A period of recovery - 12 Sep 2014

With most cuckoos now in the Sahel region, we're entering a fairly quiet period in the annual cycle of the tagged cuckoos with less movement than during the migration season.

Birds who completed their desert crossing will spend time in the Sahel recovering their body condition, and some may stay quite a long time. In previous years, cuckoos have stayed in this area for as much as several months, while others spend a shorter amount of time before moving south into the humid zone forests.

The eastern Sahel in Chad and south Sudan has received plenty of rain recently, and thus conditions are likely good for cuckoos. Northern Cameroon was slightly drier than average in August, and so cuckoos such as Derek, Dudley, Stanley, and Emsworthy may be moving on if foraging conditions aren't suitable.

Skinner in Nigeria - 27 Aug 2014

By the evening of 25 August, Skinner was on the move again, heading 250km (155  miles) south-east to Nigeria and pausing at a location near Sokoto, close to where the Sokoto river and the Rima river join together. At this time of year there should be regular rainfail.

Skinner continues south - 15 Aug 2014

By 11 August Skinner had journeyed a futher 315km (195 miles) from the location he first grounded in within Mali. Yesterday he had made even more progress and was in Niger. He still has a little way to go to make it to the forest edge further south but hopefully this progress is a good sign. 

Skinner in Mali - 04 Aug 2014

Skinner has embarked on his desert crossing. He has made good progress, having left Spain late on 30 July and travelling over the Atlas mountains in the early hours of the 31, he made his way south over Algeria and by the 2 August he was in Mali. However he appears to have grounded here and signals received today show him still in the same location, which from the satellite images, may not be as barren as other parts. Hopefully he will continue onwards shortly and make it safely across. 

Five opt for Spain so far - 07 Jul 2014

Skinner has left France and continued south to Spain where Meavy, Gilbert, Dudley and Chester are currently located. In previous years we have only seen East Anglian and Devon Cuckoos take this route but this year we also have Chester, one of the birds tagged in Sussex, Dudley, one of the Nottinghamshire birds and Gilbert, a New Forest bird, heading this way. 

The three Cuckoos which took this route in 2012/13 all perished but in 2013/14 5 of the 6 birds which took this route successfully made it to their wintering grounds. 

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