Updates from our Cuckoos
Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.
Larry moves north within Congo
Cuckoos on the move north
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
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
Larry completes desert crossing
Larry in Egypt
Larry in Montenegro
Larry really is in Poland!
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?
Larry still in Croatia
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...