Flappy McFlapperson

Tagged Cuckoo 1, Cuihu, 24 May 2016 close up Flappy McFlapperson Tagged Cuckoo 2, Hanshiqiao, 25 May 2016 close up Skybomb Bolt Tagged Cuckoo 3, Yeyahu, 26 May 2016 close up Mèng zhī juān

27 February 2017
Flappy is still in northern Mozambique, having spent more than a month in the states of Zambezia and Manica.  She’s around 500km north of Meng.  When will she begin to head north?
15 January 2017
Flappy has moved another 450km south-southwest and is now in the state of Zambezia, still in Mozambique.  In so doing, she crossed into and out of Malawi, her 19th and 20th border crossings since being fitted with her tag in Beijing! Will she add Zimbabwe to her country list?
10 January 2017
Flappy is still heading south.  Overnight she has moved another 250km south-southeast within the Mozambiquan state of Niassa.
4 January 2017
A new year, a new country!  Flappy is still moving south, more than 450km and crossing her 18th border.  Now in northern Mozambique.
20 December 2016
Over the weekend of 17/18 December, Flappy has headed further south, crossing her 17th border, and is now in the state of Iringa in central Tanzania.  Is this where she will spend Christmas?
25 November 2016
After a week resting in Somalia, Flappy is on the move again!  She’s headed more than 300km to the south-southwest, crossing her 16th border, and the Equator, and is now in eastern Kenya.
17 November 2016
Flappy has moved another 100km, this time to the southeast, which means she has just made her 15th border crossing and is back in Somalia.
16 November 2016
Flappy has flown more than 600km to the southwest, crossing her 14th border since being tagged, and is now in northeastern Kenya!
11 November 2016
No significant movements from Flappy in the last few days – seems she is recovering from her marathon sea crossing by feeding up in Ethiopia.  Her crossing from Somalia to Ethiopia was her 13th border crossing involving 11 countries since she was tagged in May 2016 (China – Mongolia – China – Myanmar – India – Bangladesh – India – Nepal – India – Pakistan – Oman – Yemen – Somalia – Ethiopia).
6 November 2016
A couple of new signals show Flappy’s position yesterday, on the north coast of Somalia, to be accurate.  And this afternoon we picked up a new, accurate signal that shows Flappy has crossed into Ethiopia!  She is now less than 500km from Skybomb!
5 November 2016
We’ve picked up a couple of signals from Flappy’s tag that put her on the northern Somali coast.. They’re not the best quality so may not be entirely accurate but they’re certainly plausible.  If she has transited Yemen to Somalia, she has so far crossed 12 borders on her autumn migration!
4 November 2016
Flappy has crossed the Arabian Sea!  The most recent signal puts her at the northern edge of Masirah Island, off the Omani coast.  We’re not sure whether she has stopped here or just picked up as she was passing through…  hopefully today we will receive her latest position.  It’s another phenomenal journey.. more than 2,000km non-stop from her previous position in central northern India.  Go Flappy!
Update @ 2030 Beijing time: Flappy’s signal has been picked up 600km deeper into Oman, just 60km from the Yemen border…!  This area can’t be good for cuckoos so, presumably, she will continue for a while yet to the eastern Rift Valley in Ethiopia?
3 November 2016
Flappy is over the Arabian Sea!  She’s heading to Africa on a more northerly trajectory than Skybomb and, all being well, will make landfall in Oman very soon!
1 November 2016
Typical of Flappy’s character, she is not to be outdone by Skybomb and, hot on his heels, it looks as if Flappy is heading to the coast.  Last night she flew more than 300km southwest on a heading towards Gujarat.  Watch this space!
17 October 2016
Remarkably, Flappy has continued to backtrack and is now back in Uttar Pradesh, close to where she spent the second half of September and early October.  That’s a ‘retreat’ of over 1,000km!  Whilst this might sound strange, Chris Hewson at BTO commented:
“I wouldn’t say it’s a bad sign but maybe not a good one either.  It does suggest she wasn’t able to continue the way she intended for some reason.  She has come back to very close to her previous position, but not to precisely the same spot, which is interesting.  The screenshot below shows that she has actually settled right on the edge of the area that hasn’t been rained on recently – a little to the south and she would have been in more moist conditions.
But the habitat she is in looks good – wooded areas close to a large river near the town of Sunderpur.
