Autumn migration of the Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus on the southern Baltic Coast

Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) Science Article 1


Broad-billed Sandpipers Limicola falcinellus were counted and trapped in Puck Bay on the southern Baltic coast in autumn. The number of arriving birds varied greatly between years. The observed pattern was not completely convergent with data gathered at Ottenby, Sweden, 220 km north of Puck Bay. It seems that within years these two stop-over sites might be used by different groups of migrants with the majority of birds that stopped in southern Sweden being able to fly over the Polish coast, making their next stop somewhere closer to the wintering grounds. Adult Broad-billed Sandpipers migrated in the second half of July, and juveniles in August and the first half of September. There were no significant differences in biometrics between adults and juveniles. Morphometric variables were not correlated with date in either age group. Hence, the assumption of earlier departure of females from the breeding grounds was not supported. On average, Broad-billed Sandpipers gained 1.6 g/day in body weight, with a maximum value of 4.0 g/day (from 29 g to 33 g after one day). The theoretical flight range of Broad-billed Sandpipers departing from the Puck Bay region ranged between 1,300 and 1,400 km. Thus, it seems that the majority of Broad-billed Sandpipers are able to reach the northern Black Sea coast, which is one of the most important stop-over sites, in one flight.

W. Meissner, Ringing & Migration (2005) 22, 171-176

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