Selborne’s tag transmitted again last night, confirming our suspicions that he was on migration over the Sahara Desert.
Selborne was still in Guinea at 22:24 on 31st March and we next heard from him at 17:48 on 1st April by which time he had flown 1,440 Km (895 miles) north to Mali. Another update arrived at 19:50 last night showing he had pressed on to Algeria, making the total distance traveled 1,718 Km (1,067 miles) at an average speed of 49.8 mph over 21 hours and 26 minutes.
The latest update shows Selborne in the Erg Chech Desert in western Algeria. This is an inhospitable, broad, flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand and with little or no vegetative cover, so we think that Selborne is probably still on the move north, heading for northern Algeria or Morocco.
Whilst migrating over the desert the Cuckoos fly at an altitude of up to 2 Km, where the air is much cooler. When the next update arrives we will hopefully see that Selborne has successfully navigated the Sahara. If Selborne makes it back to the UK this year then we will have followed him over three complete migrations from England to Gabon and back, during which time he will have racked up at least 43,452 Km (27,000 miles) – more than the circumference of the Earth!
We are still working toward raising the funds we need to cover the costs of tagging new birds this coming season and to pay for the data processing and analysis for the whole project.
If you’d like to help you can make a donation to the Cuckoo project online or by phone.
Email Ieuan Evans if you’d like to discuss making a larger donation to the project.
For more information click here.