I’ve heard lots of Cuckoos this year. It seems like a good year for them – what do you think?
Last year, around now, I headed off to the USA to research my book on Passenger Pigeons and I had had two records of Cuckoo up until this date (I know, because Birdtrack lets me find out) whereas this year I have had 7 (and actually there are another couple that haven’t made it to Birdtrack yet).
My first Cuckoo record this year was my earliest ever, since Birdtrack recording began anyway, at Stanwick Lakes on 13 April (which is pretty early for me as I have already pointed out).
My first Cuckoo record was before any of the BTO satellite-tagged Cuckoos returned to the UK – quite a while before. In fact, I had heard my second Cuckoo of the year, on 19 April, before any of the BTO laggards got back. I wonder who ‘my’ Cuckoos were? They obviously weren’t Waller, Chris, Skinner, Livingstone or any of the other Cuckoos we have come to know by name.
The Birdtrack site suggests that Cuckoos are being recorded a little more often in people’s bird lists this year than in the last couple – it’s too early to tell, but a little bit of fun to speculate.