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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Valentine on the move?

21 Feb 2020
A very poor location from Valentine's tag in the last few days suggests that he is in the middle of the Gulf of Guinea, around 1,400km (890 miles) offshore. We don't believe this to be the case but it could be an indication that he is on the move. It will be interesting to see where he pops-up, fingers crossed it will be somewhere north of Angola and not out to sea. Watch this space.

Valentine in Angola

16 Dec 2019
Valentine only stayed in Cameroon for a few days before pressing on to his current location in northern Angola. Valentine is now 228 Km (142 miles) north-east of the capital Luanda and just 167 km (104 miles) separates him from Suffolk Cuckoo PJ.

Valentine arrives in Cameroon

02 Dec 2019
Valentine left Burkina Faso on 16th November, flying 495 km (307 miles) south-east over the border into Ghana where he stayed for a week. On 23rd November he departed Ghana and flew 836 km (520 miles) east to Nigeria where he stopped for around a week near Benin City in southern Nigeria. The latest update shows that by 5:45 pm on Saturday evening (November 30) Valentine had flown a further 416 km (258 miles) south east to his current location in western Cameroon. 

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.

Valentine moves north in Burkina Faso

21 Aug 2019
In the last couple of days Valentine has flown 74 km (46 miles) north west from his last location towards the border with Mali. He is now close to the city of Solenzo in the far west of Burkina Faso.

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.  

Valentine moves to south-west Burkina Faso

29 Jul 2019
Over the last few days Valentine has flown 322 km (200 miles) south west into south-western Burkina Faso. He is now in the Hauts-Bassins region, 55 km (34 miles) north-east of the region capital, Bobo Dioulasso. 

Valentine has crossed the desert

22 Jul 2019
Since our last update Valentine has become the second of our tagged Cuckoos to successfully cross the Sahara. From his location in Morocco he has flown south east into Algeria and then due south over Mali to Burkina Faso. He is currently in the Rollo Department, a commune of Bam Province in north-western Burkina Faso. He is 125 km (78 miles) north of the capital Ouagadougou. 

Valentine arrives in Morocco

18 Jul 2019
An update from Valentine at 19:40 last night (Wednesday July 17) showed that he had completed his crossing of the Mediterranean and was in the High Atlas mountains in central Morocco. By 22:57 last night he had flown 737 km (458 miles) from his last stop over site in southern Spain and was near Iriqui National Park, in the Atlas mountains close to the border with Algeria. Interestingly he was just 4.8 km (3 miles) from the spot where Nottingham Cuckoo Bill perished in April 2017 (Bill's tag is still transmitting).  It'll be interesting to see whether Valentine pushes on across the desert from here. 

Valentine heading for Africa?

16 Jul 2019
By the morning of July 13 Valentine had crossed the Pyrenees and was in northern Spain 19 km (11 miles) east of Barbastro. By 7 pm on July 15 he had flown a further 610 km (379 miles) south and was just north of Benahadux in Andalucia, Spain. The last signal received from Valentine came in at 10 pm last night when he appeared to be 65 km (40 miles) out over the Mediterranean on a heading for the Cape of Three Forks in northern Morocco. We'll have to await the next data transmission to see whether Valentine will become the second of our Cuckoos to reach Africa this year. 


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