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Robbie now on South Australian coast: 557 kms away

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This is remarkable. Robbie is one mobile young bird. His transmitter came back online for the 8-hour on-cycle at 1.27 am this morning and there he was: in a wetland on the South Australian coast near Mount Gambier.

He’s crossed two state borders and is now 557 kilometres from the rice crop in Coleambally where we attached the transmitter only 11 days ago.

These are our first, valuable insights into the network of wetlands that the rice-breeding Australasian Bittern population uses after harvest during the non-breeding season. Where will he go next?

ROBBIE SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Robbie has moved interstate: 264+ kms and counting …

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Last night was one to remember. Robbie’s transmitter came back online just as it was getting dark. He’d already moved 88 kilometres from the Coleambally rice farm he was using, some time during the 48-hour off-cycle. He was now near Deniliquin and we thought he might be chasing unharvested rice. But he kept moving.

Soon, he was nearing the Victorian border and it became clear that we were witnessing his first time dispersal from the rice. Live. And he just kept on going. During the 8 hours of transmissions, Robbie flew about 180 kilometres. Keep in mind that he was a small egg just three or four months ago.

The last transmission we received before another scheduled 48-hour off-cycle put him near Wycheproof in the Victorian mallee, heading west. He was 264 kilometres from his Coleambally home. One can only speculate about where he’s going and why, if he’s travelling alone and so on. His transmitter is due for another 8-hour on-cycle in the early hours of Sunday morning. Where will he be? It’s difficult to contain the excitement! It is a dangerous time though, and we hope that he and others like him find plenty of good wetland habitat during the cold, non-breeding season.

 

Robbie April 30

May 1 final fix mid scale

Robbie Big scale LAST FIX MAY 1

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