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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Farewell Selborne

29 Apr 2019
We are sorry to report sad news about Selborne. We last heard from Selborne at midday on 4 April when he had just arrived in Spain and it now looks as if he died later that day or overnight. His last location shows him over a southern ridge of the Sierra Morena mountains where it appears that he was stopped suddenly in his tracks as he topped that slope. We will probably never know what happened to Selborne but it would appear most likely that he was either taken by an avian predator or succumbed to human hunters. Selborne was named by the Hampshire Ornithological Society when he was tagged in June 2016. Since then we have followed Selborne over two complete migration loops from Hampshire to his wintering grounds in Gabon. He was only 1,430 Km (888 miles) from completing his third migration loop. We are grateful to the Hampshire Ornithological Society and all of Selborne's sponsors for enabling the wonderful contribution that Selborne has made to advancing our understanding of Cuckoo migration.

Selborne has made it to Spain

04 Apr 2019
A series of locations from Selborne's tag during the early hours of 3 April showed that he was in southern Spain, just to the west of Antequera. However, a set of poor locations received around breakfast on 4 April suggest that he had moved on and was 118km (73 miles) further north and east and close to the town of Lopera. Since leaving the Guinea Highlands on the evening of 31 March he has travelled 3,294km (2,047 miles). We will have to wait for high quality locations to confirm his most recent stopover and for it to update on his map.

Selborne in the desert

02 Apr 2019
Selborne's tag transmitted again last night (Monday 1st April), confirming our suspicions that he was on migration over the Sahara Desert. Selborne was still in Guinea at 22:24 on 31st March and we next heard from him at 17:48 on 1st April by which time he had flown 1,440 Km (895 miles) north to Mali. Another update arrived at 19:50 last night showing he had pressed on to Algeria, making the total distance traveled 1,718 Km (1,067 miles) at an average speed of 49.8 mph over a period of 21 hours and 26 minutes. The latest update shows Selborne in the Erg Chech Desert in western Algeria. 

Selborne crossing the Sahara?

01 Apr 2019
An update received from Hampshire Cuckoo Selborne's tag at 22:24 last night (Sunday 31st March) showed that he had flown 392 Km (243 miles) north to the north-eastern corner of Guinea, close to the border with Mali. It might just be that Selborne has continued on this trajectory and is now on his way across the Sahara Desert. In 2017 he started his crossing on 25 March and in 2018 he departed on 22nd March. We will have to await the next transmission to find out if he will be the first to tackle the mighty Sahara. Last year Selborne was the first of our tagged Cuckoos to make it back to the UK, arriving on 14th April.

Selborne doubles back

11 Mar 2019

Selborne has left Guinea and headed back east and into Ivory Coast. He seems to be homing in on the rains that are currently prevalent in the southern half of Ivory Coast. This wasn’t a short journey, he is 376km (234 miles) from his location in Guinea. This shows the importance of homing in on the rains and that our Cuckoos have the ability to do this.

Selborne settled in Guinea

25 Feb 2019

We don’t expect Selborne to move very much for another two weeks or so but we are receiving lots of information from his tag. During the last week he has moved a few miles to the west and further into the Guinea Highlands.

Selborne moves further west

14 Feb 2019

Selborne didn’t hang around in Ghana. Having spent a week there he headed west again, 687km (426 miles) west into Guinea, overflying Ivory Coast on the way. Presumably he will stay here a little longer and prepare for his desert crossing. In 2016 he crossed the Sahara on 25 March and on 24 March in 2017.

Selborne leading the way

01 Feb 2019
Selborne is in West Africa! On the evening of 31 January Selborne's tag showed that he was in west southern Ghana. From the information we received it looks like he took the shortcut across the Gulf of Guinea, a sea crossing of 1,100km (689 miles). He is now 1,650km (1,000 miles) from his last location in Gabon and just under 5,000km (3,000 miles) from his New Forest breeding site, as the Cuckoo flies.

Selborne still settled

03 Jan 2019
Selborne is still settled in the area of rainforest to the south and east of the Ogooue River. He has been in this location for almost two months. There are currently thunderstorms and pretty heavy rain where he is, and the temperature is 31 degrees. The forecast for the next couple of days is for more heavy thunderstorms. No wonder the battery charge on his tag is a little low.

Selborne settled

21 Dec 2018
Selborne seems settled in the area of rainforest he has been in for almost six weeks. Selborne is currently right in the middle of a large thunderstorm.


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