29 April 2007

First Cuckoos of Spring

The call of the Cuckoo is perhaps the quintessential sound of spring. Sadly, like so many sounds from the natural world, it has been getting much scarcer in recent years.

Fortunately I still hear them across my patch. Last year the only one I heard was calling somewhere near my garden (an early evening treat it repeated often over the course of a month or so). This morning I was able to find at least three - one at Napton Reservoir, and two at Ufton Fields.

Unfortunately, and despite some careful searching, I wasn't able to track any down sufficiently well to actually see them, but simply hearing that most distinctive of calls was among the highlights of my morning.

There were plenty of other highlights: a pair of Common Sandpipers at Napton, an influx of Swallows over the water and a beautiful low-flying Lapwing; at Ufton there were great views of a male Blackcap and then a Garden Warbler, the flashing white rump of a passing Bullfinch, and the gentle floating song of perhaps a dozen Willow Warblers.

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