So I wouldn’t be overly worried.”
16 October 2016
Flappy has returned to Jaipur! After heading to the border with Pakistan, she has now made a u-turn and flown back more than 500km to an area a little south of Jaipur.  The experience of tracking cuckoos in the UK tells us that this kind of about turn is not unusual.  It may indicate that the area Flappy had flown to was unsuitable and so she has returned to the closest area she knows.
12 October 2016
Flappy has moved again, heading southwest, and is now on the border with Pakistan.  If she continues on this heading she will soon make her 10th international border crossing since being fitted with her tag.
10 October 2016
After a prolonged stopover in Uttar Pradesh, Flappy is on the move again and is now close to Jaipur in Rajasthan.  It’s a move of 350+ km to the southwest.  Is she heading to the coast to prepare for a sea crossing?
12 September 2016
Flappy has made a short move west-southwest and is now 200km east of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh, northern India.  After a consistent bearing of 290 degrees for around 1,700km, does this move signal a change in direction or is she simply responding to local conditions?  Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the staff at Cuihu Wetland, the place Flappy was fitted with a tag, have written article about Flappy.  See here (in Chinese).
10 September 2016
Flappy continues her west-northwest trajectory along the foothills of the Himalayas.  She has now travelled on a bearing of roughly 290 degrees for around 1700km from Myanmar.  Will she make a break across the Thar desert to the coast?  Or will she continue on this course into Punjab and then take the green ‘corridor’ southwest into Pakistan, following the Indus to the Arabian Sea?
flappy-as-at-10-september-2016-2  flappy-as-at-10-sep-2016
8 September 2016
Flappy has crossed her 9th international border since being tagged (involving China, Mongolia, Russia, Myanmar and India) and is now in Nepal, following the contours of the foothills of the Himalayas.  Could her destination be Africa?  If so, which route will she take?  A sea crossing similar to the Amur Falcon?  Or a more overland route via Iran and the Persian Gulf?
5 September 2016
After a brief stop in Meghalaya, Flappy has continued in a west-northwesterly direction for around 800km, briefly crossing into Bangladesh, and is now on the India/Nepal border, around 120km southwest of Kathmandu!
Flappy as at 5 Sep 3 Flappy as at 5 Sep 2016
3 September 2016
Flappy’s stay in Myanmar was brief.  She has continued on her migration, taking a route into India, south of Nagaland. She is now just north of the border between India and Bangladesh, close to the town of Shilling in the state of Meghalaya.
Flappy as at 3 Sep 2016
Flappy as at 3 Sep 2016 2
A closer view of Flappy’s route, showing her now in the Indian state of Meghalaya, just north of the border with Bangladesh.
1 September 2016
After spending a few weeks in Hebei Province, and after a few days of “radio silence”, we suspected Flappy may be moving again.  That suspicion was confirmed last night when her transmitter was picked up by satellites, showing she is almost 2,400km from her last known position and is now in Myanmar!!!  This suggests that SE Asia is probably not her destination. Where will she end up?  Will she stay in Myanmar?  Or continue on to India or, dare we say it, Africa?
Flappy as at 1 Sep 2016
1 August 2016

Flappy is now in Hebei Province, southwest of Beijing!  She has crossed the Mongolian desert and is now situated about 15km southwest of the small town of Quyang.  She’s on her way!

Flappy as at 1 August 2016

July 2016
“Flappy McFlapperson” was the first Beijing Cuckoo to be given a tag.  She was tagged at Cuihu Urban Wetland Park in the northwest of the city and named by pupils at Dulwich International School.  Flappy was clearly still migrating when she was tagged as she continued north through Hebei Province and Inner Mongolia before crossing the border into Mongolia.  From there she headed towards Russia and settled down near the Mongolian/Russian border for the summer (see below).
Flappy’s summer location.  Photo by dnemek on Panoramio (via Google Earth).

In mid-July, Flappy began to move south but after heading part way across the Gobi Desert, she made an about-turn and headed back to her original position.  This kind of about-turn is not unusual in cuckoos and it is expected that she will begin her migration proper in the next few days.

Flappy 16 July 2016