Has cuckoo Chris decided to stay for some entente cordiale?

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Chris the cuckoo may have decided to try Champagne mesdemoiselles instead of Mildenhall maidens.

The cuckoo satellite tagged by the Thetford-based British Trust for Ornithology at Santon Downham in June 2011 looked like being the first back to Britain but then decided to fly south again from Belgium to Mourmelon-le-Grand in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.

The BTO’s experts say this may be an example of ‘breeding dispersal’, a change in breeding area between years, and add: “It’s possible that Chris had little success finding females at Cavenham Heath near Mildenhall last year, prompting him to try pastures new this season.”

He stopped in the area on his way south last year, so he may have checked out les dames then, though there is still time for him to make it back to Suffolk to breed.