Wally the whimbrels amazing journey


In May 2005 a whimbrel who was stopping off to roost (sleep) at Wheldrake Ings nature reserve near York, England with some of its friends was caught and fitted (very carefully) by experts with a rather interesting piece of equipment! A satellite tag.

satalite tag

Satalite Tag

Satellite tag
The tag which weighs just 12 grams and sits on the birds back like a rucksack, is solar powered (no need for heavy batteries) and sends out signals which are picked up by satellites up in space. The signals told experts exactly where Wally the Whimbrel was throughout her journey (Yes it was later discovered that Wally was in fact female!!)

Wally the Whimbrel sporting her newly fitted tag before heading off on her amazing journey.



Here it is.


  • 2nd May 2005 Stopped off at Wheldrake ings nature reserve in the Lower Derwent Valley near York, England. (fitted with satellite tag)

  • 12th May, left the nature reserve after a good feed on leather jackets at a field in Storwood in the LDV.

  • Two days and 1000 miles later she arrived in Iceland, wow! What a journey. She may have bred there.

  • 20th July, moved over to Western Iceland, 141 miles

  • 1st August left Iceland and flew the 1346 miles to Brest in Brittany, France. She stayed here until 13th August.

  • 13th August, left France and by the 18th of August was off the coast of Morocco Africa.

  • 22nd August moved through Muaritania and 26th August Senegal (both Africa)

  • 30th August, arrived to spend the winter in Guinea (still Africa)

  • Wally stayed here until 22nd April 2006 when she flew back to Senegal then back to Guinea again!! She stayed there until 17th June 2006 when unfortunately the Satellite tag stopped sending signals. We don’t know why

Hey but WHAT A JOURNEY!!!!