15/06/2012
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Cuckoo class of 2012

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Over the last month, BTO scientists have visited the Norfolk Broads, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in Scotland, and Tregaron bog in Wales to tag and follow further Cuckoos. Eleven new birds have joined the ranks alongside Chris and Lyster, including two male Cuckoos from Norfolk. This year we will be following a new set of stories; will the Scottish and Welsh birds leave at a different time to our English Cuckoos? Or perhaps take a different route, or even winter in a different location?

Cuckoos tagged in England

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Chris

Chris, one of the class of 2011, is the first Cuckoo to leave the UK and is currently in Belgium, close to the Netherlands border. Having been recorded back in the UK on 1st May 2012 in Essex, he quickly moved back to Thetford Forest, the area where he was originally tagged. He remained in this area until 9th June when we had a series of poor-quality fixes. These were inconclusive but when he transmitted again on 11th June he was near the town of Hoogstraten in Belgium. How long is summer? Well for Chris it was less than 6 weeks!

It's interesting to note that Chris was the first bird to leave the area in which he was tagged last year — some time between 3rd and 5th June 2011 — moving down to Sussex for a few days. He then turned up in the Netherlands approximately 20km (12 miles) NNE of Maastricht on 17th June 2011. His current movement took him on the correct bearing to reach the same staging area as last year but he stopped approximately 85km short. Will he end up in the same place this year?

Lyster

Lyster, the other of last year's Cuckoos, has been touring the Norfolk Broads since his arrival back in the UK — he has been far from stationary, covering large areas. A transmission from Lyster's tag on 11th June shows that he was close to the River Chet in an area known as Hardley Flood, northeast of Loddon. This area consists of shallow lagoons and reedbeds which act as a spillway for the River Chet.

Reacher

Caught at Burgh Castle, Norfolk on 9th May 2012, Cuckoo Reacher is an adult male and is at least two years old. Since being tagged he has moved 25km (15 miles) north and settled in the Norfolk Broads area.

115589

Cuckoo 115589 is a male bird that was caught and tagged on 9 May 2012 at Aldeby, Norfolk. He is in his second year, having hatched during the summer of 2011. 115589 joins Chris and Martin as a member of the East Anglian cuckoos.


Cuckoos tagged in England; their movements over the last 30 days (Data: BTO/Map: © Google).

Cuckoos tagged in Scotland

BB

The south shore of Loch Katrine, Stirling, was the catching site for this Cuckoo. He was caught on 17th May 2012, and this is his second summer in the UK, having hatched during the summer of 2011.

Wallace

Wallace is an adult male Cuckoo of at least two years of age. He was caught and had his satellite tag fitted on the southern shore of Loch Katrine, Stirling, on 15th May 2012.

115602

Caught near Stronachlachar, Loch Katrine, Stirling on 15th May 2012, Cuckoo 115602 is a one-year old male. Since his satellite tag was fitted he has remained around the shores of Loch Katrine.

115600

Cuckoo 115600 was caught near Stronachlachar, Loch Katrine, Stirling on 15th May 2012. He is an adult bird at least two years old.

115593

115593 had his satellite tag fitted on 16th May at Glen Gyle, Loch Katrine, Stirling. He is an adult bird at least two years old. For the first 28 days after tagging he was settled in the Loch Katrine area.


Cuckoos tagged in Scotland; their movements over the last 30 days (Data: BTO/Map: © Google).

Cuckoos tagged in Wales

Iolo

Iolo was caught and tagged at Ponterhydfendigaid, Ceredigion, on the last day of May 2012. Since being tagged he has moved from Wales across the Midlands into Norfolk. Iolo hatched in the summer of 2011 and is a one-year-old male.

David

At least two years old and an adult male, Cuckoo 115594 was tagged on 30th May 2012 near Tregaron, Ceredigion, Wales. Since he was caught he has remained in the area of Tregaron.

Indy

Indy was tagged at Cors Caron, Ceredigion, and is at least one year old. Since being caught on 30th May 2012 he has remained in the area.

115597

Tagged on the 29th May 2012 near Tregaron, Ceredigion, Cuckoo 115597 is in his second summer, having hatched during the summer of 2011. A transmission on 14th June 2012 puts his location just north of Sevenoaks, Kent, right in the middle of the triangle formed by the M25, M26 and M20..


Cuckoos tagged in Wales; their movements over the last 30 days (Data: BTO/Map: © Google).

You'll notice that some of these Cuckoos still need names; could you help? Sponsor a Cuckoo from as little as £10 and receive updates on all the Cuckoos from that region, as they make their way to Africa and back again.

You can keep up with the latest from all 13 Cuckoos on the BTO's Cuckoo pages.

Written by: BTO