In our last post we outlined the success of the terrific Whimbrel satellite tracking program led by the Center for Conservation Biology and partners. It has led to all sorts of new information about Whimbrels and their migration. Of particular note was the recent discovery of a new migration route being used by several Whimbrels that juts way further out over the Atlantic than was previously known.
Just today we got a nice update from Fletcher Smith, a research biologist from the Center for Conservation Biology and one of the leading members of the tracking program:
“Pingo the Whimbrel has skirted around Tropical Storm Isaac and is likely headed for either French Guiana or Brazil (see attached map). As of yesterday at 11pm Eastern the bird was 300 miles from landfall. The whimbrel was averaging 35mph before hitting the storm, and averaged 25mph after, so the storm only had a minor effect on the flight speed and bearing.”
Pingo appears to have taken a similar route as the 3 Whimbrels we documented in the previous post. Pingo, however, had the unpleasant task of navigating around the rapidly-developing Tropical Storm Isaac. It appears Pingo has made it through with a breeze (pun intended) – only losing an average of 10 miles/hour upon circumventing the storm.
Fletcher also indicated that Pingo appeared to be headed toward the French Guiana/Brazil border – we should get another update as to Pingo’s exact whereabouts tomorrow. Let’s hope Pingo finds a nice piece of suitable habitat upon landing to spend the winter and enjoys the warmer winter down there. I know many of us in colder winter climes would gladly swap locations come winter!