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Gerrit's 2009-2010 journey



Green Icon: (approximate) breeding site

Red Icons: southward (autumn) migration to non-breeding (wintering) area

Purple Icon: non-breeding (wintering) site

White Icons: northward (spring) migration to breeding area

Gerrit's 2008-09 journey


About Gerrit

Gerrit was captured as an adult at the Boezem van Kinderdijk in the province of Zuid-Holland.

This bird is named after Gerrit Kok, the Director of the Waterschap Rivierenland that is managing a significant part of the polder areas of the Netherlands, including the important heron colonies of Kinderdijk and Linge. The Waterschap Rivierenland, the local water authority works with Vogelbescherming Nederland, Staatsbosbeheer and the province of Gelderland to protect  these breeding colonies.

Gerrit’s 2009-2010 journey

Gerrit departed the Netherlands most likely at 5 September. At 8 September we received a signal from a wetland south of Valencia (see image below). If so, he stopped briefly since he was at 8 September in southern Spain. He continued its flight quickly. At 10 September he was flying over the endless sandunes of the Sahara arriving at 14 September at the very fringe of the Sahel. Based on recent information the rains in the Sahel are abundant this year. This results in major floods and will be excellent for the herons. We will see if Gerrit will move to Sierra Leone again!

Gerrit’s 2008-2009 journey

17 April - September 2009 - Gerrit is in the breeding area. 16 April 2009 - Gerrit arrived at the breeding colony in the Netherlands. 15 April 2009 - He had rapidly moved on and stopped briefly in central France. 14 April 2009 - He had reached northern Algeria. 8 April 2009 - Gerrit recently started northward migration, stopping at Manantali Dam in West Mali. end January 2009 - early February 2009 - An international expedition visited the Waanje River in Sierra Leone and managed to find Gerrit in the company of many other Purple Herons. 28 October 2008 - Gerrit arrived in  Sierra Leone, where he spent the non-breeding period (northern winter) along the Waanje River. Late September 2008 - late October 2008 - Gerrit staged (stopped for rest and food) for about a month along the Senegal River in West Africa. 15 September 2008 - 17 September 2008 - Gerrit had rapidly moved south across Europe and was in Morocco. On 16 September he had reached Mali and on 17 September Mauritania. 13 September 2008 - He was in northeast Spain and had presumably crossed the most eastern point of the Pyrenees. 12 September 2008 - Gerrit started his southward migration and had just crossed into northern France.

Rice fields in Albufera, near Valencia (Spain)
Rice fields in Albufera near Valencia (Spain). Image by Taej Mundkur


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