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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Ellis pushes on towards the Congo Basin

16 Sep 2021
Over the last few days Ellis has followed AJ from Nigeria towards the Congo rainforest. By 08:14 on Tuesday morning, Ellis had flown 1000Km (621 miles) south east and had reached the south-western corner of Central African Republic. He was close to Dzanga-Sangha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site established as a protected site in 1990 and covering 6,865Km2. Will he remain here or follow AJ into Congo or DRC? Stay tuned to find out...

Ellis crosses into Nigeria

12 Jul 2021
Ellis has continued south another 115km (72 miles) and is now just over the border in northern Nigeria, 22km (13 miles) east of the town of Daura.  The weather in this area at the moment is moderate rain with a maximum temperature of 33°c and minimum temperature of 26°c. Hopefully Ellis is finding plenty of food to refuel after his desert crossing. 

Ellis completes his desert crossing

10 Jul 2021
At 21:56 on Thursday evening Ellis was in northern Libya, by 08:40 Friday morning he was 840 km (520 miles) further south, crossing the Sahara in north east Niger. The latest updates received this morning (Saturday 10 July) show that he has now reached southern Niger and is c100km north of Zinder, the third largest city in Niger. In flying from northern Libya to southern Niger he has covered an amazing 1,806 km (1,120 miles) over the course of approximately 41 hours, which means he was traveling at an average speed of around 27mph. He was helped along by some light tail winds. It is warm and dry in this area today but Ellis is arriving in the Sahel (the semi-arid region of Africa separating the Sahara Desert to the north and tropical savannas to the south), just in time for the start of the rainy season. 

Ellis is in Africa

09 Jul 2021
Not only has Ellis crossed into Africa, but he is crossing the Sahara! At 09:16 on Wednesday morning, Ellis was still near Rome but by 17:39 on Thursday he had flown 1,457 km (907 miles) south over the Mediterranean and was in or over Libya. He didn't stop there though and the latest update we received from his tag at 08:43 this morning (Friday 9 July) showed that he had reached Niger. He was in the far north east of Niger, just west of the Tibesti mountains. Hopefully when we next hear from Ellis he will have successfully conquered the Sahara.

Ellis heads for Rome

08 Jul 2021
Ellis has flown a further 500km (311 miles) south from his last location near Lake Como in northern Italy, towards Rome. By 05:45 yesterday morning he was near Lake Bracciano and by 06:30 he had settled in the countryside between Sacrofano and Monte Lungo, about 25 kilometers north of Rome. Attenborough is still a whisker further south of Ellis.

Ellis flies to Italy via Germany and Switzerland

05 Jul 2021
Cuckoo Ellis was still in the Netherlands late on Friday evening but by 22:46 last night he had flown 542 km (336 miles) south and was just south of Strasbourg and close to the city of Offenburg in Germany. By 3am this morning he was crossing the Alps in Switzerland and by 5am he was in the mountains above the city of Colico on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. 

Introducing Ellis

17 Jun 2021

Ellis was caught at the same site near Loch Arklet in the Trossachs as Columbus. He was caught in the evening, in exactly the same part of the same net as Columbus. The team caught another Cuckoo at the same time, a female that was sneaking up on her perceived rival. Since being tagged, Ellis spent a few days near Bungay in Suffolk before crossing the Channel to the Netherlands. Having stopped off near Leiden in South Holland, updates received last night showed that he had flown 137 km (85 miles) north east to his current location near Leeuwarden in Friesland.

Meet the 2021 Cuckoos

17 Jun 2021

After being unable to tag any Cuckoos in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are delighted to be able to introduce eleven new Cuckoos this year!

The tagging teams faced some very early starts as usual to tag the Cuckoos, but they were rewarded with birds who were interested enough in the female lure to be caught, weighed and tagged (with the exception of a location near Loch Katrine where there were a number of female Cuckoos around, making our lure less convincing!).

Some of these newly-tagged birds have already begun their migration south, with one in France, one in the Netherlands and one of the Scottish birds is already down in Essex.

Keep an eye on the individual birds' blogs for updates on their progress.


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