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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Great Spotted Cuckoo Take Two!

This Great Spotted Cuckoo is proving incredibly difficult to pin down and is exhausting all the local birders trying to find it! One sighting on the first day and three on the second! Its not very birder friendly is it?!!! I heard from a couple of people, that it was seen at 7.20am at Gramborough Hill this morning, but I don't know how long it was watched for and why this news was not put and was then seen again at Kelling Water Meadows at 8.20am and again at around 5pm at Gramborough Hill (viewed from Meadow Lane) before heading back over Meadow Lane towards Kelling Water Meadows and was not seen again.

I don't know how I found the energy to drive to Salthouse for a second trip, after being at work all day, but I ended up there again! I decided not to join birders in Meadow Lane and headed to Gramborough Hill instead, in hope that it would return to the hordes of Brown-tail Moth Caterpillars on offer here and maybe head back here to roost? On route there were 3 Turnstones in the pool just east of the 'hill'. Further along, I had a cracking view of a stunning male Whinchat on the fence wire, but unable to get a single picture of it, before it flew off into the middle of the field. Several Meadow Pipits and Linnets were also perched on the fence wire. Sunny weather when I first arrived, but dulled fairly quickly and did not have the beautiful light that I had last night. Chatted with R.M about the GSC and positioned myself in exactly the same spot, as I did last night on top of the hill and central to all the scrub below. I sat and waited and waited.

No sign of the Common Cuckoo initially, but it eventually put in an appearance and promptly tucked into the Brown-tail Moth Caterpillars. The cuckoo was flushed out by a Sparrowhawk which bombed into the bushes, but it returned again a short while later to continue with its caterpillar supper. I decided to stay until it was almost dark, just in case the GSC came into roost. The Common Cuckoo flew off west, but couldn't see where it went, maybe it was joining the GSC for the night?! At 8.45pm, I decided to call it a day! Ambled back in near darkness to my car. Its a very gloomy feeling when you have put so much effort in mentally to get here after work, having not seen the bird and then are the last to leave! Oh well!

There will be no third attempt tomorrow night for the GCS, as I am completely and utterly burnt out! Good luck to all other birders trying to find this amazing bird tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing a picture of it, maybe John will see it again tomorrow and get the picture he was not able to get yesterday, that would be really nice for him – will keep my fingers crossed. It was raining as I drove home. Good night!

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