Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Great Spotted Cuckoo...

After missing the Great Spotted Cuckoo on Beer Head a couple of years back the news that a 1st summer bird had been found on Portland at the end of last week came as a great relief...now all I had to do was get there. Being Saturday morning I had to do the usual drama school run with my son but come midday I was picking Dave Helliar up (who was heading back for seconds) and setting off on the 40 mile drive to Portland Bill.

After a surprisingly stress-free journey through the weekend traffic that blights the coastal routes throughout the southwest at this time of year, we arrived to find a good sized crowd assembled and watching the cuckoo, which had taken up residence in a hedge some 35 meters away. It looked in good health and was feeding well on the thousands of brown-tail moth caterpillars that were covering the ground as well as the surrounding hedges. Dave obtained some great photos the previous day but my best results came courtesy of some video grabs.

Great Spotted Cuckoo: Dave Helliar
Great Spotted Cuckoo: Dave Helliar
Great Spotted Cuckoo: Dave Helliar
Great Spotted Cuckoo: Dave Helliar
A very mobile Great Spotted Cuckoo: Dave Helliar
Great Spotted Cuckoo, Portland: R. Harris
Great Spotted Cuckoo, Portland: R. Harris

Apologies for the ropey video - the heat haze was terrible and the camera hand-held on top of my scope, not the best recipe for filming.

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