Sunday 1 May 2016

Where have `my` Cuckoo`s gone?

Lade - warm, dry, sunny, light airs - A stunning morning to spend on the local patch and due to the lack of wind birds were everywhere except, that is, for one very special summer visitor. Eight species of warblers were in song around the site and a trickle of hirundines and Swifts moved over the mill pond-like lakes. Linnets twittered away from atop the shingle scrub and two pairs of Stonechats were on territory, along with Skylark and Mipit singing overhead, plus Yellow Wagtail and Whimbrels calling en-route to destinations unknown. Buzzard and Marsh Harrier soared behind the `mirrors` and a Sparrowhawk nipped through.
On the water Dabchicks trilled and Great Crested Grebes grunted, a flock of five Sandwich Terns flew low over heading towards Rye as did a pair of high flying Med Gulls. Wandering around the willow swamp I expected to hear my quarry at any moment, but no, Lade was a Cuckoo-free zone once again. Normally by now several males are calling merrily away and courting females. I`ve asked some of the local dog-walkers and none of them have heard a Cuckoo yet either. Maybe they`re late this year, as I`ve only seen one so far this spring on the bird reserve, time will tell...

                                Stonechat and Whitethroat, Lade

This evening we checked the beach on an incoming tide where there was a tidy mixed flock of seven species of waders including Barwits, Grey Plover and Dunlin, some of which were in breeding plumage. A flock of 20 Sandwich Terns were chased off the sands by an errant dog and a straggle of Swallows came in off the bay having made a late crossing from France.


  1. My cuckoos have gone missing too (in Herts), but I don't have any Garden Warblers either. I'm hoping its just the cold weather.

  2. Paul - there were at least three present around Kilchurn Bay, Loch Awe, last week - has there been a northerly shift in their distribution? It would align itself nicely with climate change/global warming - although we experienced heavy snow!

  3. Let`s hope it is the weather as Garden Warblers haven't arrived here yet either. As for a northerly shift Dylan, that may well happen as the climate changes, certainly Willow Warblers appear to have largely abandoned the south.

  4. Nice heron report, lovely to see the pics I could never take myself.

  5. Thanks Chris, the most difficult bit was climbing the last bit of the tower where the steps are tiny!