Ripple's tag was sponsored by Severn Trent. He was named after a nearby village, Ripple 'and also connects with water!'
- Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 06:00
- Tagging Location:
- Strensham, Worcestershire
- Age when found:
- Satellite Tag No.:
- Wing Length (mm):
Ripple 's movements
27 Sep 2022 - Ripple moves east in Burkina Faso
We are pleased to report that Ripple seems to be doing fine, despite his long stop off in the middle of the Sahara. Since our last update he has been making good progress east from west Africa towards the Congo Basin. Having flown from southern Mauritania to south west Mali he has now pushed further east into eastern Burkina Faso. He is now in the far eastern corner of Burkina Faso, just north of Arli National Park.
21 Sep 2022 - Ripple moves east to Burkina Faso
Ripple is making good progress east from west Africa towards the Congo Basin. Having flown from southern Mauritania to south west Mali he has now pushed further east into eastern Burkina Faso. He is currently 24km (15 miles) north of the city of Fada Ngourma in eastern Burkina Faso.
15 Sep 2022 - Ripple moves east into Mali
After a couple of weeks close to the Senegal River in southern Mauritania, Ripple has taken flight again. New updates received earlier today show that he has flown 723km (450 miles) south east into south western Mali. He is now 143km (89 miles) north-north east of the Malian capital of Bamako.
30 Aug 2022 - Ripple's roller coaster ride
By the morning of the 21st August, Ripple was well on his way across the Sahara and was just south of the Mauritanian town of Atar, on the Adrar Plateau in the Sahara Desert. Here however, Ripple's journey ground to a halt and as several days passed with no onwards movements, we began to worry about him. Our experience is that Cuckoos don't normally stop for long in the desert and doing so is usually a bad sign. Could this stop be an ominous sign for Ripple?
By zooming in closely to the map we could see some evidence of water and greenery in the general area that Ripple was in. We contacted a birdwatcher, David Monticelli, who had visited this area a few years ago, to ask him about conditions on the ground. He told us that "this is a rather desert and montane region but with oases; the latter could be really green areas where we found loads of Palearctic migrant (birds) and other local specialities". He was also kind enough to pass on the contact details of a Dutch birdwatcher (Justus Buma) who runs a hotel in Atar. We contacted him and he told us that "we had three years without rain in the adrar, nearing a catastrophe. But finally in June (2022)...rain started to fall, resulting in the first complete filling and overflowing of a new dam 15 km sw of Atar, flooding over 50 kms. That is why I presume the thirsty and exhausted Cuckoo found a paradise to resource himself". Priceless intelligence from sources who know the local area that gave us considerable reassurance that Ripple may well have been surviving in the middle of the Sahara!
Then on 27 August, having stopped in this area for a whole week, we received the signal we were desperately hoping for - an update from Ripple's tag showing that he had flown approximately 440km south to complete his desert crossing! Further updates have confirmed that Ripple is now on the banks of the Senegal River in southern Mauritania.
This has been a fascinating journey, including the longest desert stop we have seen from any of our tagged birds. Hopefully Ripple is none the worse for his stop-over and will continue on his journey to the Congo Basin.
20 Aug 2022 - Ripple is crossing the Sahara
Updates received between 09:00 and 12:30 today show that Ripple has pressed on from his last location in northern Morocco and is attempting to cross the Sahara. He has so far flown 1,080km (670 miles) and is close to the border between north west Mauritania and Western Sahara. The winds in this area are very light at the moment so hopefully he will continue to make good progress south.
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