Monday, 15 August 2011
The birds suddenly disappeared from the garden - all of them including the pigeons. Aha, I reasoned in one of my more lucid moments of thought, there must be a bird of prey around. Sure enough as I looked down into the valley from the Study window there was a Sparrowhawk coming up the valley. Good eyesight these birds have and a good early warning system too, I thought. The said bird settled down on a fencepost some three or four crofts away. It then flew from fencepost to fencepost just as a bird of prey does. Something, however, was not right. It wasn't sitting up like a bird of prey but down - like a Cuckoo. But it's a bit late for Cuckoos. Well, not actually. The older birds leave the Island in July but this year's young don't leave until August. Closer inspection through the spotterscope confirmed that it was a Cuckoo. Unfortunately it was a long way off and even with the 660mm equivalent lens the dull day meant that the pictures were poor. But they confirm a Cuckoo. It's the first time I've seen a Cuckoo from the house though I hear them a lot earlier in the year.