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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

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.

Valentine moves north in Burkina Faso

21 Aug 2019
In the last couple of days Valentine has flown 74 km (46 miles) north west from his last location towards the border with Mali. He is now close to the city of Solenzo in the far west of Burkina Faso.

Tennyson still in Nigeria

21 Aug 2019
Tennyson seems settled near Gwardena in Adamawa State in north eastern Nigeria, where he has been since 28 July. 

Senan in Burkina Faso

21 Aug 2019
Senan only stopped in Niger for a couple of days before flying another 256 km (160 miles) south west, across the border into Burkina Faso. He is now in the far south of Burkina Faso, close to the borders with Togo and Ghana, 205 km (127 miles) south east of the capital Ouagadougou. Another Cuckoo, Valentine, is also in Burkina Faso but is 465 km (289 miles) west of Senan. 

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. 

Nussey still in Spain

15 Aug 2019
We last heard from Nussey on August 10 when he was still in Spain. His latest location shows him near La Portera and Hortunas, approximately 60 km (38 miles) west of Valencia. 

Lambert still in France

15 Aug 2019
We are still receiving signals from Lambert's tag showing that he is 48 km (30 miles) north west of Montpelier. Hopefully we'll see him on the move in the next few days to reassure us that all is well with Lambert. 

Carlton II in Guinea Bissau

15 Aug 2019
Since our last update Carlton II has moved around 100 km (62 miles) east from his last position in Senegal and is now just over the border in Guinea Bissau. He is now in the far north-eastern corner of Guinea-Bissau. Last year he began moving west on August 11 so this could well be the start of his journey through west Africa towards his final wintering grounds in Gabon.  

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.  

Concern growing for Knepp

13 Aug 2019

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. 


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