Studies, monitoring

Great snipes are back in their lekking sites


10259863_252301594957407_1238112449551854343_nThis year (2014), we have already performed three captures of great snipes in two lekking sites in the Upper Narew River Valley. We have captured 19 birds in total – 16 males and 3 females. Out of this number, 11 have been fitted with VHF transmitters, and 3 more in GPS loggers. Among the captured individuals was one male which we have recorded in the previous season in lekking sites in Poland and Belarus, two others ringed at that time and one male with a GPS transmitter containing unique data on the itinerary of its migration to Africa!



Great snipes: always amazing


badania_siedliskoweThe first season of studies devoted to habitat selection and the usage of space by great snipes in the upper Narew River Valley has been closed successfully, bringing many interesting observations. From the researcher's point of view, the acquired information sheds new light on the behaviour of this mysterious species. For us it is also an invaluable contribution to the problem, which habitants, characterized by what type of structure, is preferred by the great snipe. This will help us to plan and perform conservation activities in the upper Narew River Valley more effectively. Below we present the scope of this year's studies and a number of associated interesting facts.



Almost the end of leks activity, field work is in progress


The great snipes from the Narew River Valley are no more attended on leks. This way the capturing of birds in order to fit part of them with VHF transmitters, GPS transmitters and geolocators have also been finished. More information on this topic was provided by the internet edition of Gazeta Wyborcza Białystok, following the information from the Polish Press Agency. Although the capturing is over, fieldwork has not finished. The ornithologists collect soil samples and study habitat parameters. In order to examine habitat selection of the great snipe, samples are being collected from the sites where feeding birds have been observed, as well as from random localities.







Great Snipe studies underway


jajaSo far, the research has taken place at one fixed and two satellite leks in the upper part of the Narew River Valley. The prolonged presence of the high water level in the area meant that we are observing a lot of displacements and even the disappearance (although probably temporary) of many known leks. So far we have been able to capture a total of 19 individuals. We have deployed 14 VHF transmitters and 5 with GPS loggers.



The first trapping of great snipes completed with success


DSCN8986On the 6th of May we completed the first of the planned capturing sessions of great snipes in the Upper Narew River Valley. The birds were accurately measured, ringed and equipped with VHF transmitters, which weigh only 1.8 g. The transmitters were fitted in such way as to not disturb the natural behaviour of birds and they will fall off with the feathers during the autumn moult. Thanks to these small devices, we will be able to track great snipes during the breeding season, gaining valuable knowledge about their local movements, nesting and feeding sites. The gathered information will help us in planning the appropriate conservation measures for this poorly studied species in Poland. It is worth mentioning, that already after 15 minutes from releasing, the marked birds came back to the lek and completely devoted themselves to displaying activity.

Michał Korniluk