So this is the first of a series of updates which will continue through to late May, giving a 'from the field' perspective as we follow the Brent north while they stage in western Iceland.
After a flight maybe or maybe not taking in the western Scottish islands, we expect most birds will make this crossing within < 30 hours, making landfall or hugging the coast and moving west to the first main site on the SW tip of Iceland. A stopover on the south coast will be purely a resting/sleeping job, whilst the final destination is where the refuelling begins and indeed has to start in anticipation of the more unpredictable and longer migration the birds will undertake in early June. We got a nice shot from Duncan posted to Islay Birds and WIldlife Facebook page of 3 colour-ringed birds at Port Ellen, Islay.
The first of our intrepid goosologists made this journey late yesterday and as the title suggests this comprises some 'old' hands - two previous PhD students who have published more on our Brent than any - and 3 Msc/postdocs who are visiting Iceland for the first time and working on Brent. So for a few days the vanguard is 5 strong and no doubt will be getting geared up for many hundreds of hours looking down a telescope over the next 4 weeks!