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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Unlikely to hear more from Thomas

06 Aug 2019
Thomas last appeared to be heading out over the Mediterranean on  24 July and since then we’ve had 'radio silence'. It’s unlikely we will hear from his tag again but as his disappearance occurred after a prolonged period of declining battery charge, it’s impossible to say whether he died south of Spain (in north Africa or during the desert crossing) or whether his tag's battery gave out when it was hit with the sun during the desert crossing.  

Thomas on his way to Africa?

25 Jul 2019

We were getting a bit worried about Thomas after a period of almost two weeks without an update from his tag. When we last heard from him he was near Ales in souther France. Finally on Monday 22 July we received a couple of poor quality locations showing that he had flown 840 km (521 miles) south west and was just south of Daimiel in Ciudad Real, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. He didn't hang around though and by 19:24 on the evening of July 24 he had flown another 297 km (185 miles) south west and was on the Costa del Sol, between Marbella and Fuengirola, approximately 4.5 km (2.8 miles) inland. It looks like he may have just been passing through as the last signal we received last night at 20:30 showed him to be 12 km (7.8 miles) due south of Marbella, out over the Mediterranean. This was a poor quality signal so we'll have to await the next update to find out if Thomas has made his move to Africa.

Thomas is off

25 Jun 2019

We didn’t have to wait long to find out as, by the 20 June, Thetford Cuckoo Thomas was on his way south! Late that evening he was flying over the English Channel, at least 110 Km (65 miles) from his tagging location. The next set of transmissions on 22 June, show he had journeyed another 695km (430 miles) and was located north of Auvergne in the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park. Not yet finished he appears to have continued southwards and by the 23 June he was close to Ales.  All-in-all he had taken a huge trip of 950km (590 miles) since the evening of the 20 June.

Thomas still in Thetford Forest

19 Jun 2019
Thomas has been pretty faithful to the area of Thetford Forest just to the west of Mundford. He is currently in a forest block just on the southern edge of the village. In 2018 he left the UK on 14 June - when will he leave this year?

We've seen Thomas

04 Jun 2019
Thomas has been pretty faithful to the Cranwich Heath area but he has also ventured further south. Whilst out birdwatching at Lakenheath Fen in May, two members of BTO staff saw a tagged Cuckoo, and looking at the data Thomas has visited the area a few times. However, whilst out with the Cuckoo team on Cranwich Heath we saw him again, determinedly chasing another male Cuckoo and a female. In 2018 he left for Africa on 14 June, so he may not be around the heath much longer.

Thomas is back

08 May 2019
In our last update we reported that Thomas was all at sea, 155 km (96 miles) west of the Saint-Pierre Light in Penmarch on the coast of Brittany in fact. Well, a short time later Thomas' tag transmitted again showing that he had covered the remaining 719 Km (447 miles) back to his tagging location in Thetford Forest, much to our relief. 

Thomas reaches Portugal

29 Apr 2019
Thomas is making steady progress towards home having flown another 280 Km (173 miles) north west from his last location near Monesterio in the south of Extremadura to his new location in central Portugal. He is in the eastern part of the Serra de Estrela Natural Park.

Thomas has crossed the Strait of Gibraltar

23 Apr 2019
Thomas has pushed north and made it into Spain. He is currently to the southwest of Gibraltar and the south of Algeciras, and only 2km (1.5 miles) from the coast.  

Thomas has crossed the desert

15 Apr 2019
A series of poor locations received from his tag during the morning of 15 April show that he is in northern Morocco around 40km (25 miles) from the Strait of Gibraltar. We will have to wait for good quality locations for this to update on his map.

Thomas is on his way

11 Apr 2019
A series of locations received from Thomas' tag during the morning of 11 April show that he is around three-quarters of the way across the Sahara and in central Algeria. This will update on his map automatically overnight. So far he has travelled 2,232km (1,387 miles) from his last location in Ivory Coast - he has another 800km (500 miles) to go before he reaches the northern edge of the desert.


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