Satellite tagging of six young kestrels
21 March 2017
6 March 2017
Unfortunately no more data from the kestrels for some weeks now. Jenni and Peake were last heard from at the end of December, Gibb and Glen at the beginning of January and Emma at the end of January. Hopefully one or more will come on line with spring sunshine.
With the 2017 season fast approaching
the priority is getting funding to pay for a third year of tagging and order the
tags. An uphill battle as usual!
20 January 2017
Glenn still seems to be with us but nothing from Jenni, Emma or Peake. All the tags are recording low voltage and the small surface area of the solar panel (the size of my thumb nail) means that they will struggle with the short day light hours at this time of year and in poor weather conditions. This is happening to the current hen harrier tags being monitored by the RSPB.
Still, it is not unusual for tags to come back on line when conditions improve so all is not lost yet, though there has been no relevant data from Emma and Gibb for some time which does not bode well.
It is very encouraging that there is still evidence that some of the 2016 satellite tagged kestrels are still active. Not withstanding that voltage is very poor at this time of year, particularly in the small kestrel sized tags, the picture is much more encouraging compared to the 2015 results. Peake, Glenn and Gibb are all still within 10 kilometres of their natal sites, the last signal being on 29 December, 2 January and 3 January respectively but all three have very low voltages. Jenni’s last date was 27 December and Emma on 2 December, the latter giving most cause for concern.
Still potentially five with us but most have low voltage, par for the course at this time of year. No good data from Emma since 2 December, Jenni, Gibb and Peake still in the same areas on the 18th, 12th and 18th respectively. Encouragingly Glenn could possibly be back on line but there were no definite location dots. A good spell of sunshine would be most welcome.
News of the four 2016 cohort that are left after a gap when Jenni, my contact at the RSPB who supplies the downloads, took a break to get married! We wish them well.
Gibb is 3 kilometres inland from the natal coastal site but the voltage and data are dropping. Jenni is still in the same area as last reported while Peake has moved 10 kilometres south east of the edge of the Galloway Forest. Emma has not been transmitting since 2 December and the voltage is poor on the satellite tag. Recent lack of sunshine cannot be helping.
18 October 2016
Peake and Gibb have shown no inclination to leave the general area of the natal territory. Emma is still north west of Dalmellington where she has been for some time. The mover is Jenni who had travelled from the coast to an area south of Dalmellington and has now moved south west and returned to the coastline west of Stranraer.
22 September 2016
Data from 11-20 September indicates mostly local movement from four of the birds. There has been no signal from Glenn since 7 September and unfortunately it seems not to have survived. The last known position was 2 ˝ kilometers south of the natal site. Peake has been active in an area covering 5 kilometers inland and 17 kilometers south of the site but it is still very much coastal orientated. Jenni was in roughly the same area as Peake till she moved inland to the Dalmellington/Carsphairn area. Gibb has a cluster of locations inland 3 kilometers from the natal site while Emma is still in the same area west of Dalmellington, a distance of 27 kilometers from the coast.
12 September 2016
All five birds are ok and although none have moved a great distance they are staying around in the same areas they were recorded in last week. Of great interest is the news that Rosie's tag from last season's cohort is still transmitting and there may be a chance of recovering it. There is no expectation that the bird is still alive.
9 September 2016
The five remaining young birds are still active but unlike Kate which made a move only to disappear on a driven grouse moor, they seem in no great hurry to move any significant distance. There is a cluster of data for Jenni near Carsphairn, still in my main study area, Peake has moved off the coast and is a few kilometers inland, Gibb is south of Pinwherry/Colmonell and Glenn is within a few kilometers of its natal site. Emma is giving some cause for concern as there has been no decent dots since 31 August. We think that the bird is ok as the rest of the data from the satellite downloads is positive. It could be that the tag is not getting as good a charge as the others.
Sadly, despite the tag having been
working perfectly with good voltage, the sudden lack of transmission from
and subsequent unsuccessful ground search, we have to assume that the bird is
dead. The other five are still transmitting but are showing little sign of
movement from the 23rd.
is near Penpont at the Shinnel Water (always a good kestrel area) having
travelled 56km directly east from the natal site.
established in the Galloway Forest Park north of Glentrool, a 33km movement
south east. Emma
is 25km north east of her natal site while
moved 7km east. Peake
is still within a few kilometers of the home territory.
Sadly there has been no data from Kate since her last position on 12 August when there was a sudden failure in transmission. Two of the birds, Gibb and Peake, are showing little inclination to move from the general natal areas south of Girvan. Gibb is currently located 5Km SE of the town and Peake is just south of Lendalfoot near the coast. Jenni is still well inland at Kendoon Loch near my main study area. Emma is roughly in the same area as in the last check, near the village of Patna. Glenn also is quite close to his last known position and is near South Balloch.
