Monday, 6 February 2012

Early warning

We've dodged most of the snow here on the Cych, but it has been a cold, cheerless week. So it's good to know that it looks like spring is heading our way.
Or cuckoos are anyway. I really enjoyed being able to track last year's cuckoo migration via the British Trust for Ornithology's satellite tracking project.
Transmitters that weigh just 5g were been fitted to five cuckoos and BTO scientists tracked their journeys between here and Africa. It meant that you could follow their journeys at the BTO's website and on the trip south it became a nail-biter as they flew over Europe and then the Sahara through all sorts of hazards.
And it looks like it's happening all over again. All the birds have spent the winter in the Congo, but now two of the five have started moving north and west, which could mean that they're on their way.
Don't hold your breath though as it takes some time. One of the five, Martin, left England at the end of June last year and it took the bird a leisurely three weeks to get to the toe of Italy before a two day sprintover the Sahara to Chad.

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