Having come close to complaining about the incessant calling of cuckoos last week, it’s worth thinking about why they come to Galloway in such numbers. As well as quantities of caterpillars, the southern uplands has a huge abundance of meadow pipits lurking in the marginal moorland – perfect for raiding and abandoning an egg in the simple grass nests. It’s getting to that time of year on the Chayne when every footstep I take seems to push a pipit off its nest, and it seems like every tussock of grass has a neat little cup tucked inside it. No wonder the cuckoos like it, particularly since every tussock which doesn’t have a nest in it has a grand old drinker moth caterpillar sitting on top of it like a juicy (but hairy) sausage.
I’m trying to keep off the hill as much as I can at the moment, sticking to my traps and letting the birds get onto it, but I must admit that I’d love to find a cuckoo in a pipit’s nest.