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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Two Devon Cuckoos still being tracked

12 Nov 2013

We are still following two of the four Cuckoos tagged in Dartmoor earlier this spring. Tor is in Congo, west of the Téké Plateau and Whortle is in the closed canopy forest in DRC, between Lac Mai and Lac Mumba and is midway between Patch and Waller.

The other two Cuckoos tagged there both perished in August, Ryder struggled to cross the desert once he arrived in Africa, while Dart made it to Mallorca but wa likely affecfed by dry conditions and wildfires there.

Whortle near Lake Tumba

30 Oct 2013

By lunchtime on 29 October, Whortle had travelled 550km (340 miles) south-east from his  location in Congo and crossed over the border and in to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He is to the south-east of Lake Tumba (or Ntomba), a shallow lake in the Bikoro Territory which is connected to the Congo River and which lies at the center of the Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe area, a designated Wetland of International Importance.

This new location places him 140km (85 miles) south of Waller and 200km (120 miles) south-east of Chris and Derek. Patch is 130km (80 miles) to the south-west, in an area close to Lake Mai-Ndombe. 

Whortle in Congo

28 Oct 2013

Whortle crossed from Nigeria into Cameroon by 19 October and then moved eastwards across the South region by 22 October. From here he then headed 120k (75miles) south into north-west Congo before travelling a further 80km (50 miles) east by 27 October. This new location places him just 80k (50 miles) to the north-east of Skinner. He has a choice of National Parks to visit from here, with Nki National Park to the north, Odzala-Kokoua National Parl to the south and Minkebe National Parl to the west of his current location.

A wandering Whortle

11 Oct 2013

Whortle has also moved south a further 730km (450 miles) within Nigeria and yesterday morning was in the Cross River region of southern Nigeria. He is close to the border with Cameroon. 

Whortle in Nigeria

23 Sep 2013

Since the 13 September, Whortle has also been slowly travelling eastwards, across the Tahoua region of Niger. He covered around 370km (230 miles) eastwards in three days before then heading directly south, travelling a further 220km (136 miles). This latest movement has taken him inside the border of Nigeria, and into the Zamfara region. Transmissions received on 21 September, along with further signals today, show him stil in the area. Interestingly, this has been recently departed by Skinner the Cuckoo, who has surprisingly travelled north and west (the opposite direction to most of our Cuckoos!) into the Sokoto region.  Will Whortle stay here for long or is Skinner's departure an indication that conditions are not suitable?  

Whortle in Niger

13 Sep 2013

From his position close to the border, Whortle had crossed over from Mali in to Niger by 9 September and covered 250km (155 miles) in a south-easterly direction. From here he then travelled north-east 100km (65 miles). He is currently in the Tillaberi region of Niger.   

Whortle leaves river location

05 Sep 2013

Locations on 2nd September show Whortle close to the Niger river but by early morning on 4 September he had already continued 290km (180 miles) in a south-easterly direction and was close to the border with both Burkina Faso and Niger. His current location is between the Partielle De Faune D'ansongo-Menaka, an area which was apparently first created to conserve the giraffes which are sadly no longer there, and the Sahel Reserve. He is roughly 730km (500 miles) to the north-west of Ken and Skinner - not too bad given his comparatively late departure!  

Whortle reaches Africa!

02 Sep 2013

Whortle had spent 6 weeks in Spain but by 30 August he had began to move on. He had already moved 200km (136 miles) south, and spent the day 32km (20 miles) NW of Benidorm. From here he moved due south and by the morning of 1 September he was 1650km (1026 miles) further on in southern Algeria.  

Over the next 18 hours he continued for a further 775km (482 miles) before stopping early in the morning of 2 September close to the Niger river in central Mali (not yet displayed on the map), an area that will be nice and greeen at this time of year.  Whortle has crossed the desert in a more easterly direction than many of the other Cuckoos that took the south-westerly route through Spain and consequently will be further east when he completes his desert crossing – this will allow him to make up for lost time because if he continues in this direction he will not need to travel far east before catching the others up!

Whortle and Patch yet to leave Europe

29 Aug 2013
Signals received from Whortle’s tag yesterday show he is still in Spain. He and Patch are the only remaining tagged birds not to have left mainland Europe yet. Patch currently remains in northern Italy, where he has spent the last two weeks.
By the end of August last year, nine birds had reached Africa, four had perished trying to get there and one, Lloyd, was still in northern Italy.  Lloyd only crossed to Africa in early October and we were concerned, given his late departure, about whether he would make the journey successfully. He not only made it successfully but headed in a south-easterly direction and made his crossing over Egypt. This very easterly route will have made the journey even longer than many of the other routes taken by other Cuckoos.  It will be interesting to see how late Whortle and Patch leave their crossings.  

Whortle - time to move on?

21 Aug 2013

Whortle has moved north slightly from Linares de Mora and has been sending regular transmittions from a location near to Cantavieja, Spain. We are expecting him to move on shortly and make the crossing to Africa. 


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