Matti 21.3.2008 - 29.3.2008

Until 21st March Matti thrived at the same area. At 9:35 am the crane situated in the vicinity of the overnight site. At 12:17 pm the satellite based location over the town of Szarvas, Hungary indicated that Matti had commenced his spring migration. Having flown 345 km the crane settled before the Carpathians in Eastern-Slovakia. The night locations came thereafter in the vicinity of ponds and daytime locations at a radius of 15 km from the ponds.

Matti 29.3.2008

On 29th March the crane flew across Carpathian Mountains and continued down-wind to the North-Eastern Poland 500 km apart the point of take off. According to the locations the crane had flown 113 km between 16:00 and 17:00 pm, however the distance may be exaggerated as a result of the considerable location error. At 17:00 pm I and my daughters followed the glide of a pair of crane in Turku-town, Finland. At the same time Matti passed Poland’s capital Warsaw on the east side and continued to fly 124 km further to the north. At 18:30 pm the crane had settled amidst the vast cultivated fields in North-Eastern Poland.

Matti 30.3.2008

On 30th March Matti flew 126 km to the north descending on Russian soil approximately 7 km to the north of Poland’s northern border

Matti 30.3.2008-14.4.
Surprisingly Matti did not continue his journey on the follow two days, although the weather conditions appeared to be excellent for migration. Until 8th April the crane stayed within a limited area of only 13 square kilometers, but according to the sensor data his activity was normal indicating for instance active foraging behaviour. On 9th April Matti headed 22 km to the north-east staying there for 6 days in the vicinity of the town of Yasnay Polyana (former Trakehnen).

Matti 14.4.
On 14th April the rainy weather moved away from southern Baltia allowing migration. At 11 pm the crane was still settled next to the town of Yasnay Polyana, however a location received 18 minutes later indicated Matti had caught the wind and was heading to the north 22 km apart the site of take off. Matti’s migration could subsequently be followed for five hours. He flew at the speed of 45 km per hour and was located over southern Latvia 225 km away from Russia when the transmitter unit switched off following its duty cycle. Whether Matti flew as far as to Estonia will be discovered during the next transmission period on Tuesday 15th April.

Matti 15.4.
On 15th April Matti was located at 5:01 pm following the northern shore line of Saaremaa -island. He continued over Muhu –island then gliding over Maatsalu national park after which he headed to the north descending at 7:10 pm to the same area he had used during the autumn migration between 1st and 4th October 2007. As a result he returned to the track that was used during autumn migration. Altogether he flew 96 km in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Matti 16.4.-24.4.
On 15th April over 11 000 cranes rushed to Finland. On the next day also Matti headed 215 km north from Estonia arriving Finland. He spent the night in the vicinity of the Viking –sauna in Humppila-municpality. A legendary crane researcher Jouko Alhainen found a flock of 150 individual cranes including most likely Matti. At 10:23 Matti took off and headed north then ending up in the vicinity of Perho-municipality 255 km apart the Humppila stop-over site. On 23rd April he headed 44 km north-east staying overnight amidst vast cultivated fields in Reisjärvi-municipality. On the next day the crane left the Reisjärvi stop-over site between 10:40 and 11:40 and two hours later when the transmitter went OFF, Matti was located over Rantsila-municipality, only 33 km apart the cultivated fields of Muhos-municipality, where he prepared to autumn migration for nearly one month in 2007.

There still is winter at Matti’s home bog: night temperatures have dropped as low as below minus ten degrees and in much of Eastern Lapland the snow cover is greater than 1 metre. However, the very first cranes did arrive to Matti’s breeding grounds on 16th April.
However, according to the field observations the majority of the Lapland’ cranes have not arrived as yet.

Matti 25.4.-28.4.

As expected, Matti had continued to the cultivated fields of Soso, Muhos -municipality on 24th April. On 26th April the south-westerly winds induced the migration of Lapland’s cranes. As a result first individual cranes were observed as north as Ivalo-municipality, Northern Finland. Also Matti flew 188 km to the north-east of Muhos, descending to the fields covered by thick snow cover by the Kemijoki-river. If Matti will return to the breeding grounds he was using during the summer of 2007 he needs to make an abrupt turn to the right and fly 90 km to the EEN. During the weekend a number of cranes were observed to arrive near Matti’s breeding grounds still being covered by a thick snow.

Matti 29.4.
The spring migration lasted 39 days 12 and 27 of which were used for actual flight and resting, respectively. The shortest length of the journey was 2400 km, however the true length was 2518 km at minimum. The average length of one flight was 194 km ranging from 24 to 510 km.