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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

No news may be bad news

06 Sep 2012

No further signals have been received for John or Reacher since their last locations in France and Spain respectively. Taking a look back at the temperature data,  the last few messages received for each tag show a lot of variety associated with time of day - i.e. cooler in the early morning and reaching over 30°C in the afternoon. Temperatures prior to that had always been higher than 30°C, even when the Cuckoos were in Britain. This suggests that the bird’s body temperature wasn't influencing the tag's temperature much during these signals and does, unfortunately, support the idea that they may have perished.

The wildfires that have spread through Spain have been caused by chronic drought. While the wildfires themselves are unlikely to have effected these Cuckoos directly, the drought will have made Iberia far less suitable for fattening Cuckoos. 
John behaved very oddly once he got to north-eastern Spain and even made an oblique re-crossing of the Pyrenees, and Reacher disappeared in exactly the area where the recent fires have been reported. Lyster took a similar route, passing through Catalonia (one of the areas where fires have been reported) during late July and stopping off in what appeared to be an area of irrigated farmland rather than the montane forests he used last year. Perhaps he failed to deposit enough fuel for the desert crossing at this sub-optimal stopover location? . 

Little movement from John, Reacher and Chris

15 Aug 2012

We haven’t received any further signals from Reacher since the unconfirmed locations on 26 July placing him near Malaga. Meanwhile, John has remained in France, but has moved slightly north-east of his last position. He is now close to the town of Garein. Chris continues to transmit from the area north of Lake Chad.

John moves north

06 Aug 2012

John has actually moved northwards 60km (40 miles) from the Bayonne area and is between Castets and Rion-des-landes. He appears to have been moving around this area, perhaps trying to find some areas with plenty of food to help him fatten up before the next leg of the journey?

No big movements from English Cuckoos

30 Jul 2012

We have seen little movement in recent days from the Cuckoos tagged in England, with Lyster remaining in Catalonia, John still near Bayonne, Reacher still in Andalucia (although unconfirmed locations suggest he has moved to the south coast, just east of Malaga) and Chris just north of Lake Chad.

John heads back to France

26 Jul 2012

John has continued his migration in idiosyncratic style! Having been just southwest of the Jura last Friday (20 July), by Sunday 22 July he was in Catalonia, so becoming the fourth of our tracked Cuckoos (after Clement, Lyster and Reacher) to take a south-westerly route into Spain. His tag transmitted for longer than the planned ‘ON’ period so we were able to follow what happened next - and that evening he moved off west, ending up 120km (75 miles) WNW of here, on wooded slopes in the Pyrenees close to the French border, by the next morning. As if this wasn’t strange enough, locations received on Wednesday 25 July showed he had continued along this trajectory, had crossed the Pyrenees completely and was just inside Landes region of southern France, a few kms ENE of Bayonne.

This movement appears very unusual, both because of the 90 degree change in direction to NW and because he has re-crossed an apparent barrier (the Pyrenees) at an oblique angle. There doesn’t appear to have been any unusual weather etc in the area when he arrived in Catalonia so it’s not clear why John has behaved like this. Where will he go next?

John heads south leaving Chance and Wallace behind

20 Jul 2012

Having still been in north-eastern France on Wednesday, by first thing this morning John had moved 290km (180 miles) due S. His new location is just west of the south end of the Jura Mountains 32km (20 miles) NNW of Oyonnax and 61k (38 miles) NW of Geneva. As he moves into southern Europe, he leaves Chance (still south of Berlin according to an confirmed location received Thursday – his tag is not charging well and we might expect him to move south soon) and Wallace (still near Troon on Wednesday evening) as our only Cuckoos (excluding Idemili) left in northern Europe.

No movement from Reacher or John

16 Jul 2012

Reacher remains on the French Mediterranean coast close to Perpignan whilst John remains in the Lorraine region of northern France.  

115589 receives a name

11 Jul 2012

115589 is the last English Cuckoo to receive a name. He has been named John in memory of the late John Tully who was a long-standing BTO Member, Regional Organiser (Avon), Chair of our Regional Network Committee and superb ornithologist.

A quiet week

09 Jul 2012

In recent days there has been little movement from the Cuckoos tagged in England. Reacher remains near Perpignan and looks poised to take the westerly route into Africa through Iberia that Clement and Lyster used last year. Chris remains close to Antwerp and is now 24km (15 miles) NE of the city. 115589 is still about 110km (968 miles) east of Reims in northern France, whilst Lyster has repeated the pattern from last year and is the last of the Cuckoos tagged in England still in the country.

115589 flies south to France

27 Jun 2012

Transmissions received on the 24 June indicated that 115589 was crossing the North Sea and a weak signal yesterday gave a position in Belgium. This morning another signal provided evidence that he had travelled across Belgium and south into France. He currently appears to be around 130km (80 miles) from Reims, in the north of France.


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