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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.

Nussey still in Spain

15 Aug 2019
We last heard from Nussey on August 10 when he was still in Spain. His latest location shows him near La Portera and Hortunas, approximately 60 km (38 miles) west of Valencia. 

To and fro for Nussey

07 Aug 2019

Nussey, who has already visited Africa briefly this summer,  was in the Andalusia region of Spain by the evening of Friday 2 August and by the morning of Saturday 3 August was crossing the Mediterranean. He landed in northern Morocco, just south of Guercif. However, locations received since, show that he started his desert crossing from the Altas Mountains on Saturday evening but turned back in the middle of Sunday from some where in western Algeria. Yesterday (Tuesday 6 August) he was back in Spain, to the south-west of Valencia.

These aborted attempts must have been in response to unfavourable conditions and we are now a little worried about what this mean for the rest of his journey, as he will have expended a huge amount more energy in order to back-track. He will be one lucky and tenacious Cuckoo to survive the added burden of these attempts. We'll have to wait for further signals to see what he does next. 

Nussey back in Africa

05 Aug 2019
By 6pm on Friday 2 August, Nussey had flown 744 km (462 miles) south and was near Oria, a municipality of Almería province, in Andalusia, Spain. He didn't stay there long however and by 10:10 am on the morning of Saturday 3 August he had flown a further 406 km (252 miles) south, crossing the Mediterranean and landing in northern Morocco, just south of Guercif. A series of poor quality locations received since suggest that he set out across the desert before turning back so we'll need to await some better data before we can be sure of his new location.  

Nussey near Escource

18 Jul 2019
Since our last update Nussey has flown a further 20 km (13 miles) north and is now close to the town of Escource in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Having already been to Africa, he has regressed to being our most northerly Cuckoo! 

Nussey still going north

12 Jul 2019
Since undertaking his remarkable 1,200km U-turn Nussey has continued to move north, albeit at a more sedate pace. Over the last few days he has flown a further 111 km (69 miles) north-east up the French coast to his current location near Lesperon, 29 km (18 miles) north of Dax. 

Nussey makes a U-turn!

09 Jul 2019
Following the news that Nussey had made it to North Africa in double quick time, we bring you the news today that he is back in Europe! Having made it as far as Beni-Mellal in Morocco, Nussey turned back and by 9pm on Monday 8 July he had flown 1,200 Km (784 miles) north to his current location on the France/Spain border. He is now near Irun, a town in the province of Gipuzkoa, Spain. 

Nussey in southern France

03 Jul 2019

New signals received on 29 June show Nussey had journeyed south-west 275km (172 miles) within France and was just south-east of Nantes near the commune of Cholet. He continued a further 335km (210 miles) down the west coast and by 1 July was close to Morcenx, about 30km (20 miles) inland.  Poor quality signals received after this indicate he carried on and is heading  towards the Spanish border.

Meet the 2019 Cuckoos

25 Jun 2019

We’re delighted to introduce some new faces to the project! Catching the birds has been challenging this year with seemingly less competition for females and so less interest in the female lure used, but thanks to the persistence of our super tagging team, we do have four new male Cuckoos to introduce to you.

Three of these newly-tagged birds are already on the way, crossing the Channel and moving into France within the last few days. Take a look at the individual blogs to find out more.

Nussey in northern France

25 Jun 2019

Nussey, tagged at the end of May, was the first of the 2019 Cuckoos to leave the country, transmitting from northern France on 11 June. He has spent the last two weeks in the area of Brionne, 55km (35 miles) southeast of the port of La Havre.

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