You may not have noticed anything last weekend, but there was a huge advance in snipe knowledge with the recapture of a bird at Port Fairy with a geolocator deployed last year. This represents the first time that the full migration path of the species has been recorded. T-zero was recaptured on Sunday only 600 metres from where it was originally caught on Oct 1st 2015, having been to Japan and back in the interim.
T-zero was one of eight birds caught over the weekend, with the other seven birds having new geolocators attached. This makes a total of 26 birds with active geolocators.
Data from the geolocator showed that T-zero undertook a full migration to Hokkaido, Japan before returning to Port Fairy. Initial analysis of the data shows that the bird left Port Fairy on February 1 (2016) and stopped over in central coastal Queensland and Cape York / southern Papua New Guinea on its way north. It appears to have bred in southern coastal Hokkaido before returning directly to central coastal Queensland in a single flight (at least 7000km). A more detailed analysis will be undertaken in the coming days to shed more light on this birds movements.
This first recovery is a great outcome from the project so far, and gives an international perspective to the work done by the South Beach Wetlands and Landcare Group monitoring snipe in Port Fairy over the last 15 years.
More catches and counts are planned for the upcoming season – please contact us if you’d like to be involved.