Derek's journey from 06 May 2014 to 29 September 2014

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Derek moves east - 22 Sep 2014

Derek has moved 175km (110 miles) east and is now in the Central African Republic. As suggested in a previous blog this may be down to it being slightly drier than average in Northern Cameroon as Dudley and Emsworthy have also left that area.  

A period of recovery - 12 Sep 2014

With most cuckoos now in the Sahel region, we're entering a fairly quiet period in the annual cycle of the tagged cuckoos with less movement than during the migration season.

Birds who completed their desert crossing will spend time in the Sahel recovering their body condition, and some may stay quite a long time. In previous years, cuckoos have stayed in this area for as much as several months, while others spend a shorter amount of time before moving south into the humid zone forests.

The eastern Sahel in Chad and south Sudan has received plenty of rain recently, and thus conditions are likely good for cuckoos. Northern Cameroon was slightly drier than average in August, and so cuckoos such as Derek, Dudley, Stanley, and Emsworthy may be moving on if foraging conditions aren't suitable.

Derek heads east - 1 Sep 2014

Since the 27 August Derek left Burkina Faso and headed east. By the 29 August he was in Nigeria and by 31 he was in Cameroon, close to its border with Chad. He has covered over 1800km (1120 miles) in this time and is now one of the more southerly Cuckoos.  

Derek catches up quickly - 11 Aug 2014

Derek may have been the last of our tagged Cuckoos to leave the UK, but he is far from being the last Cuckoo to arrive in Africa.

From Spain he headed across the Mediterannean Sea to reach Algeria by 7 August and continued onwards further south to finish his desert crossing by the 11 August in Burkina Faso. He has covered over 3200km (2000 miles) in 10 days and taken just 3 weeks since leaving the UK to make it to a location south of the Sahara! His longest stopover was in Spain. This is probably one of the fastest journeys we have seen any of our tagged Cuckoos make since the project began.

Twenty-two birds still going strong - 25 Jul 2014

We are still following twenty-two birds. Currently two cuckoos are in France – Walpole and unnamed cuckoo 134957.

Five birds are in and around the Po Valley in northern Italy – BB, Chris, Stanley, Waller and Livingstone.

Six birds are in Spain – Two of these are big movers this week. After finally leaving the UK, Derek hasn’t hung around. After a brief stop in central-western France, he is now in central-northern Spain, just south of Tolbanos de Abajo. It is Maji that has provided the biggest surprise though. He seems to be taking a tour of the European mountain ranges. Having spent a time in the Austrian Alps, he is now in the central Pyrenees!

David is still in Montenegro and Ash is still in Croatia; both of these birds could make the move to Africa any day now.

We now have seven birds in Africa, six of them south of the Sahara. Emsworthy is the latest to arrive here and he is currently just south of Lake Chad, in an area that Chris also favours. Three other Cuckoos – Peter, Hennah and Dudley – are also close to Lake Chad.