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Named by Friends of Thetford Forest after Thomas Paine, political theorist and revolutionary and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States who was born in Thetford in 1736.

Thomas the Cuckoo
Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 08:00
Tagging Location:
Cranwich Heath, Thetford Forest
Age when found:
Over one year
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Thomas's journey from 23 May 2019 to 07 July 2019

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Thomas's movements

25 Jun 2019 - Thomas is off

We didn’t have to wait long to find out as, by the 20 June, Thetford Cuckoo Thomas was on his way south! Late that evening he was flying over the English Channel, at least 110 Km (65 miles) from his tagging location. The next set of transmissions on 22 June, show he had journeyed another 695km (430 miles) and was located north of Auvergne in the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park. Not yet finished he appears to have continued southwards and by the 23 June he was close to Ales.  All-in-all he had taken a huge trip of 950km (590 miles) since the evening of the 20 June.

19 Jun 2019 - Thomas still in Thetford Forest

Thomas has been pretty faithful to the area of Thetford Forest just to the west of Mundford. He is currently in a forest block just on the southern edge of the village. In 2018 he left the UK on 14 June - when will he leave this year?

04 Jun 2019 - We've seen Thomas

Thomas has been pretty faithful to the Cranwich Heath area but he has also ventured further south. Whilst out birdwatching at Lakenheath Fen in May, two members of BTO staff saw a tagged Cuckoo, and looking at the data Thomas has visited the area a few times. However, whilst out with the Cuckoo team on Cranwich Heath we saw him again, determinedly chasing another male Cuckoo and a female. In 2018 he left for Africa on 14 June, so he may not be around the heath much longer.

08 May 2019 - Thomas is back

In our last update we reported that Thomas was all at sea, 155 km (96 miles) west of the Saint-Pierre Light in Penmarch on the coast of Brittany in fact. Well, a short time later Thomas' tag transmitted again showing that he had covered the remaining 719 Km (447 miles) back to his tagging location in Thetford Forest, much to our relief. 

29 Apr 2019 - Thomas reaches Portugal

Thomas is making steady progress towards home having flown another 280 Km (173 miles) north west from his last location near Monesterio in the south of Extremadura to his new location in central Portugal. He is in the eastern part of the Serra de Estrela Natural Park.

Past updates from Thomas

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