British cuckoos take their winter break – in the congo

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The Independent Online

Wish you were here... the five cuckoos ringed in East Anglia last summer and fitted with radio transmitters by the British Trust for Ornithology have all now crossed the Sahara desert and are residing in tropical Africa.

The detailed revelation of the birds' journeys has provided vital information about migratory routes and flyways to Africa for the first time.

Three of the birds, Kasper, Lyster and Chris, are in the Congo, their radio signals reveal, while the fourth, Martin, is in the Central African Republic, and the fifth, Clement, is in Nigeria.

Two of them have tied for the biggest distance covered – 8,500km (5,280 miles). Lyster, ringed near Marham, Norfolk, on May 25, travelled via Spain and is currently close to Ewo in the Congo. Clement, ringed at the BTO's reserve in Thetford, Norfolk, on May 19, went the same way and is close to Kaduna in Nigeria.