Wildlife

Cuckoos Aplenty

They're here, and they want everyone to know it.

Everyone makes the association between cuckoos and the arrival of springtime, but over the last few days, the changing of the seasons has been marked by cuckoos to such an extent that the call is constant up and down the valley. It’s not that I’d ever fail to appreciate the arrival of a fascinating migrant, but when you’re woken up by cuckoos and hear them throughout the day almost without interruption, I’ll confess that they do lose some of their sheen and novelty.

Three of them were sitting in the willow scrub infront of the house this morning, and they were joined by a fourth coming down over the sheds from the hill behind. I listened to them as I lay in bed, then watched them sitting in the topmost twigs of an old ash tree, tails held high and wings drooping down. I tried to get some good photographs of them last year, but managed little better than this one (above). If I get a chance in the next few days, I’ll take some new ones, hopefully of more than one at a time.

Last year, I had five flying around my head at once when I started to blow the cuckoo call into my hands, and getting them to come to you is child’s play. The difficult part comes in taking a steady picture of a bird that is as restless as it is fidgety.

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