The outlook for Dart is looking fairly bleak with no further transmissions to report. We think it is likely that he has perished in Mallorca. A supporter of the project emailed in to let us know that just after Dart's arrival there was a huge wildfire on Mallorca. It's likely that conditions weren't good if the area was very dry so even if he wasn't in the area affected by the fire, he may have struggled to find food.
It appears the conditions have been a lot more favourable for our tagged Cuckoos this year, with 12 Cuckoos already in Africa and 11 of them south of the Sahara. However, we are getting a little worried about Dart who has failed to move on from Mallorca and whose tag has not transmitted since 20 July. We would be expecting him to move on shortly, however, as mentioned in previous years, sometimes an absence of signals can mean a Cuckoo is feeding up in thick undergrowth and getting ready to make a big move. If so, the next tranmissions will show him popping up in the next location - let's hope so!
Dart has flown south for a summer holiday to Mallorca, adding a new island to those visited by our tagged Cuckoos. He has travelled 500km (310 miles) from Italy to the south coast of Mallorca and is currently north of Cala Figuera. Two of the other Devon Cuckoos have travelled to Spain, while poor quality transmissions from Tor on 23 July show that he is on Corsica, along with Sussex the Cuckoo. It looks like Dart and Tor could cross from these islands to Africa but we will have to wait and see what they do next.
A poor quality signal on 28 June indicated that the last Devon Cuckoo still remaining in the UK was also on his way. Dart was transmitting during his crossing of the English Channel and further poor quality signals on the 30 June and 1 July showed him travelling down through Central France and then southern France, following a parallel line to Whortle’s migration south. A good location on 3 July placed him just over 30 km (20 miles) north-west of Montpellier, having covered around 930km (580 miles) since leaving his position in Devon.
Dart was tagged on the morning of 16 May at Holne, Dartmoor. From the locations received since tagging him, it appears that we lured him from the moors east of Dartmeet, across the River Dart to the trapping location - this fits in with him being seen flying into the nets from low in that direction by Dave Scott, who was assisting the team that morning. Since then, he has split his time between this area and another about 3.5km (2 miles) to the south, about 1.5km (1 mile) south of Vernford Reservoir, with occasional visits to the woods about 1.5km (1 mile) to the east, possibly to roost.