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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.

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. 

Knepp crosses into Spain

18 Jul 2019

Knepp is now 595 km (370 miles) south west of his last location in south west France and is just 1.5 km (1 mile) south of the shore of the Valparaíso Reservoir in the province of Zamora, Castile and León, Spain. He is very close to the village of Villardeciervos. Knepp also stopped in this area last year but was 26 km (16 miles) south west of here, nearer the town of Trabazos, where he stayed until July 28 before crossing into Morocco. 

Knepp pushes south

12 Jul 2019
Having flown 382 km (237 miles) south west from his last location south of Paris, Knepp is now near Mirambeau in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France.

Knepp is on his way

19 Jun 2019
During the evening of 14 June we received a series of locations from Knepp's tag that showed he was in Picardy, northern France. By the early hours of 15 June he had moved a further 152km (94 miles) south. He is currently just over 50km (35 miles) southwest of Paris and just to the east of the town of Vierville. He is the first of our tagged Cuckoos to leave the UK this year.

Knepp still at Knepp

04 Jun 2019
Since arriving back on the Knepp Estate in late April, Knepp has been faithful to the site. During the last week or so he has been spending a lot of his time close to the village of Whitehall. Knepp was the first of our satellite tagged Cuckoos to arrive back in the UK on 25 April, in the past a few of our Cuckoos have headed back to Africa during the first week of June. Might Knepp be one of these? Watch this space.

Knepp is back!

25 Apr 2019
Updates received early this morning brought the news that the first of our satellite-tagged Cuckoos had made it back to the UK. Cuckoo Knepp, tagged on the Knepp Estate in Sussex last May is back in Sussex! We last heard from Knepp on April 17 when he was on the northern edge of the Atlas mountains in eastern Morocco. He was in the northern Sahara, near the oasis settlement of Ain Bni Mathar. Since then he has flown 1,880 Km (1,170 miles) north to reach his breeding grounds on the Knepp Estate. We hope that this is the first complete migration loop of many which we will follow Knepp on.

Knepp has made it

15 Apr 2019
A few days ago we wondered if Knepp might be preparing for his desert crossing and we now know that this was the case. late at night on 14 April Knepp popped up on the northern edge of the Atlas mountains in eastern Morocco. The area he is in is still part of the northern Sahara but he has found the oasis settlement of Ain Bni Mathar. He is around 115km (70 miles) from the Mediterranean coast.

Knepp on the move

11 Apr 2019
Knepp has moved 321km (199 miles) north and west within Ivory Coast. We will have to wait until we hear from him again to see if this is the start of his push across the desert. He is currently in an area of farmland in the northwest of the country and just south of Tiorotierivogo.

Knepp heads back east

04 Apr 2019
During the last week Knepp has headed back east and is now close to the River Comoe in eastern Ivory Coast. He is 281km (175 miles) east of his last location in Ivory Coast. We are seeing a few of our tagged Cuckoos making interesting movements at the moment. Presumably this is in response to the intensity and location of the rains that are currently moving around the region.

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