By: Blonde Two
Ladies and Gentlemen – thank you for your input. The Two Blondes, after careful consideration and much discussion, have finally decided which of the Dartmoor cuckoos we are going to sponsor and track on its journey back to Africa (lets hope he is a top navigator and excellent flyer).
The competition was stiff, four cuckoos, all tagged on Dartmoor, all looking fit and healthy and ready for the journey home (or do they go on holiday?) Let me tell you about them or you can find out for yourself here http://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking/dart;
Ryder seems like an adventurous fellow and I thought he might be our choice after his quick trip out to Drake’s Island in Plymouth Sound and back. Clearly the spirit of exploration is alive and well in this guy. There was one problem though – we didn’t really like his name. I am not sure why, it seems a very apt name for a migrating cuckoo, Ryders of the Storm, Ryde of the Valkyries etc. Just imagine, if Mr’s Blonde One and Two had not been named thus, we might not have chosen them either.
Whortle has been around his little area a bit and could have been a candidate as his wings span is 2mm bigger than Ryder’s (surely size does matter in the world of migration). He seems to be a busy fella but I was a bit freaked out by the fact that his longest trip so far seems to have been to exactly the spot up at Red Lake where I broke my leg a few years ago. No happy memories there so Whortle is not going to be our choice this time.
Tor seems like a strong flyer and has already been up and visited our cuckoos on the North moor I think we named them Anthony and Widgery. We admire anyone (or any bird) who is brave enough to cross the North moor but are a bit concerned that Tor is likely to do our favourite compass trick and get his bearings 180 degrees wrong – Iceland is not likely to work out too well for him this Winter.
So the Two Blondes have decided to sponsor and track the lovely Dart (photo above from the BTO website). I don’t know if he has used a body double in this photo but he is rather handsome. Dart has very long wings and has already done plenty of exploration around Dartmoor. He is the cuckoo that has come the closest to visiting us and has been to see some of our favourite Dartmoor places already including; Holming Beam, Wistman’s Wood, Bellever Woods (think I heard him there), Dunnabridge and Widecombe. Dart is clearly a true Blonde because he appears to easily diverted by interesting Dartmoory things along his way. Hopefully, he will find his focus once he sets off to Africa. We will keep you informed about how he gets on.
Blonde One is off to Africa in July too – I wonder who will set off first. Maybe I should fit her with a tracking device too, you know how she likes to roam!