Cuckoos on way back

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AS we freeze, the cuckoos are starting their journey back, the British Trust for Ornithology has discovered.

Three of the five birds tagged in Norfolk last summer are now heading north from the Congo, though the two tagged closest to the BTO’s Thetford headquarters seem more reluctant to leave the hot, swampy area they have lived in for some time.

Clement, named after the BTO’s director Andy Clements and tagged in Thetford, and Chris, named after BBC presenter Chris Packham and tagged in Thetford Forest, were the first to leave the UK in June.

Until this project nobody knew where cuckoos wintered or what routes they used to get there, making it harder to work out why numbers are plummeting.