Skip to main content


Patch has been named on behalf of the Patchwork Challenge and Meopta and Forest Optics, who have sponsored participants in the challenge. Thanks to Rule Anderson, NTS Ranger for Kintail and the Macrae family for their help with tagging.

Patch the Cuckoo
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 01:00
Tagging Location:
Inch na Croe, Morvich
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

Cuckoo sponsor badge

Patch's journey from 21 May 2013 to 29 May 2014

Patch's position on
Show marker
Show route

Patch's movements

19 May 2014 - Patchy signals suggest the worst

Patch hadn't moved on northwards from his location in Spain like the other Cuckoos so our scientists took a look at the signals received recently. While we have been receiving signals, a closer look revealed that they were all lower quality signals, indicating that the tag may be on the ground. In addition the temperature associated with each transmission is now fluctuating with the external temperature, rather than remaining steadily at body temperature - as you would expect if the tag was still attached to a live Cuckoo. Together these two bits of information seem to suggest that we have lost Patch in Spain and he will sadly not be returning to his tagging ground in Scotland.

22 Apr 2014 - Patch crosses desert and makes it to Spain

Patch was still in Senegal on 16 April but by the evening of the late afternoon of 17 April he was in Morocco in the southern region of Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira, part of the Western Sahara. From this westerly point, he changed direction and headed a further 1000km in a north-easterly direction (620 miles), flying over western Algeria by midday on 18 April and then heading north, towards the Middle Atlas mountains, and back in to Morocco by the morning of 19 April.

There must have been little time to rest as by morning on 21 April he was already 780km (485 miles) further north, having crossed the Mediteranean Sea to reach Valencia, Spain. In the five days since leaving Senegal, he covered at least 3440km (2140 miles)!

17 Apr 2014 - Patch in Senegal

Patch is also on the move and embarking on his desert crossing, with the most recent signals revealing he has made it to eastern Senegal. David is also in Senegal but is much further west than Patch, and they are both much further west than any of the other Cuckoos. 

01 Apr 2014 - Patch continues to Guinea

From Ghana, Patch continued onwards and by the evening of 31 March he was in Guinea, 1100km (690 miles) further north-west.  He is just to the west of the outer edge of the Guinea Highlands,  a densely forested mountainous plateau which runs from southeastern Guinea through to northern Sierra Leone and Liberia, and northwestern Ivory Coast. 

This new location means that he is in running for the most westerly Cuckoo, however, poor quality signals suggest that David continued on from Mali and could be in either Sierra Leone or Guinea, and possibly further west than Patch. We will have to await further signals to confirm his location. 

31 Mar 2014 - Patch travels to Ghana

Poor quality signals, received on 27 March, from Patch's tag revealed that he had left Cameroon and was on the move.  Those signals located him in Togo and two days later further signals confirmed he had continued on in a westerly direction and was in Ghana. He is just west of Lake Volta, a place where several of our Cuckoos have stopped having moved into west Africa.  

Past updates from Patch

Get involved

Find out how you can support the project, or contact us directly for further details -

Donate to help us run the Cuckoo Tracking project.

Sponsor an individual cuckoo with a monthly Direct Debit or make a one-off donation.

Information on this page is for illustrative purposes only and should not be reproduced without permission
© British Trust for Ornithology.