Spring has taken wing and is on its way

Flanders Moss NNR

In the depth of winter any sign of Spring is welcome. By following the link to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website here, you will see that Spring is definitely on its way. Our cuckoos have started their journey back.

For a few years the BTO have been putting satellite trackers on cuckoos to try and find out where they migrate to and what route they take to see if this might be one of the reasons for cuckoos’ decline. Currently there are no Trossachs cuckoos with satellite trackers but you can see in the Inactive cuckoos (dead or equipment isn’t working) that Wallace, Roy and BB were all local Trossachs birds that had trackers put on them in 2012. A cuckoo link was found between the Trossachs and Flanders Moss, as the Moss has a great number of big, hairy caterpillars that cuckoos specialise in eating. It seems that Trossachs cuckoos use Flanders as an eat all you like buffet to fuel up for migration.

So if you go to the BTO website you can see where individual cuckoos are in Africa and in the last few days some birds (Sherwood and Thomas) has started to head north at the beginning of their long (approx. 7000 miles) journey back. I will be looking out for cuckoos at Flanders Moss from about 20 April onward so, though it is a little way off, it is good to know that Spring in on its way.

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