Water Pipit Project
The first sighting of 17 Waterpipits (Anthus spinoletta spinoletta) in the nature reserve ‘Schlammwiss’ was back in 2000. Beside the area in Uebersyren, three other roosting sites of Waterpipits are known in Luxembourg (Schifflange, Weiler-la-tour, Lorentzweiler). We know from literature and some observations, that these birds are breeding on mountains over 1 800m and overwinter in lower levels sometimes far from mountain ranges. Waterpipits feed on insects along rivers and flooded plains during the day and roost in reedbeds and tall grassy areas with sedges. The first birds arrive on their wintering quarters in October and stay until April.
Although we knew about their roost in Schlamwiss Nature reserve, the ringing team never focused on ringing and getting data from these birds and practically very few birds were ringed before 2012 even in other ringing stations. However, this changed in 2012 when we started to put nets on their sleeping places and ring them more to get more detailed data and information. In the past 3 years we recorded a good database of statistics and behaviour but we still have no idea from where these birds come and where they are breeding. We know that probably these birds are from the same breeding site as we have the same recaptures year after year.
To find out the breeding areas of our wintering Waterpipits and where they are feeding during the day, I decided with the schlammwissteam to analyse this for my University bacheleraute. I already started in 2012 with the first ringingactivity on their sleepingplace.
With the knowledge on VHF and geolocators from the current reed warbler project, we decided to use GPS for this waterpipit project. This particular GPS takes 2 locations per day and get placed on their back in a safe way . The birds will roam around for 7 months with this transmitter aiming to record their feeding, sleeping and breeding places. In winter 2015/16 we will try to recapture these birds to get the GPS locations and analyse all the data that we will have available.
Autor: Charel Klein