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Reacher has been named by best-selling author Lee Child and his wife Jane Grant after the character Jack Reacher in the Reacher novels

Reacher the Cuckoo
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 01:00
Tagging Location:
Burgh Castle, Norfolk, England
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Reacher's journey from 09 May 2012 to 24 July 2012

Reacher's position on
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Reacher's movements

06 Sep 2012 - No news may be bad news

No further signals have been received for John or Reacher since their last locations in France and Spain respectively. Taking a look back at the temperature data,  the last few messages received for each tag show a lot of variety associated with time of day - i.e. cooler in the early morning and reaching over 30°C in the afternoon. Temperatures prior to that had always been higher than 30°C, even when the Cuckoos were in Britain. This suggests that the bird’s body temperature wasn't influencing the tag's temperature much during these signals and does, unfortunately, support the idea that they may have perished.

The wildfires that have spread through Spain have been caused by chronic drought. While the wildfires themselves are unlikely to have effected these Cuckoos directly, the drought will have made Iberia far less suitable for fattening Cuckoos. 
John behaved very oddly once he got to north-eastern Spain and even made an oblique re-crossing of the Pyrenees, and Reacher disappeared in exactly the area where the recent fires have been reported. Lyster took a similar route, passing through Catalonia (one of the areas where fires have been reported) during late July and stopping off in what appeared to be an area of irrigated farmland rather than the montane forests he used last year. Perhaps he failed to deposit enough fuel for the desert crossing at this sub-optimal stopover location? . 

15 Aug 2012 - Little movement from John, Reacher and Chris

We haven’t received any further signals from Reacher since the unconfirmed locations on 26 July placing him near Malaga. Meanwhile, John has remained in France, but has moved slightly north-east of his last position. He is now close to the town of Garein. Chris continues to transmit from the area north of Lake Chad.

30 Jul 2012 - No big movements from English Cuckoos

We have seen little movement in recent days from the Cuckoos tagged in England, with Lyster remaining in Catalonia, John still near Bayonne, Reacher still in Andalucia (although unconfirmed locations suggest he has moved to the south coast, just east of Malaga) and Chris just north of Lake Chad.

24 Jul 2012 - Reacher flies south to Spain

We received a tag transmission from Reacher in Perpignan, France on the 21 July but the next signals on the eve of the 23 July and early on the 24 revealed that Reacher had continued south and into Spain. He travelled around 857km (532 miles) from his previous poistion and was close to Granada in the Sierra Nevada Mountain region in Andulusia.

16 Jul 2012 - No movement from Reacher or John

Reacher remains on the French Mediterranean coast close to Perpignan whilst John remains in the Lorraine region of northern France.  

Past updates from Reacher

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