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Charles has been named by Ann Masters, who fondly remembers competing with her husband each year to see who heard the first Cuckoo, and hopes that work such as this tracking project will continue to inspire a love of nature for future generations.

Charles, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232745.
Saturday, May 28, 2022 - 06:00
Tagging Location:
Knepp Estate, West Sussex
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Charles's journey from 28 May 2022 to 01 January 2023

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Charles's movements

28 Jul 2022 - Farewell to Charles

Sadly it is time to say goodbye to Sussex Cuckoo Charles. We followed Charles over 4,000km (2,485 miles) from his breeding grounds on the Knepp Estate south through France and Spain and into Africa. He seemed to be making such good progress but unfortunately was beaten by the Sahara. As he approached the border between Algeria and Mali he veered off course, drifting south west across the desert. Had he been able to keep going south he would've reached the River Niger within 370 miles where he would have found good feeding opportunities. Instead he travelled 410 miles and perished, still in the desert on the border between Mali and Mauritania. He is gone but not forgotten and the data he provided us with will contribute to our growing knowledge of Cuckoos and the pressures they face.

08 Jul 2022 - No further movement from Charles

Although we are continuing to receive updates from Charles' tag, they show that he hasn't made a significant movement since reaching western Mali last Saturday evening. This doesn't look like an hospitable place to stop so we are keeping everything crossed that we will see him leap into action soon. 

04 Jul 2022 - Charles drifts over the Sahara

Having made what appeared to be reasonable progress south over the Algerian Sahara, Charles' journey took an unexpected turn through Friday and into Saturday. He had flown directly south over Algeria and by 8am on Friday morning he was close to the southern border with Mali. He appears to have hit a weather front which pushed him south west and over the next 24 hours he traveled 690km (429 miles) south west over the desert towards the border with Mauritania. Had he continued due south from the border with Mali he would have reached the feeding opportunities presented by the habitats along the Niger river within 600km but instead the last transmission at 18:55pm on Saturday night showed him still in the desert on the Mali/Mauritania border. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we receive another update from Charles showing that he has completed his desert crossing.   

01 Jul 2022 - Charles approaching Mali

A new update received from Charles' tag at 8am this morning shows that he has continued his journey south over the Algerian Sahara and is now approaching the border with Mali. Over the last 26 hours he has covered 873km (543 miles) at an average speed of 33.6 kph (20.9mph). He is currently flying into light southerly winds across the Tanezrouft (sometimes known as "The land of terror"), one of the most arid and desolate parts of the Sahara. In another 600km (372 miles) he could be on the banks of the Niger in Mali.  

30 Jun 2022 - Charles enters the Sahara

New updates received at around 6am this morning show that Charles has flown 550km (343 miles) south from his last location in northern Algeria, into the Sahara. By 8am this morning he had reached Timimoun Province in south central Algeria. He was 37km north of the town of Talmine, the first of a string of oasis towns leading south towards the provincial capital, Adrar. The average daily high in this area in June is a blistering 42.2 degrees C (108 degrees F), and average precipitation is 0mm. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that Charles has enough in the tank to power him through the next 1,500km or so to the other side of the desert. 

Update: By 11:42 this morning, Charles had flown a further 120km south and was passing just east of the town of Metarfa in Aougrout District, Adrar Province. He is currently flying into a light headwind but as he moves south he should pick up a tailwind which will assist him on his way south over southern Algeria and Mali. 

Past updates from Charles

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