Saturday, 13 April 2013

First Cuckoo of the Spring heard this morning

They are late this year (isn't everything?) but at last the cuckoos have arrived.

I've been listening out for them since April started and this morning I finally heard the first one as I was getting up. I shot outside with the video camera and recorded it but it was too far away and the song was barely audible over the other birds when I played it back. Never mind, they hang around here for weeks and sing in the trees around the lake behind the house so I will get a clearer video and post it as soon as I can.

I've become quite good at identifying them in flight but have so far not managed to get a photo. Hopefully this year will be the year. We get so many that after a few weeks they drive me nuts with the constant calling. Sometimes it goes on for minutes at a time. A couple of years ago I learnt that  their numbers are in decline so now I try very hard to breath quietly and not get cross!

M finds the whole thing hilarious and discovered this ancient 13th century poem which he likes to quote his own version of at this time of year. Here it is in Old English with M's adjustment.....

 "Sumer is i cumen in –
     Lhude sing, cuccu!
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
     And driveth mad
          poor Sue!"

Very apt! 


  1. Ha Ha!
    No cuckoos here yet. A blackbird started to sing mid February, then thought the better of it, and just started again yesterday! It was wonderful to hear.

  2. Our blackbird started singing earlier this week too- he sits on the tree outside the kitchen window and funnily enough I took some pics this morning to put on the blog. I hadn't realised it was a celebration of spring song - wondered why it had only just started!

  3. I forgot to say, I loved M's adaptation of the old poem/song. They always sing the original version...not M's ;-) from the top of Magdalen College tower every May Day morning at dawn in Oxford, about 25 miles away from us.

  4. I didn't know that Magdalen had an annual celebration of it- how wonderful! I shall let M know.

  5. We watched our first 2013 Swifts over Minsmere yesterday ... but have yet to hear the Cuckoo.

  6. Wow that's exciting Caroline! I'll watch for them here. Last year two swifts landed on the wall of the house under the eaves. They hadn't done it before and I dared to hope nest-building might occur but although they spent ages there sadly it didn't. Perhaps this year?
    Re the Cuckoos I seem to hear them early here - my father in law in the neighbouring village is always a few days behind, much to his annoyance!


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