A Break on a Lake by Colin Pennycuick 31 October
I am glad to report renewed activity from two of our swans, after a few days of being unable to trace them.
Bewick's 11D (Andrei) has been located four times since yesterday afternoon, still messing about on Lake Peipus.
Whooper Huck (HUC) last came up at 0321GMT this morning, when he was still at the north end of Lake Ladoga, where he has been for several days.
We are expecting to hear from 12D (Anatoli) later today, and again, no news from 12J (Kostya).
Is Huck in Finland? by Colin Pennycuick 3 November
Some time late on Saturday or early on Sunday whooper Huck (HUC) moved about 100km west south west and is now static, on or very near the Finnish border, opposite the north end of Lake Ladoga. The positions jump around a bit, and I am not certain whether he is in Finland or Russia, or perhaps has a foot in each.
Bewick's 11D (Andrei) is still on Lake Peipus.
Happy in Holland by Eileen Rees 4 November
When the team were in Russia, we ringed over 100 birds as well as putting the transmitters on "our swans". I have now received a report of one of the Bewick's swans (ring
13V), sighted by Jan van Gils (Dutch scientist) on the Arkhemheen
Polder in the Netherlands last Friday (31 October). This bird was
ringed as an adult male at Kashin Island on the Korovinskaiya Gulf on
14th August 2003. 13V is ahead of any of "our swans". I'm hoping more will be sighted soon, as I have heard the Dutch ornithologists are out in force....
12D - Satellite Failure? by Colin Pennycuick 4 November
We haven't heard from 12D (Anatoli) for a few days, and we're beginning to get concerned, although it could be his satellite tag behaving badly.
Whooper Huck (HUC) was still sitting on the Finland/Russia border at 0414 this morning, near a place called Immola. It is an area of woodland and small lakes, south east of a biggish lake called Saimmaa.
Warm Weather Delays Migration by Colin Pennycuick 5 November
The remaining two active swans are not, as yet, moving on.
Bewick's 11D (Andrei) near the north end of Lake Peipus. He has been near there since 21 October.
Whooper Huck (HUC) is still sitting right on the Finland-Russia border in the same area as before, about 230km east north east of Helsinki. He may be going to spend the winter there, but I think it is more likely that he will move on, when it freezes up where he is now.
It is unlikely that the weather will get sufficiently cold for the swans to move on in the near future, questioning whether either will be near the UK by the weekend.
STILL Staying Still! by Colin Pennycuick 6 November
Bewick's 11D (Andrei) is still coming up regularly on the north end of Lake Peipus. The last fix was at 0526GMT this morning (6 Nov).
Whooper Huck (HUC) came up most recently at 0245GMT this morning (6 Nov), still in the same place where he has been for the last few days.
The weather is good for them and it is unlikely they will move soon.
Numbers in Holland Growing by Wim Tijsen in the Netherlands and Eileen Rees, WWT 7 November
Although our Bewick's swan, Andrei is still in Estonia, the Estonian birdwatchers are reporting that many birds are now moving out. Many have arrived in the Netherlands as Wim confirms below:
"This morning under beautiful circumstances
I discovered the following in a flock which was growing from
250 to more than 400 birds in half an hour! I found one new ringed bird from Pechora, number 12V. This was ringed by your BBC/WWT team.
The other rings from yesterday I did not see. I have had
some reports from observers that say flocks of 30 birds were
moving to the west to the UK, so with this slight easterly winds they
will definitly show up in the UK I think. What a fantastic sight.
It's really going on now!!"
Moving at last! by Eileen Rees 9 November
I am delighted to report that Bewick's 11D (Andrei) finally left Lake
Peipsi yesterday afternoon, and now seems to be in eastern
Denmark. I say seems as the satellite information reported some "way-out" locations in the mid Atlantic! However, he was
apparently on Fyn (Denmark) at 0815GMT this morning (9 Nov)
and on the coast of Sjaelland (Denmark) at 1317GMT, suggesting that even though the precise spot is uncertain he
probably is in Denmark.
Huck has also moved westwards along the south coast of Finland,
and is now 90-100 km east of Helsinki.
Huck Quiet by Colin Pennycuick 11 November
According to Argos, Bewick's 11D (Andrei) spent much of yesterday criss-crossing Denmark at improbably high speeds, ending up near Esbjerg, where he started. He was last located there at 0442GMT this morning, and was probably dozing on the beach the whole time! His signals have shown a lot of spurious jumps recently.
We haven't heard from Whooper HUC (Huck) since 1939 GMT yesterday, last located north east of Helsinki. Let's hope he will come up again.
Fingers crossed everybody!
Settling Down? by Colin Pennycuick 13 November
Bewick's 11D (Andrei) seems to have settled down in the vicinity of Esbjerg. He was last located there at 0106GMT this morning.
Whooper HUC (Huck) came back up yesterday, much to my relief. He too seems to have found a nice spot to stay for a while, near Kouvola, in southern Finland.
A surprise happened recently: The long-lost 12D (Anatoli) came up with a single beep at 1355GMT yesterday - which means that the transmitter lives. He was last located near Riga on 26 October, and last heard on 29 October. Maybe we'll hear from him again and will be able to fathom out where he is, and if he is alive.
Will They Move? by Helen Thomas 14 November
Both swans are static again for the third day running. They are probably feeding and resting. As Julian Hector reported on the Today Programme this morning, there is a "white tide of birds" (Bewick's swans) in Holland and Denmark (where Andrei is), ready to make the short hop to England. They may start that journey if the weather turns bad, which it could do this weekend. That should push Andrei this way. Fingers crossed!
Huck, if the weather turns, may fly to southern Sweden, but as a Russian whooper swan has never been tagged before, we can only guess where he may go!