Tracking The Summer Palace’s Swifts

This weekend I was involved in a very cool project to track the ‘pekinensis‘ Common Swifts at the Summer Palace.  It all began with a conversation with Dick Newell, over a beer, in London in December.  And on Saturday we fitted 31 geolocators to swifts at the Summer Palace in Beijing.  We know almost nothing about the migration route or the wintering grounds of these magical birds that have a special significance to Beijing’s residents. Provided we can re-trap some next year, we’ll find out where they go…  Exciting stuff!  And the great thing is that this is a brilliant collaboration between Dick Newell, Lyndon Kearsley, the Beijing Birdwatching Society, the Summer Palace, the University of Lund in Sweden and many volunteers, young and old.  You can read the full story on Birding Frontiers.

A 'pekinensis' COMMON SWIFT with a backpack, Summer Palace, Beijing, 24 May 2014

A ‘pekinensis’ COMMON SWIFT with a backpack, Summer Palace, Beijing, 24 May 2014

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About Terry Townshend

I am a British birder living and birding in Beijing from August 2010 until 2015. Through this blog I hope I can convey a sense of what it is like to live in this thriving, confident and contrasting city and the birdlife that can be found in its environs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it! Terry Townshend, Beijing September 2010
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4 Responses to Tracking The Summer Palace’s Swifts

  1. thbeeke@yahoo.ca says:

    Terry, monster congrats for this! Wonderful that you could line up this type of research. So jealous here…….

    Tom

  2. Thanks Tom! The credit should go to Dick, Lyndon and the BBWS folks who have done all the work.. I just made the connection. Everyone is very excited about finding out the results next year.. I am sure there will be a surprise or two in the data. Terry

  3. Ken Tucker says:

    Pioneering stuff (yet again!). Will be incredibly interesting to see where these birds go. Hope you can recapture some. Congratulations on some great collaborative research.

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