Spring has sprung and the Bewick’s are making excellent progress on their migration back to their breeding grounds in the Russian Arctic!
Many swans are now arriving in Estonia, dispersing across farmland and coastal wetlands. Each spring, more than two thirds of the total Northwest European population stop off in Estonia, a country that offers a vital lifeline for the swans to rest, feed and build strength ahead of their lengthy onwards journey. The recent mild weather has meant that the swans have arrived a week or so earlier than usual.
Estonian ornithologist Leho Luigujoe has spotted Elroy, one of our transmitter swans, enjoying himself with 250 others on a flooded field of rapeseed near Haljava in the north. We were relieved to hear that Elroy is looking in fine shape, having already completed 1,000 miles of his migration. It’s important for the swans to maintain reasonable body condition at this time as they draw heavily on their fat reserves when flying. Elroy is now re-fuelling in Estonia before embarking on a 1,500 mile flight to the Arctic. We hope to bring you more news of Elroy and our other transmitter swans Hope and Leho (currently in Latvia) soon!
Dr Julia Newth (Principal Researcher)
(Photo of Elroy - in the middle of the flock - in Estonia by Leho Luigujoe)