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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Carlton II in Guinea Bissau

15 Aug 2019
Since our last update Carlton II has moved around 100 km (62 miles) east from his last position in Senegal and is now just over the border in Guinea Bissau. He is now in the far north-eastern corner of Guinea-Bissau. Last year he began moving west on August 11 so this could well be the start of his journey through west Africa towards his final wintering grounds in Gabon.  

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.  

Concern growing for Knepp

13 Aug 2019

There have been no further signals from Knepp since 12 July when the battery in his tag was functioning well. Given that there is no evidence that his battery was failing, his sudden disappearance just a day after arrival at his last known position means we are now seriously concerned that we won't hear anything more from Knepp. 

The end of the road for Raymond

13 Aug 2019

Raymond moved to southern Mauritania on 5 August and signals received since show he has remained there, in the Trarza Desert. This prolonged static period in the desert, and the temperature data from the tag which shows big fluctuations rather than a more constant temperature, suggests that sadly, Raymond has perished on his desert crossing. Raymond was tagged in 2018 and so had already contributed a complete migration cycle to our data bank, nevertheless it is sad to have lost him when he appeared so close to reaching his stop-over location in Senegal. 

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. 

Tennyson in Nigeria

13 Aug 2019
Tennyson moved into the Adamawa region in northeast Nigeria at the end of July and recent signals show he has remained in the area since. 

Raymond finds favourable conditions?

07 Aug 2019

We were a bit concerned about Raymond, who appeared to have spent the evening of 5 August on the desert floor, in a pretty inhospitable looking area, only 50km from good habitat along the Senegal river.

However, Chris Hewson has been looking at the conditions there and it appears the spot where Raymond has stopped is the first place he would have reached since his mid-desert crossing that has had any rain this year, so he may have sensed that and decided to ditch. Hopefully soon we'll find he has moved to somewhere more lush looking.

To and fro for Nussey

07 Aug 2019

Nussey, who has already visited Africa briefly this summer,  was in the Andalusia region of Spain by the evening of Friday 2 August and by the morning of Saturday 3 August was crossing the Mediterranean. He landed in northern Morocco, just south of Guercif. However, locations received since, show that he started his desert crossing from the Altas Mountains on Saturday evening but turned back in the middle of Sunday from some where in western Algeria. Yesterday (Tuesday 6 August) he was back in Spain, to the south-west of Valencia.

These aborted attempts must have been in response to unfavourable conditions and we are now a little worried about what this mean for the rest of his journey, as he will have expended a huge amount more energy in order to back-track. He will be one lucky and tenacious Cuckoo to survive the added burden of these attempts. We'll have to wait for further signals to see what he does next. 

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.  

Larry's last stop

06 Aug 2019

On 3 August we received a further location from Larry’s tag showing that he had not moved from his reported position, in northern Libya. Unfortunately, there’s no way he could have survived for that long in the arid conditions so we must conclude that he has perished there. 

This is especially sad news as he was our longest surviving active Cuckoo, having been tagged in 2015 and entering his fifth year of tracking. 

David, first tracked in spring 2012, holds the title for longest tracked journey, having been tracked to mid-winter (December 2016) in his fifth year. Chris, our most famous Cuckoo, was in second place in regard to length and duration of tracked journey, with his last signal on 8 August 2015 in his fifth year.  Larry was just one successful desert crossing away from surpassing Chris, who also perished during his desert crossing, but had reached the Tibesti mountains in Northern Chad.

We are grateful to everyone who has supported Larry over the years and watched his incredible journey. 


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