Sunday, 15 June 2014


A male Cuckoo has taken up residence to the east of the village for the past month or so. It probably has its eye on the Reed Warblers around the private pond, but so far appears to have failed to attract a mate. It calls incessantly, ranges widely south and east of the village, but appears to return to the area around the pond at dusk most evenings. 

This morning it was still around the pond and made a couple of close fly pasts. It was a cool, dull morning, so I have had to overexpose my pictures ferociously to show any detail of the bird, which otherwise appears silhouetted black against the grey sky. However, overexposure makes the sky appear white, never a good look. Throwing a few images together as a montage helps though. Here is the local Cuckoo, which is still calling away outside as I type:

Cuckoos are cracking birds, with much more than just onomatopoeic interest. They are full of features: the tail spots, on the top and underside of the tail, the bright yellow eye ring and bill base. I always look for the stunning, almost zoothera, underwing pattern on birds in flight, but it is much more easily appreciated in photographs:

There was little else of note this morning. A few of the local fields now have poppies coming into flower, which distracts from the general lack of birds:

And finally, a local Roe Deer, pondering its options. Run right? Run left? Jump the fence? Stand for a second and have my picture taken? Thank you. 

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