I'm sorry to report that Odeinat has stopped transmitting. We had hoped this might have been a temporary blip, but this now seems unlikely. Although the solar-powered satellite tag has already transmitted for slightly longer than the manufacturers expected, it is rather worrying that it was an abrupt stop. We will obviously give any updates if things change, and any further interpretation on what may have happened. We hope to get the regular Ethiopian wintering site checked early next year, but its possible there may not be much to add until then. Unfortunately the site where Odeinat has overwintered the past years has not been possible to reach and check.
Migration started again for the Syrian ibis, and confirming a report from the wardens in Palmyra that the birds had left the colony, Odeinat has already departed and made a very fast journey down to NE of Jazan, in Saudi Arabia, quite near to a previously favoured area.
(you need to zoom right in on the map for Odeinat, and with locations from the previous years still showing, its not quite as easy to find the latest locations as before - although interesting to compare - we are trying to sort out a new colour for this year)
We have heard from the team that the breeding pair has failed to fledge any chicks this year. This is obviously a serious blow. In addition, the captive pair in Syria has also been unsuccessful, but did get rather closer to breeding than last year. We will give further details as they emerge, and will update the progress/movements of the male, Odeinat - apparently the only bird with an operational tag at the moment.
One piece of more positive news is that the semi-wild Birecik population in Turkey had a far better breeding season than usual with around 38 juveniles fledging.
Sorry to report that we have heard from the team that the pair in Syria has failed for the year. More details to follow later.
Further disappointment is that the Syrian captive pair (Turkish birds taken there two years ago) has also been unsuccessful, despite nesting and laying eggs this year which had raised hopes for them.
Despite the current difficulties, we have received an update this week from the dedicated ibis rangers in Syria that a fourth bird has just arrived back at the breeding site! The newly arrived bird is unringed, and perhaps a returning 2007 juvenile? Perhaps one of the two unringed birds seen in February at the wintering site in Ethiopia? It is not yet clear whether it is pairing up with the unpaired female (Salama) or not. Meanwile, Odeinat and Zenobia once again have a nest. Salama has stopped transmitting, so we now have just one bird transmitting - the male Odeinat. Fingers crossed the new bird is a male, and that we are back up to two breeding pairs once again,