This has been a very successful trip to Disko. We came here hoping to catch perhaps 50 wheatears, deploying geolocators on 28 of them (all the loggers we have). Well, today we attached the 28th logger, but also caught our 124th wheatear! Far beyond my expectations, and necessitated a request for new rings from Copenhagen (which arrived in double-quick time).
I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of the loggers – fingers crossed that we’re able to get some data. This depends on (a) the birds surviving until next year (about 30% of juvenile wheatears tend to survive to 1 year old), (b) the birds returning to within a couple of km of the Arctic Station so that we can find them, (c) our ability to retrap the birds, (d) the loggers are still attached, and finally (e) the loggers worked. So getting the loggers on is only the beginning. At least there is cause to think that it might work out, see e.g. work by Stutchbury et al in the US.