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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Larry moves north within Congo

15 Feb 2018
Larry has moved a further 280km (175 miles) northwards within Congo. He is now in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, an area that Victor has just left. This is an area that Larry didn't use on the first migration we followed but discovered when heading south in October 2016, and again made use of for a few weeks in February 2017 on his northward migration, before heading into Cameroon. 

Cuckoos on the move north

02 Feb 2018

Two more Cuckoos have begun their journeys northwards from their wintering locations. From Angola, Larry has flown 675km (420 miles) north east to Central Congo.He is now to the north-east of Okoyo. This is similar to what he has done in the previous two years, before moving into Cameroon and then on to west Africa. In the first year he then made his desert crossing from Nigeria, but in the second year that we tracked him he went much further west - crossing the desert from Guinea! What will he do this year?

Selborne has also headed north and is now in northern Gabon, close to the coast, and the Reserva Natural del Estuario del Muniborder, a Wetland of International Importance. He is just south of the border with Equatorial Guinea, and has travelled 350km (218 miles) from his previous location.

Larry in Angola

14 Nov 2017

Larry has continued south from Chad, where he's been since the beginning of September. By the 9 November he had covered 1175km (730 miles) to reach the Cuvette-Ouest region of Congo, not too far south-east from Victor in Gabon. He didn't stop here for long though and by the early afternoon of 11 November he was 760km (470 miles) further south in northern Angola.

Larry’s southward migration from the UK to Angola has been remarkable. Weather conditions during the stopover period in Italy were harsh, incredibly hot and dry conditions were experienced across the whole of the northern Mediterranean area with wildfires being a feature from Spain to Croatia. Presumably in response to these conditions, and the probable lack of invertebrate food, Larry moved north to Poland, undertaking a journey of around 1300km (800 miles), at a time when we would have expected him to head south across the Sahara. Larry spent several weeks in Poland, and it would seem a wise move, from here he was able to undertake his migration to sub-Saharan Africa via the Balkans, a part of the world we hadn’t seen him move through before. Even though his migration this autumn was unusual, he is right back at his wintering location in Angola.

In the previous two years we've been following him he has also ventured to Angola, but normally to a location in the north-east, where he has remained for a while before then heading west towards the coast. He appears to have gone directly to this area now and is north of Tomboco. It's likely that, as in previous years, he will remain here until at least mid-December or possibly even mid-January, depending on conditions. 

Larry remains in Chad

11 Oct 2017
Larry has remained in Chad since he arrived there at the end of August, moving only a short distance further south at the beginning of September. 

Larry completes desert crossing

29 Aug 2017
Signals on the the 23 August showed Larry in Egypt but it wasn't until the 27 that we received a poor signal, this time from central Chad revealing that Larry had probably completed his desert crossing. However we were further reassured when a series of signals were received on the 30 August to show that he had continued 210km (130 miles) south west within Chad revealing all was well after his long journey.

Larry in Egypt

24 Aug 2017
Signals received early on the morning of 23 August show that Larry is now crossing the desert! His location was western Egypt, close to the border with Libya, and was 2080km (1300 miles) south east of his last position in Montenegro. His location in Egypt is very far east compared to many of the routes taken by our Cuckoos since the project began with only Lloyd (in 2012) and Viator (in 2015) having ventured this far east. Lloyd went on to winter in the heart of the Congo rainforest while Viator perished a little further south, in Sudan, and did not complete his desert crossing. We wondered at the time whether this was possibly due to the wet summer which may have impacted on his migration preparation. We hope that the next signals we receive from Larry's tag show that he has successfully completed his desert crossing! 

Larry in Montenegro

22 Aug 2017
On 16 August Larry was still transmitting from Poland but by the morning of the 18 August he was 700km (430 miles) to the south in eastern Croatia. A good signal on the afternoon of 20 put him further south still, this time in Montenegro, 265km (165 miles) on from this location in Croatia.  He is just north of the Biogradska Gora National Park, a mountainous region with many lakes.  

Larry really is in Poland!

01 Aug 2017

We've seen several of our birds back track to previous stopover sites when conditions haven't been perfect for onward travel, but Larry has undertaken a journey from Italy northwards to Poland, a country in which he hasn't transmitted from since we've been tracking him. In fact none of our Cuckoos, since the project began in 2011, have ever sent signals from Poland.  This is much further northeast within Europe than normal and almost puts him on the same latitude as Peckham who is still in the UK!

We think this is in response to the very hot conditions in the Mediterranean region and is an escape flight rather than a return to last stopover site. We're surprised to have seen him travel so far north. Tracking these Cuckoos still continues to throw new light upon their migration! 

Where is Larry?

26 Jul 2017
The area of southern Italy, from where Larry has been transmitting recently, has been exceptionally dry this year - more so even than normally. He's used this site, which is much further south than other cuckoo stopovers, in the previous two autumns and we were surprised when he first stopped off here. The most recent signals we received show a poor quality location in Poland, but we aren't yet sure whether this is a true movement, and a reflection on these dry conditions. We await more information that will allow us to confirm his location.

Larry still in Croatia

07 Jul 2017
Larry is still settled in the south of the island of Cres, close to the village of Punta Kriza. We don't expect him to use this area as his stopover site, his usual site is 140km (87 miles) further south, just to the south of Lake Vrana.


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