless, this experiences belongs to this kind of field studies.
    Next year hopefully better results.
    The this year gathered information, although less, can be of importance in combination with the information of former and the years to come.

  3. paulamachin July 1, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Hahhhaha…Christian swimming in Gelmetge, I caan see the picture clearly in my head….hehhe

  4. Johannes July 4, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    I can imagine which ponds were challenging you :)… I definetly recognize the one on the picture.
    Poor phalaropes with their perfect niché being intruded more and more by two-footed mammals

  5. robvanbemmelen July 5, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    @ Ake: Thanks! Looking forward to next year already. Good luck in the post-LUVRE!
    @ Johannes: This was the last year for geolocator deployments, so after next year, they will have the ponds, the mosquitoes and the rest of Gelmetje to themselves again! 😉

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