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taxi4ballet

Any cuckoos out there? ... and other BirdWatch news

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I was wondering if anyone else had noticed a shortage of cuckoos this year? We normally hear them by the end of April, but so far, nothing.

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My husband heard one in early April. We live on the Herts/Cambs border.

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We're in Bedfordshire, and there are usually several calling to each other. Perhaps they've flown over to you!

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We have them in Hampshire, have been hearing one for a couple of weeks

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Plenty of raucous Magpies here on the Herts/Essex frontier, but no Cuckoo heard in the 9 years we've been here.

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....and free of charge.....I'll even pay the postage of a couple of really dumb cluck doves who for two years have failed at nature's most basic task.

 

Watching these two is like a study in what not to do and how not to do it.

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If the poor cuckoos are smart and not cuckoo they will have migrated south to avoid drowning in the biblical rain we are having here in the UK!!

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Heard my first Cuckoo of the year yesterday (Yorkshire)

 

Maybe they were just waiting for the sun to come out.

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I have just come back from Austria & there were several Cuckoo's calling. Have also heard them at Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex, but did not see one!

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Still no cuckoos, but the swifts arrived today

 

Swifts are one of my favourite birds - I just love the way they chase each other, very fast, screaming, over the town. The aerial birds (which may sound daft, but by which I mean those that spend a lot or most of their time, or look their best in the air - so swifts, swallows, terns etc) are the best. I once saw a group of 18 spoonbills at Minsmere - they were flying round together for ages, in great swooping circles, high and low, near and far, gleaming white against a bright blue sky. Completely different to how you more usually see them, wading and feeding in a lagoon/scrape.

 

Oh, and then I was once at Eyebrook resevoir, Leics, in winter - about a dozen or so Bewick's Swans (now called Tundra Swans). Very nice. Carried on checking the rest of the water. Then I realised the swans were calling, and had in fact been calling for some time, but were now calling more and more excitedly. I looked up and was just in time to see them all heading off down the water and lifting up into the air, heading off north, in the direction of Rutland Water. An absolutely fantastic and memorable experience.

 

But enough rambling... Now, who has heard a Nightingale this year? A question for those in the south-east only unfortunately. I think Pulborough Brooks is a good place for them (?)

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No cuckoos in Camberwell but we do have a blackbird nesting outside our kitchen window. When she goes off for a break her guy sometimes comes and stands guard on the edge of the nest though he never deigns to sit in it.

 

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Five blackbird chicks hatched about a fortnight ago. Very assiduous parents. The last two dispatched yesterday - safely as far as I know. How rapidly they grow up compared to humankind!

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I saw quite a large flock of oystercatchers on Crosby Beach this morning and, last week, a kestrel hovering over the dunes. That might not sound too exciting but it was only about 8 feet above me and a few yards away so I had a wonderful view!

 

We saw four resident spoonbills and lots of baby avocets at Cley in Norfolk when we were enjoying ourselves seeing NBin Norwich.

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Total absence of cuckoos in our part of Berkshire too, sadly.

We have them in Hampshire, have been hearing one for a couple of weeks

Can you shoo one over the border to us please? We haven't had any for several years.

Will have a go!

Many thanks - I'll be listening out ...

 

Well it's obviously taking the scenic route - no sign yet ...

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Well it's obviously taking the scenic route - no sign yet ...

Sorry forgot to fit the sat nav

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No cuckoos, but then I live in central London!

 

I played godparent to blackbirds 3 years running, while they raised their broods in my flowering currant.  However, it got so big I had to trim it back so don't think they will be able to nest there this year.

 

I think I might have wrens in the ivy though.

 

My childhood home town used to get masses of house martins nesting in the eaves every summer in all the houses nearby, including the local police station.  Then everyone stated putting up netting to prevent them building, I never knew why.  Apparently the police station said some people complained about the bird droppings on the pavement.  :(

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Well that is early Taxi!

I haven't heard one for several years now but apparently they like particular birds to dump their eggs on! So only go to certain areas.

 

If anybody lives within reach of Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire.......not that far from Cambridge there are usually quite a few regular cuckoos there!! This because of the birds who live in the reeds there.

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