There have been no further signals from Knepp since 12 July when the battery in his tag was functioning well. Given that there is no evidence that his battery was failing, his sudden disappearance just a day after arrival at his last known position means we are now seriously concerned that we won't hear anything more from Knepp.
Updates from our Cuckoos
Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.
Concern growing for Knepp
The end of the road for Raymond
Raymond moved to southern Mauritania on 5 August and signals received since show he has remained there, in the Trarza Desert. This prolonged static period in the desert, and the temperature data from the tag which shows big fluctuations rather than a more constant temperature, suggests that sadly, Raymond has perished on his desert crossing. Raymond was tagged in 2018 and so had already contributed a complete migration cycle to our data bank, nevertheless it is sad to have lost him when he appeared so close to reaching his stop-over location in Senegal.
Senan crosses into Niger
Tennyson in Nigeria
Raymond finds favourable conditions?
We were a bit concerned about Raymond, who appeared to have spent the evening of 5 August on the desert floor, in a pretty inhospitable looking area, only 50km from good habitat along the Senegal river.
However, Chris Hewson has been looking at the conditions there and it appears the spot where Raymond has stopped is the first place he would have reached since his mid-desert crossing that has had any rain this year, so he may have sensed that and decided to ditch. Hopefully soon we'll find he has moved to somewhere more lush looking.
To and fro for Nussey
Nussey, who has already visited Africa briefly this summer, was in the Andalusia region of Spain by the evening of Friday 2 August and by the morning of Saturday 3 August was crossing the Mediterranean. He landed in northern Morocco, just south of Guercif. However, locations received since, show that he started his desert crossing from the Altas Mountains on Saturday evening but turned back in the middle of Sunday from some where in western Algeria. Yesterday (Tuesday 6 August) he was back in Spain, to the south-west of Valencia.
These aborted attempts must have been in response to unfavourable conditions and we are now a little worried about what this mean for the rest of his journey, as he will have expended a huge amount more energy in order to back-track. He will be one lucky and tenacious Cuckoo to survive the added burden of these attempts. We'll have to wait for further signals to see what he does next.
Unlikely to hear more from Thomas
Larry's last stop
On 3 August we received a further location from Larry’s tag showing that he had not moved from his reported position, in northern Libya. Unfortunately, there’s no way he could have survived for that long in the arid conditions so we must conclude that he has perished there.
This is especially sad news as he was our longest surviving active Cuckoo, having been tagged in 2015 and entering his fifth year of tracking.
David, first tracked in spring 2012, holds the title for longest tracked journey, having been tracked to mid-winter (December 2016) in his fifth year. Chris, our most famous Cuckoo, was in second place in regard to length and duration of tracked journey, with his last signal on 8 August 2015 in his fifth year. Larry was just one successful desert crossing away from surpassing Chris, who also perished during his desert crossing, but had reached the Tibesti mountains in Northern Chad.
We are grateful to everyone who has supported Larry over the years and watched his incredible journey.
Raymond is crossing the desert
PJ in Nigeria
Scottish Birdwatchers' Conference
Every year the Scottish Ornithologist's Club arrange a one-day Scottish Birdwatchers’ Conference, organised by a local branch of the SOC, in conjunction with BTO Scotland.
Bird ID (Residential, Berry Head, Devon)
Develop your bird identification skills on this weekend course for relative beginners and improvers. Expect a combination of indoor sessions covering the basics of bird identification and outdoor sessions to build your...