Martin was also caught on 19 May 2011, the first day we attempted catching. After a dawn start, we now moved to an area on the edge of the estuary in Great Yarmouth. A bird had been heard calling and reacted well to tape on previous recces and so we were hopeful! Catching was complicated by the strong wind blowing the nets over half way through but the taped call brought the bird in.
We have received no further data from Martin since 9th April, and sadly must now assume that he is dead.
Martin made it as far as Lorca in southern Spain, where we last heard from him. In that last transmission his tag temperature dropped from a normal 30-32 degrees Centigrade to 11.7, a gradual change over the course of a night. While fearing for the worst, we did hope that he might pop up further north. We are now convinced that this is very unlikely, and must announce Martin's demise.
Martin has bequeathed a wealth of knowledge that has improved our understanding of Cuckoo migration. Of our original band of five, Martin was the first to return to Europe. As the only Cuckoo over two years old, he was looking good to be the first bird to return. He may have fallen victim to some severe weather conditions, which the other birds avoided by crossing the Mediterranean a little later.