All six birds accounted for. Peake and Gibb are still home birds, not having moved far from their natal sites. Kate continues to be the prime mover leaving the Gifford area in East Lothian and is currently just north east of Lauder. Glenn has moved inland having made a trip to Ailsa Craig and back and is in the Glentrool area. Emma has not gone far, a short trip north to Hollybush, east of Ayr. Jenni is also inland at Carsphairn south of Dalmellington (into my main study area!)
All the tags are transmitting and all young birds except one are still quite close to their nesting territories. Kate has made the first move, crossing the country coast to coast and is currently near Gifford in East Lothian.
29 July 2016All six tags are operational and there has been some small movement of birds from the natal areas. This year's cohort of young kestrels are Peake and Jenni from a small coastal quarry. Kate, Emma, Gibb and Glenn fledged from an adjacent territory, the nest site being a ledge on a cliff site just back from but within sight of the sea. The two birds showing the local movement are Gibb and Peake, the latter the most interesting as it has so far survived the possible negative response from the peregrine pair which nested in the same quarry only 60 metres away.
22 April 2016
Everything has gone quiet in the field with the 4 tags still unaccounted for not transmitting. One lives in hope but .... It was hoped to retrieve Rosie's tag but the transmissions have stopped. Although the general area is known it would be like the proverbial needle in a haystack situation. The good news is that the 2 tags which were retrieved are fully charged and ready to go and 4 new tags are on order from America (nearly all the cost covered by sponsors!). The problem may well be finding kestrels to tag as to date nineteen territories checked and only 4 pairs in residence. Almost a kestrel silent spring so far.
9 February 2016
January 13th 2016
30 November 2015
16 October 2015
12 October 2015
Maddie is still roughly in the same area very close to the Channel. Rabbie has moved south again and is just north of the Isle of Wight near Andover on the fringe of an afforested atea. None of the other four are showing positive transmitions.
18 September 2015
Exciting news that Maddie so long off the radar is back on line and is west of Dover hopefully getting ready to cross the Channel. She's located in a lowland habitat mix, deciduous woodland fringe and open rough grassland. Rabbie is still in Mid Wales having gone to Plymouth and baulked at the sea crossing!!
The data is not encouraging. On the one hand Rabbie has flown to the south coast of England, east of Plymouth, then moved due north to mid Wales - see maps. George's data shows he has not moved, his temperature reading is low but the tag is still transmitting. Rosie is similar, very low temperature reading - 2-5° which is not hopeful. No further data on Alice and Kirky has still not transmitted. Still unsure about Maddie as there is data but not good enough to verify her exact location.
There has been a lack of significant movement from George between 30 August and 6 September which is slightly concerning. Still very much within the forest edge near the natal site. Rosie is a definite cause for concern as there is only one good fix from 6 September and her data is showing a low temperature and not much activity. Rabbie the rover went East to West between 26 August and 2 September and then back again. The last fix puts him south of Loch Braden. There is nothing from Alice or Maddie except a tantelising low resolution dot from the Kent coast from Maddie but better data is needed if this movement is to be confirmed.
George has re-surfaced and sent some data which shows he has not moved far and is still within 5 km of the natal site. Rabbie the wanderer is now in the New Cumnock area as his adventures continue. Nothing new from Maddie and Rosie.
Still no new data from George since the last update, Rosie has sent out some data but not good quality. Alice has headed off to Gretna and Rabbie is 3 km south east of Kilmarnock, quite the rover. Maddie has provided some data but again not good enough quality to pinpoint where she is.
No data from George since 11 August and no data from Rosie since the 10th which is a concern as both their batteries have a good charge. Alice and Rabbie have both been giving out decent data. Rabbie has headed south from the Loch Braden area almost to the Solway Firth and then decided to head back north again! Alice is still a relatively home bird. Maddie hasn't given much data but the battery voltage is much lower than the others so this may improve.
There is a general lack of good data coming through with poor quality argos dots. George has not moved far, no signal at all from Kirky so either a malfunction of the equipment or mortality. Rosie is still in the area near Loch Urr and Dunscore, north west of Dumfries and Alice has made little movement so far. Rabbie is still relatively static and there is no further data from Maddie after the move east.
7 August 2015 2015
3 August 2015 2015
All but one of the six kestrels have appeared on the
Rosie has only one record of note and that puts
her within a 1.5 m radius of
26 July 2015 2015
Data from five of the six young kestrels has been
All three broods checked, all the young had fledged