Thanks to the transmitter data we now know that bar-tailed godwits spend a long winter at just a few square km. Not just a few square km somewhere in Oman; they returned to exactly the same area as where they were seen last year prior to their short summer visit to Siberia. Bar-tailed godwits appear to be very site faithful to their wintering area. Wintering area? Well, it appears that most birds are in Barr Al Hikman between August and April, almost for 9 months. So arguably Barr Al Hikman is their home.
Six out ten birds are still transmitting data. Compared to other studies tracking birds this is a very reasonable result. The four other birds either lost their device, carry a device that is not transmitting anymore or they are dead. Next week we will go to Barr Al Hikman to see if we can find some of our birds.