Wednesday, 20 June 2012

First BTO cuckoo heads south, after just 6 weeks in UK

A short summer for Chris
Chris has left the UK! He is the first BTO Cuckoo to leave and is currently in Belgium, close to the border with The Netherlands.

Stayed just 6 weeks
Having been recorded back in the UK on 1 May 2012 in Essex he quickly moved back to Thetford Forest, the area where he was originally tagged. He remained in this area until 9 June, when we had a series of poor quality fixes. These were inconclusive but when he transmitted again yesterday he was near the town of Hoogstraten in Belgium. How long is summer? Well for Chris it was less than 6 weeks (42 days)!

It's interesting to note that Chris was the first bird to leave the area in which he was tagged last year – sometime between 3 - 5 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 17 June 2011.

His current movement has taken him on the correct bearing to reach the same staging area as last year but he stopped approximately 85km short of the first place he stopped then. Will he end up in the same place this year?

Short hops for LysterTransmissions from Lyster's tag show that he is moving around a relatively small area. He is currently close to the River Chet in an area known as Hardley Flood, northeast of Loddon in Norfolk. This area consists of shallow lagoons and reedbeds which act as a spillway for the River Chet. This is the same location where Lyster was spotted in the field last July.
New cuckoos to follow
BTO has been very busy preparing all the maps and web pages ready to reveal details of the new Cuckoos that they will be following in 2012. These will be up on their website soon! 
Lyster and Chris will be joined by of two more English Cuckoos, but, sadly, with no further transmission from Kasper BTO have had to accept that his journey has come to an end. 
A brand new batch of Scottish and Welsh Cuckoos will also be followed this year.

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