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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

PJ in the Congo

04 Nov 2019
After a week in Cameroon, PJ has flown 687 km (427 miles) south to his current location in western Republic of the Congo. He is on the southern edge of the 13,500 Km2 Odzala National Park, one of Africa's oldest national parks, in the heart of the Congo Basin. We don't expect PJ to stay here for more than a week or two before progressing on to his wintering grounds in northern Angola. 

PJ arrives in Cameroon

24 Oct 2019
Over the last few days PJ has left Nigeria and flown 1,288 km (800 miles) south east into Cameroon. He stopped briefly en-route just south of the Nigerian capital Abuja, before pressing on across the border into Cameroon. He is now in the Adamawa region of Cameroon and just north of the large Mbam Djerem National Park. He stopped in exactly the same area between 3 October and 20 November 2018 and visited close by on his spring migration earlier this year. We expect him to visit Congo next on his way to Angola where he usually over winters. 

PJ set to move shortly?

25 Sep 2019
PJ has been in northern Nigeria since early August and, looking back at previous years data, could be on the move shortly to Cameroon. In the last couple of years he has arrived there in the first week of October,  later making his way south to winter in Angola. Keep watching this space!  

A challenging autumn migration

04 Sep 2019

The last few weeks have been quiet and for those who had not yet completed their desert crossings, it looks like the challenging conditions have claimed more of our tagged Cuckoos.

Unfortunately no further signals have been received from Knepp. From the temperature data and movements at the time, he was alive on 12 July, when we last heard from his tag. Though the battery charge had been low for a few days, there is no evidence of long term battery decline so we can't be sure what has happened to him - either he, or the tag, appear to have died suddenly. 

Lambert, who was still in France, has not moved on south and signals on 21 August showed high temperature fluctuations across the day, indicating the bird's body temperature and behaviour were not regulating it. We've heard nothing since then, and his tags battery charge had suddenly dipped, all of which leads us to believe he has likely died.

Unfortunately the challenging conditions have also impacted on Nussey who has already attempted two trips to Africa and retreated to Europe.  Abnormally low temperatures were received at the time of the last messages (16 August), having previously been fine. He was not migrating at that time, so the low temperatures were not due to high altitude, and the battery was also much lower than previously, further suggesting he was dead.

The droughts and exceptionally high temperatures in Europe appear to have proved difficult for our Cuckoos this year, however the five south of the Sahara are still regularly transmitting. Valentine, PJ, Carlton II and Tennysons' tags have all sent signals during September and the last signals received from Senan's tag were at the end of August and show him still in Burkina Faso.

PJ settled in Nigeria

21 Aug 2019
Since arriving on 5 August, PJ has stayed in the far north western corner of Nigeria, in Sokoto state. He is currently approximately 38 km (23 miles) south east of the city of Sokoto. This is an area which PJ also spent a couple of weeks in on his way south in 2017. 

Five across the desert

14 Aug 2019
So far this year, five Cuckoos have made it successfully across the desert. Carlton II, PJ, Senan, Tennyson and Valentine are all south of the Sahara and still sending regular tag transmissions. They still have a little further to go south before reaching their final wintering destinations.  

PJ in Nigeria

05 Aug 2019
Pj didn't stay long in Mali, he has since flown a further 598 km (372 miles) south east into north west Nigeria. 

PJ in Mali

30 Jul 2019
PJ has continued on his desert crossing - not quite as far as 1000km as mentioned in the previous blog entry - but he did cover a further 635km (395 miles) on 29 July, which has taken him into eastern Mali. He is now close to the border with Niger, and just north of Reserve Partielle De Faune D'ansongo-Menaka.

PJ is crossing the desert!

29 Jul 2019

At 10:54 on Wednesday 24 July PJ was still in northern Spain but by 11:18 on Sunday 29 July he had flown 1,748 km (1,086 miles) south east and was in or over the desert in central Algeria. He has since flown a further 626 km (389 miles) south and by 04:30 this morning (29 July) he was at the western edge of the Tassili Oua-N-Ahaggar Desert in the Tamanrasset region of southern Algeria. He needs to travel another 1000 km (621 miles) or so in order to complete his desert crossing, hopefully when we next hear from him he'll be safely on the other side. In previous years PJ has stopped in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger after crossing the Sahara. 

PJ in Spain

09 Jul 2019

PJ left the UK on July 2 and has been making steady progress ever since. After a brief stop near Brionne in northern France he pressed on south and by 05:55 on July 4 he was 675 Km (420 miles) south, on the France/Spain border. He has since flown a further 208 Km (130 miles) south west to his current location near the city of Salas de los infantes in Burgos Province between Logrono, Soria and Burgos in Spain.

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