Cuckoo in the rain.

14th June 2016
Spring 2016 has been very good for Cuckoos in the Beacons, I have seen about twenty birds over the last month or so. I always seek out Cuckoos because they are a particular favourite of mine. Many people just don’t see them, they hear them calling but don’t know where to look and sometimes they have seen a Cuckoo but don’t realise it!
Yesterday when I was hidden underneath a Hawthorn tree I could see a Cuckoo sat up in another Hawthorn tree, perched quite prominently and as I watched a few people walked past and just didn’t even react when the bird started calling less than thirty yards from them. I can’t understand what these people come into the countryside for when you don’t even look when one of the most iconic sounds of spring is echoing around you,

I despair at them, you don’t have to be a birdwatcher but come on!!

After a convoy of outdoor pursuits vehicles had roared through and these other people had gone things became quiet again. These so called 'outdoor pursuits’ people really are quite a nuisance, they have no regard for anyone else trying to enjoy the countryside. They just roll up and pile out of their vehicles making noise and disturbance, they have no knowledge of the natural world it’s all about using the countryside for a play-ground. I’m all for getting children into the countryside but I think a primary objective should be to teach them about what lives there and how to identify and appreciate it.
However, I could now see two male Cuckoos and this usually means they will start flying after each other. This they duly did and I could see one bird periodically landing on some bare branches. There was a Hawthorn bush not too far from these bare branches and I thought if I could tuck-in under it I might get a shot. I’m always looking for options to hide, you have to with Cuckoos they are so crafty.
I put my Gore-Tex waterproof lens cover over my kit because it looked showery and I got underneath this Hawthorn. I sat on my ‘Walk-stool’, an invaluable piece of kit, and waited. It began to rain, a light drizzle, these two male birds were interacting again, I could hear their squawking and I then realised that one bird was sitting in the top of the bush I was under about eight feet above me. I kept still and quiet and then he fluttered, as I had hoped, right onto the bare branches he had been on previously.

I shot him in the drizzle and then the other bird came in again and they flew off. Another nice Cuckoo encounter, if only these people realised what they are missing!