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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Senan moves on

07 Nov 2019
Senan had been in Burkina Faso since 21 August but signals on the 5 November show he was ready for change of scenery. He left the location he has spent the last 13 weeks in and travelled 350km (220 miles) south-east to Benin. He is currently on the southern edge of the Wari Maro Forest Reserve. 

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.

Senan in Burkina Faso

21 Aug 2019
Senan only stopped in Niger for a couple of days before flying another 256 km (160 miles) south west, across the border into Burkina Faso. He is now in the far south of Burkina Faso, close to the borders with Togo and Ghana, 205 km (127 miles) south east of the capital Ouagadougou. Another Cuckoo, Valentine, is also in Burkina Faso but is 465 km (289 miles) west of Senan. 

Five across the desert

14 Aug 2019
So far this year, five Cuckoos have made it successfully across the desert. Carlton II, PJ, Senan, Tennyson and Valentine are all south of the Sahara and still sending regular tag transmissions. They still have a little further to go south before reaching their final wintering destinations.  

Senan crosses into Niger

13 Aug 2019
An update received from Senan's tag late last night showed that he has flown 481 km (300 miles) south from Mali into Niger. He is now in the far south western corner of Niger, close to the borders with Burkina Faso and Benin. 

Senan in the Niger

05 Aug 2019
Since the last update Senan has flown another 514 km (319 miles) south in Mali, towards the border with Niger. He appears to be on an island in the river Niger, close to Ansongo, a rural commune and small town in the Gao Region of eastern Mali.

Signals clarify Senan's African location

31 Jul 2019
New signals on the morning of 30 July show that Senan had indeed made landfall in Africa and that his location at that time was in northern Mali. Senan was tagged on the BTO reserve headquarters at Thetford, and interestingly, he is now just 240km (150 miles) north of PJ who was also tagged local to the BTO in Suffolk, and is in Mali. 

Senan heading for Africa?

29 Jul 2019
Some low quality locations transmitted by Senan's tag suggest that during the evening of 27th and early morning of 28th he was crossing the Mediterranean with the last location pointing to his destination being north-east Morocco or north-west Algeria. We will hopefully receive some better quality locations soon which will clarify where he has made landfall. 

Senan in Spain

09 Jul 2019
Since our last update Senan has flown 445 Km (276 miles) south and is now in Spain. He is currently 130 Km (80 miles) east of Madrid near Villanueva de Alcorón in the province of Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha.

Senan crosses into France

03 Jul 2019

During the late afternoon of 30 June we received transmissions showing that Senan had left the UK and completed his crossing of the English Channel.  Locations revealed that he was in northern France,  just south of Wierre-Effroy and around 10km (6 miles) inland from the west coast, 190km (116 miles) from Norfolk. Further locations yesterday show that he is now 790km (490 miles) further south, near Marmande, to the south-east of Bordeaux.

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