By Chris Heward, Wetlands Research Assistant
Throughout the Autumn, Nellie II’s tag has been sending frequent updates from the Russian-Belarussian border. It’s great that she’s been keeping in touch, but it was a little worrying that she hadn’t begun her migration. In my last blog, I suggested that if Nellie was planning on heading west, she ought to be doing it sooner rather than later.
And now she has. Nellie‘s flown around 400 km into western Belarus, about one fifth of the 2000 km journey back to Norfolk.
Her current location puts her on a course that is very different to her outward spring migration. We might have expected her to return along the same route, re-visiting familiar stop-over sites in Lithuania and Kaliningrad. Instead she has taken a more southerly path.
This change in route may not have been deliberate. Winds in Belarus have been from the North and West this week, and these may have blown Nellie slightly off course.
Temperatures in Nellie’s current location are firmly below freezing, with daily maxima not exceeding -1°C. With this in mind, she will probably want to continue westward as soon as possible. Just another 400 km would bring her into western Poland where, although cold, temperatures are rising above freezing on a daily basis.