Transmissions from the last few days show that all four Cuckoos which have returned to their breeding grounds are still in their respective areas. They are likely to remain in and around these areas looking for breeding opportunities for at least the next month.We now assume Lloyd has perished in Morocco as there is no reason for him to remain in his current position for so long. Last year, the earliest Cuckoo to leave the UK was Chris, on the 11 June, while David and BB left on 18 and Chance on the 22 June. Wallace, one of the birds tagged in Scotland last year, was the last to leave, transmitting from outside the UK on 23 July, just one day later than the last bird, Lyster, in 2011.
Lloyd remains at his previous location in the Fes-Boulamane province of Morocco. As the conditions in this area should be quite good at this time of year (there are areas of trees and irrigated farmland in the area) we are not unduly concerned about this. We have noted that the temperature of his tag is tracking the environmental temperature a little more closely than expected, which may be a sign that all is not well, but so far we haven’t seen anything that confirms this. We will have to wait and see how Lloyd fares….
Lloyd made only a small amount of progress between Thursday 25 and Saturday 27 April, moving 120km (75 miles) north to an area of cultivation around the village of Tassa, at the bottom of the eastern slopes of the Moyen Atlas in the Fes-Boulamane province of Morocco. The signals received were poor quality so this new position does not show on the maps. Although this seems a long way south to be stopping he is presumably recuperating in the area after his desert crossing, in a similar fashion to Lyster did in a date plantation in Algeria in spring 2012.
The last transmissions received showed Lloyd in Algeria. He had been heading on a north-easterly trajectory but he then changed direction and started to head north-west towards Morocco. By mid-morning of 25 April he was on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains having successfully completed his crossing!
Locations received from Lloyd mid-morning of 23 April show him in central Algeria and about two thirds into his desert crossing. The next time we hear from him should be early on Friday, when, fingers crossed he will have completed the Saharan leg of his journey. His map will update tomorrow morning.
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