Friday, 7 May 2010

Going Cuckoo

Record shots of a male Cuckoo

Whitethroat (c) 2010 Vince Cowell Linnet (c) 2010 Vince Cowell Blackcap (c) 2010 Vince Cowell Alkanet Back to Cuckoos again - this one a Cuckoo Pint

Today both sessions had the most prolonged views of a male Cuckoo we’ve ever had in 7 years of the course. A male showed well as it called from a perch, but also as it almost hovered fairly close to us. Unfortunately, it was directly between me and the sun, so the resulting pics are little more than silhouettes. During the last 2 years there were 4 Cuckoos at this site at this time of year, including a hepatic female, but there was only one male there today. I hope the females will be along soon. The morning session had several fleeting views of the Kingfisher as it went to and from its nest site, but it was harder to see during the afternoon. However, the post-lunch group had a better views of a Linnet, which sat & posed for several minutes. It was a particularly bright male, which indicates the quality of the seeds in the surrounding area. We managed brief views of a Whitethroat, especially as it sprang up to perform its puppet-on-a-string song flight. The day was marred by a strong northerly wind, which affected the number of birds prepared to sing on exposed song posts. For this reason we failed to hear Turtle Doves, Lesser Whitethroats or have good views of Reed or Sedge Warblers. One exception was a Reed Bunting which did ‘sing’ its monotonous ditty from a windswept perch. There was one Great Crested Grebe and a single Greylag Goose, and a few Tufted Ducks, but otherwise fairly few water birds. I must try to get to this site on a really nice morning, if we have one this year!

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