Red Knots marked in N Norway switch spring staging area to Iceland


175 – 180

1 December 11

Jim Wilson, Guðmundur Örn Benediktsson, Ruth Croger, William Dick, Katy Hooper, Guy Morrison, Peter Potts, Barbara Swinfen, Roger Swinfen

Jim Wilson
Sandneset, 8380 Ramberg, Norway.


Public Files

Red Knots Calidris canutus islandica breeding in Greenland and NE Canada have two late spring staging areas, Iceland and N Norway. In 2011, 27 knots marked in spring in N Norway were found staging in spring in Iceland. In 1986–1987 and 2007–2011, an aggregate total of 41–43 knots marked in the spring in N Norway were sighted or recovered on the Iceland route to the breeding grounds. The timing of the sightings, all after 12 May, was similar to timing in Norway, but later than the timing of the main arrivals in Iceland. Departures from NE Iceland were in the direction of NE Greenland, where N Norway staging knots are known to breed. Five birds were staging-site faithful for at least two springs in N Norway before they switched to Iceland, once they had switched one bird was site faithful to Iceland for at least three years and two birds for at least two years. The switch from N Norway to Iceland means a change in departure direction of 54–64° from early spring fattening areas in the Wadden Sea and United Kingdom. Our data show that there is more mixing between Norwegian and Icelandic spring staging knots than has hitherto been recognised.