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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Meavy fate unknown

19 Sep 2014

There have been no further signals since 19 July from Meavy. Given this it is possible that we may have lost him and will not receive further news of his journey. 

'Missing' Cuckoos

04 Aug 2014

This year, because there are so many Cuckoos and routes to view on the map, individual birds only show by default if there has been a signal in the last 10 days.

Currently Gowk, Gilbert, Meavy, Waller and BB have all stopped being shown by default as we haven't heard from them in this period. Don't worry, it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad has happened. There are often periods where the Cuckoos are in dense undergrowth, where the tags don't receive enough light to charge or send signals to the satellites, often just before and after big movements.

You can still view these Cuckoos on the map by ticking the box underneath their pictures. Once we receive a signal, they will automatically reappear on the main map. 

Three complete desert crossing

17 Jul 2014

Three Cuckoos are now safely across the desert, including Meavy, who had grounded and stayed in the same area for a few days. He is now in north Benin while Dudley is in Nigeria and Whortle is further to the east in Sudan. 

Dudley and Whortle join Meavy in Africa

14 Jul 2014

On Saturday 12 July transmissions were received from both Dudley and Whortle to show they had arrived in Africa.

Dudley has cut across to Africa, from his location in Spain to Niger. Whortle, however, has taken a completely different route to last year - travelling via Italy towards Libya/Egypt! This is a real surprise as last year he went west via Spain to western Africa and then to Niger. Over 4,000km (2,500 miles) separate the two locations within Africa! How will this complete change in route affect the rest of his journey and what are the reasons behind this dramatic difference? In previous years, while we have seen some minor changes, routes have remained relatively similar. It shows that the more we learn about Cuckoos, and the possible reasons for their declining populations, the more questions are raised!  

Dudley and Whortle join Meavy, the first Cuckoo to arrive in Africa, who had grounded in the Algerian desert. Since then he has continued south to Niger but has still yet to complete his desert crossing, indicating he may be struggling.   

Meavy crossing the desert

10 Jul 2014
And our first Cuckoo is in Africa! Meavy was in Spain on 7 July but by yesterday lunchtime he was flying over the Sahara desert. It looks like he was grounded for several hours early this morning in the Ahaggar Mountains in Algeria - we are not sure why this is as the cuckoos usually make good headway over the desert during the cool night time hours, although he may have encountered headwinds.
This is the first time we have observed a Cuckoo that has taken the south-western route via Spain attempt to cross the Sahara in an easterly direction, effectively making their journey over the large expanse of desert even longer.
It's also the earliest date since the start of the project that we have received signals from a tagged Cuckoo within Africa. The earliest date previous to this was 13 July. It's the first year we've followed Meavy so we will have to wait and see whether any of the birds tagged in previous years also reach Africa earlier than in previous years. 

Five opt for Spain so far

07 Jul 2014

Skinner has left France and continued south to Spain where Meavy, Gilbert, Dudley and Chester are currently located. In previous years we have only seen East Anglian and Devon Cuckoos take this route but this year we also have Chester, one of the birds tagged in Sussex, Dudley, one of the Nottinghamshire birds and Gilbert, a New Forest bird, heading this way. 

The three Cuckoos which took this route in 2012/13 all perished but in 2013/14 5 of the 6 birds which took this route successfully made it to their wintering grounds. 

Your chance to name a Cuckoo

27 Jun 2014

With three un-named birds left we are letting you choose what to name one of our Sherwood Cuckoos!  Anyone who sponsors a Cuckoo before the end of June will be entered in to a draw. We’ll then pick one entry at random and will contact the winner who can then suggest a suitable name*. Find out how you could name a Cuckoo

Three Cuckoos in Spain

27 Jun 2014

Gilbert, Meavy and un-named Cuckoo 134952 are all in Spain while Hennah is just over the border in the south of France. It looks like it won't be long until he joins them. 

Three more Cuckoos leave the UK

20 Jun 2014

Whortle, Chester and as yet un-named 134952 are the most recent Cuckoos confirmed to have left the UK. All three of these birds have travelled to north-western France, transmitting these updated locations on 19 June.   

Poor quality signals received on the same day indicate that two further Cuckoos have started their journeys. Hennah and Meavy look like they are in France too but until further locations are received to confirm this the maps won't update.

So we have at least 8 and possibly 10 Cuckoos which have left the UK. If the unconfirmed locations are true, then interestingly, all three Dartmoor birds (Emsworthy, Whortle and Meavy) and all three New Forest birds (Peter, Gilbert and Hennah) have left.  In addition one Scottish bird, 2 Nottinghamshire birds and one of the Sussex birds have also left the UK. 

Three birds for Devon

15 May 2014

All three Devon birds tagged in 2014 (Emsworthy, Meavy and Wistman) were caught between 04:30 and 08:30 on May 15th at Emsworthy, a Devon Wildlife Trust reserve on the eastern edge of Dartmoor, along with one female cuckoo. Nets were set around an isolated Hawthorn bush on the upper valley slopes. A fifth cuckoo escaped from the net that morning.

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