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PJ is named in memory of Pamela Joy Miller who passed on her passion for birds to her nephews and nieces and their children - now all her family can follow PJ's journey and think of Pam

Cuckoo 161318 portrait
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 06:00
Tagging Location:
King's Forest, Suffolk, England
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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PJ's journey from 01 May 2020 to 09 May 2021

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PJ's movements

24 Apr 2021 - PJ is back again!

After five years and a staggering 50,000 miles, Suffolk Cuckoo PJ has once again returned from Africa to his breeding grounds in the King's Forest, Suffolk. He is the first of our tagged Cuckoos to survive five complete migrations with his tag still functioning. When we last updated you he was having a well deserved rest on the Isle of Wight, but despite the many attractions of that fine place, it couldn't keep him away from East Anglia for long. New updates received from PJ's tag at 07:30 yesterday morning (Friday 22nd April) showed that he had covered the final 223km (139 miles) from the Isle of Wight to Suffolk. Further updates since show him flying around his breeding grounds, less than 5 miles from us here at BTO HQ in Thetford. He will stay here until early July before beginning his journey back to Africa once again.

22 Apr 2021 - PJ takes a break on the Isle of Wight

New updates received from PJ's tag just before lunch yesterday (Wed 21st April) showed that he had flown 866 km (539 miles) north, over France and across the English Channel to his new location on the Isle of Wight. We received further updates from his tag yesterday evening showing him in the same area, on farmland close to the village of Havenstreet, just south west of Ryde. It is now just 223 km (139 miles) as the Cuckoo flies, back to his breeding grounds in the King's Forest, Suffolk. In previous years he has arrived back at his breeding grounds between 18th and 30th April so he is being very punctual. When we next update you, it will hopefully be to tell you that PJ has successfully made it "home".  

19 Apr 2021 - PJ getting closer

Updates received from PJ's tag just after 5am this morning show that he has flown a further 371km (231 miles) north east into northern Spain. He is now close to the shores of the Urranaga Reservoir, some 40km south east of Bilbao. How long will he linger before flying on? We will be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast over the next few days to spot likely opportunities that PJ may take to press on. Stay tuned!

15 Apr 2021 - PJ arrives in Spain

Undeterred by the small feat of having just crossed the Sahara, PJ has pressed on, flying a further 751 km (476 miles) north and crossing from Morocco into Spain. By 5 pm yesterday evening he had made it to Central Spain. He is now just west of the town of Candeleda in the province of Avila in Castile & Leon. He is on the lower slopes of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. He could be back in Suffolk by the time we receive the next update so stay tuned!

15 Apr 2021 - PJ crosses the Sahara!

We caught and tagged Cuckoo 'PJ' in the King's Forest, Suffolk, in June 2016, and since then he has provided us with a wealth of valuable data. Through tracking PJ's migrations between UK and Africa, we have discovered that he spends the winter months in north-western Angola. Recently, while en-route to the UK he has spent several weeks feeding up in Ivory Coast and over the last few days we can see that he has tackled the mighty Sahara. He was in, or over, Mauritania on Sunday morning and by 8am yesterday morning (Monday) he had reached Morocco! The most recent update, which arrived at 19:40 last night, showed him in northern Morocco. He is currently in the Middle Atlas Mountains, approximately 95 km (59 miles) south east of Fes. From here, he will move up through Spain and France before crossing into England.

If he makes it back to Suffolk this year, PJ will have completed his fifth tracked migration, which is the most for any Cuckoo that we have tracked so far! It has been a nerve-racking time waiting for PJ to tackle the desert and we'll be keeping everything crossed that the rest of his journey goes smoothly. In previous years, he has successfully completed his desert crossing between 7th and 17th April and arrived back at his breeding grounds in Suffolk between 18th and 30th April, so he is close to his usual schedule.

Past updates from PJ

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