Cuckoo’s Return

Always welcome

Always welcome

I marked the arrival of the first cuckoo yesterday afternoon as I lay out in the sunshine trying to sketch wheatears (of which more anon). There were some very distant phrases of cuckoo music towards the West, and they returned two or three times during the six or seven hours I was on the hill. I see from my notes that the first cuckoo is usually heard on the Chayne between the 18th and the 21st April, and this year was another “direct hit” on a surprisingly narrow window considering the enormity of the journey just passed. I spotted a cock bird this morning as I drove up around my larsen traps, and it was a real pleasure to see his neckless silhouette come whipping past the car in the sunshine.

I intend to improve on this picture of a cuckoo I took a few years ago when a chance encounter allowed it, but for now it is one of the best I have been able to manage. For a bird that is so easy to photograph, I must do better. There are some places in Galloway where you can see eight or ten together at a time, and I have plans to infiltrate one of these sites with camera and hide. Watch this space…

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