As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Spring is on its way as first BTO Cuckoo heads north

Satellite tagged cuckoo has left DRC on his journey back to Britain
February 2013. The first of the BTO Cuckoo's (Known as David) that are being tracked by satellite has decided the time is right to head north. After a silence of 10 days from his transmitter, new locations showed that he had left the Democratic Republic of Congo and travelled 980km (608 miles) northwest. He is now in the southwest corner of the Central African Republic, 73km (45 miles) east of the border with Cameroon.

He moved over the block of more-or-less continuous closed canopy forest of the Congo Rainforest and is now in an area of what appears to be savannah with gallery forests and some forest blocks. This is the biggest movement we have seen from any of the Cuckoos for some time. During his period of absence he was probably feeding up, fuelling for the journey he was about to make. He has started his migration back to the UK about a week earlier than the first bird last year.

Other cuckoos not moving yet
The other Cuckoos have yet to make a move northward but it can only be a matter of time. BB and Chance remain just a few miles apart in Congo, while Chris is just over 60 miles north of their positions, also in Congo. Lloyd is now the only Cuckoo remaining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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