Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Slightly Cuckoo

Sue thinks I’m daft, slightly cuckoo even for spending so much time birding and ringing, even in the most off-putting weather. But occasionally the unpromising days turn out to be actually not bad, just like this afternoon when I took a trip out Nateby way after the morning rain had cleared even though the cloud remained and the stiff breeze still blew from the west.

After many years of carefully nurturing the farmer, I am ok to take my car down his track, a ploy that worked well when I found what I thought to be the Cuckoo of last week, some way off from the original spot. The Cuckoo didn’t take too much notice of the car halfway through the field gate, enabling me to get a few more pictures





After a few minutes I realised there was actually not one but two Cuckoos, having a bit of a Barney over possession of the good feeding they had found, but keeping a respectable distance from each other until their paths crossed. The few distant shots below are the best I could get of their squabbles where they appeared to employ their red juvenile gapes in threat posturing. It’s rare enough to see a single Cuckoo nowadays so I was doubly lucky to witness this behaviour.



After a while I left the Cuckoos, parked up the car out of tractor’s harm and took a walk where things got even better when a Swallow hunting Hobby came close by. Not unusually it was the Swallows that drew attention to the raptor with their twittering alarm calls; I watched as the Hobby continued towards Nateby village, disrupting more Swallows feeding around the next farm buildings before it was lost to view.


Following those events it was hard to concentrate or better the day but I also saw 6 Whitethroats, 3 Buzzards, 1 Kestrel and 80+ Swallows, then 6 Swift heading south.


On my way home I promised Farmer Philip a picture of the Cuckoo if there was a reasonable one. Philip hadn’t seen or heard a Cuckoo on his land for several years.




Mary Howell Cromer said...

What wonderful opportunities you have had with the Cuckoos Phil. They are such handsome looking birds, they seem quite large and I am also so happy to see that you were able to get the two togther, quite wonderful a landing indeed. I am sure that the farmer appreciated the fine shares you had~

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...What your really saying is, Sue thinks your "Cuckoo" : }
"Got it" personally there are days when I think the women is right!!

Seriously great find, and exceptionally interesting bird..love there tail and body markings...ya got some good shots there friend !!

Errol said...

Jammy git!eligul

Christian said...

Top shots there Phil, well done. That's why it's so worthwhile spending time birding.

Seasons said...

Hey Phil, not thinking of taking Sue along for a day of birding and banding...like a little picnic? Beautiful pictures of the Cuckoo and the Hobby; that might be a motivation. Have fun, and thanks for sharing your precious findings.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

I've never seen 2 juvenile cuckoos together before! These are really nice shots, Phil. The farmer will definitely be happy.

JWBateman said...

Hi Phil: Makes those brownie points worth while for a day like that.Best wishes JWB.

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