Excessive spring snowfall results in a non-breeding year for shorebirds in NE Greenland

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Eyes and Ears Everywhere
Feb 7, 2017
It is early July, and most Arctic shorebirds should be on their breeding grounds by now. Jeroen Reneerkens of the University of Groningen has studied breeding Sanderling since 2003 and has just returned from Zackenberg in northeast Greenland where it would appear to be a non-breeding season due to excessive spring snowfall. He surmises that hardly any shorebirds will breed this year along the entire east coast of Greenland

As so many of his colour-ringed birds are seen here in the Outer Hebrides, Jeroen has asked if observers here could help document the extent of the effects of this unusual Arctic summer by counting the number of juvenile and adult Sanderling when they have returned from the Arctic.

Counts can be emailed directly to Jeroen at j.w.h.reneerkens@rug.nl or sightings@outerhebridesbirds.org.uk

You can read more about what Jeroen witnessed in the last half of June in Greenland: here



Always Birding
Feb 6, 2017
With Sanderling already beginning to return, I reported my first sightings here on the beaches (19th July) to Jeroen who responded as follows in his usual prompt manner. As you will read, all sightings will be very welcome and much appreciated

Thank you very much Ian,

This is already useful, just to see whether adults will arrive in Europe earlier than in other years, because they have not bred.

Also in "normal years" the first juveniles can not be expected in Europe before mid August, so for a useful comparison of the reproductive success of Sanderlings this year with other years we will need such counts from mid August until mid November (after mid November, adults and juveniles are difficult to distinguish). Thank you very much for giving publicity to my project on the local website, that is very much appreciated and I truly hope for many participants this and in other years!

best wishes,