While I deduce, From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings, The symphony of spring.
The title is a quote from James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring(1728), line 576. Nothing evokes the feeling of spring more than the call of the Cuckoo. And so I set off to East Yorkshire on the quest not only to hear but to see and photograph them !
My alarm was set for 02:45 which is a pretty traumatic time to wake up I'll tell you. One of the downsides of living at a latitude of 53 degrees North, the sunrises at around 04:30 at this time of year. I had a 2.5 hour drive ahead of me over to East Yorkshire, to a known site for Cuckoo.
As I was driving I encountered low cloud and drizzle and feared the worst for my workshop, but this is not uncommon driving over the Moorland between Manchester and Leeds. Fortunately at the site it was overcast but provided enough light to satisfy my needs.
Now it was time to sit and wait. Eventually the first Male flew in for a fleeting visit. My target for the morning was a Female, which seem more elusive than Males. Lot's of classic male Cuckoo calls around the area were a real pleasure to listen to, with the occasional "bubbling" from Females.
Eventually a Female came in and offered good views, however, whilst she was hanging around, to my complete surprise a Male came in and immediately mounted the Female, the mating lasted just a few seconds. I was completely blown away as that had exceeded any expectations I might have had for the morning. Finally the 02:45 alarm call was more than worth the effort !!
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Below are some pictures from the morning - an amazing experience.