Birdwatch: call of a cuckoo brings joy and sadness

Birdwatch: call of a cuckoo brings joy and sadness

Hearing an increasingly rare visitor from the garden is reason for delight but also sorrow

At first, I hardly noticed the sound at all. A pair of monosyllabic notes, somewhere far to the north. But had I just imagined it? Then I heard it once again; surely the call of a distant cuckoo. I dashed out of my garden office, binoculars in hand, and headed down the cow-parsley-strewn lane on my bike.

Stopping briefly to listen again … yet nothing. But then, as I rode slowly along the lane, I could hear the call coming from the far side of a field. Scanning along the hedgerow, I found it: tail up, wings down, the unmistakable silhouette of a cuckoo.

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