Martin

Martin was also caught on 19 May 2011, the first day we attempted catching. After a dawn start, we now moved to an area on the edge of the estuary in Great Yarmouth. A bird had been heard calling and reacted well to tape on previous recces and so we were hopeful! Catching was complicated by the strong wind blowing the nets over half way through but the taped call brought the bird in.

Martin's journey from 20 May 2011 to 04 April 2012

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Martin left behind in Spain - 30 Apr 2012

We have received no further data from Martin since 9th April, and sadly must now assume that he is dead.

Martin made it as far as Lorca in southern Spain, where we last heard from him. In that last transmission his tag temperature dropped from a normal 30-32 degrees Centigrade to 11.7, a gradual change over the course of a night. While fearing for the worst, we did hope that he might pop up further north. We are now convinced that this is very unlikely, and must announce Martin's demise.

Martin has bequeathed a wealth of knowledge that has improved our understanding of Cuckoo migration. Of our original band of five, Martin was the first to return to Europe. As the only Cuckoo over two years old, he was looking good to be the first bird to return. He may have fallen victim to some severe weather conditions, which the other birds avoided by crossing the Mediterranean a little later.

Still no news... - 24 Apr 2012

Despite being the first of our Cuckoos to safely cross the Sahara and the Mediterranean, we have received no further data from Martin since 6th April. There has been some bad weather across the Mediterranean in recent days, proving a challenge for all migratory birds, but we are increasingly concerned. 

Nothing new from Martin - 16 Apr 2012

Martin was the first of our Cuckoos to return to Europe, but we have not received a signal from him since his last movement in Spain on 6 April. The weather may have had something to do with him staying put for a few days with thunderstorms, hail and strong northerly winds.

No news from Martin - 12 Apr 2012

There was no signal from Martin yesterday (11 April) and we shall be concerned if there is nothing in the transmission period that starts tomorrow. As far as we know he is still in Lorca.

Martin near Lorca, Spain - 10 Apr 2012

Martin made it as far as Lorca in southern Spain, where we last heard from him. At about 2200 his tag temperature dropped from a normal 30-32 degrees Centigrade to 11.7. This is not necessarily a bad thing as tag temperature drops to these levels when birds are migrating at altitude. However it was not a step change and was a gradual change over the course of a night. Due to transmit tonight (10 April), hopefully we'll pick him up somewhere further north.

Lorca, Spain by Helen Commandeur 

Thanks to Helen who sent in this picture of her local area in Lorca in which Martin last transmitted from.  She reported that the it's 'open hilly area with mostly (almond and olive) trees and some small groups of pine trees here and there. The weather has been very cloudy for days with rain and even hail until April 5. On April 6 and 7 there was a strong wind from the north west'.