Cuckoos in the Beacons, spring is here.

04th May 2018
At long last after an appallingly bad April in terms of weather, where rain fell on an almost daily basis, skies were grey and temperatures remained low, there now appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with favourable weather forecasts in evidence. The land is still draining down and the little stream in my garden that only usually runs in winter has finally dried up. This little stream is a good weather barometer as it is very reactive to rain falling up on the mountain above my house. Let’s hope that this is the end of the bad weather because if it had carried on it would have had a negative effect on the birds breeding programme.
I was walking earlier on this week in a local deciduous woodland hoping to see some Bluebells but I was very disappointed to see the lack of flowers in bloom, they should be out in profusion now. However, the forecasted sunshine and warm temperatures will bring them out next week and I will try and get some photographs of what is one of nature’s most glorious spectacles.
Susan and I took advantage of the nice weather yesterday and went walking up on a local hillside, we could hear a few Tree Pipits singing and could then see them parachuting down into the tops of trees. We always like to see them doing this, it is quite comical. We walked on a good bit further and then we could hear an unmistakable call, the one we have been waiting for… Cuckoo, Cuckoo, at last our favourite spring bird! We could see one flying in the distance and then surprisingly another and then another, three in total. Two were flying around disputing territory, great to see them doing this, they were rocketing through the trees, chasing each other relentlessly. Then suddenly there was a gentle ‘Bubbling’ call, a female Cuckoo, things went up a notch then with all three males flying around calling for the female. One landed in a tree and I was able to shoot it quickly.

Hand-held with my Sigma Contemporary lens, very useful in these situations. Others were flying around and I managed a few shots as they whizzed by.

It was a great spectacle and two males shot by us at head height as we were standing near some bushes, we could hear the ‘Whoosh’ of their wings as they passed us. One of the great spring spectacles, we don’t get it every year but it’s great when it happens. A very enjoyable walk on a lovely spring morning.