Studies of migration of birds of prey on Slovechansko-Ovruchskyi Ridge are continued (Zhytomyr Region)
We initiated the research on birds of prey migration in the eastern part of Slovechansko-Ovruchskyi Ridge at the permanent plot placed near the villages Barvinkove and Pokaliv (Ovruch District, Zhytomyr Region) at the altitude of about 260 m above sea level. In the autumn we had the opportunity to continue research in this area.
Autumn observations were carried out from 16 to 22.10.2010. Taking into account the direction of raptor autumn migration to the south, south-west and west, we chose for observations the west of the ridge at the maximum altitude of about 316 m above sea level near the villages Gorodets and Antonovychi. According to our estimation, at the westernmost point of the ridge we expected to see the birds migrating to the south-west and west directions and were focused at the ridge, stretched from east to west. With different wind directions the terrain and changes of altitudes were to play a significant role in movements of birds of prey. The area where we made observations was represented by steep wooded ravines and sites open on the flattened terrain: arable lands, hay fields and pastures.
Despite frequent rains and even the first snow, being a surprise at the beginning of field studies, we were in a high expedition spirits during all days of the research. Unfortunately, low clouds and absence of updrafts did not favour migration of hovering birds. Therefore, the total number of encountered birds is low, and the result does not reflect the real migration intensity of raptors in this area. Nevertheless, we have managed to collect data on species composition and numbers of birds of prey, their direction of migration and the altitude of flight. Also we did catching of birds of prey to ring them.
It was found out that the main direction of migration of birds of prey is south-west (about 70% of individuals) and west (30%). During our observations, it was recorded 6 species of raptors, of which 2 – the Hen Harrier and White-tailed Eagle – included in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. As it can be seen, the species composition of migrants was not rich, because many species in northern Ukraine had already finished their migration by that time. However, the data we obtained undoubtedly play a significant role in studying migration of birds of prey in this region, because such materials had not been previously collected at the ridge or observations were fragmentary.
We have recorded: Common Buzzard – 74 ind.; Rough-legged Buzzard – 16 ind.; Hen Harrier – 29 (17 adult males and 12 females or juveniles) ind.; Sparrowhawk – 14 ind.; Goshawk – 1 young male; White-tailed eagle – 1 young male.
Thus, the dominant species was the Common Buzzard, and subdominants – Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.
One Goshawk was captured and ringed during the research.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the administration of the company “Baker Tilly Ukraine” for sponsorship of the field studies.
Sergey Domashevsky, Yury Demidenko