Cuckoo calling . . .

The male cuckoo does the characteristic call, known and beloved through these isles, while his paramour may respond in a manner understood only by her potential mate.

We know you’re eager mate, but 5:30 in the morning eager? That’s just too much “cuckoo-cuckoo” for us, even though we love to awaken with the fresh breeze wafting in through the bedroom window.

It all started on Sunday, and it really was a joy for the first 10 minutes … then it began to grate, much like soft pigeon cooings do after the tenth iteration. So Mr Cuckoo quartered the garden, singing his heart out and I eventually buried my head in the pillow. I should like to start broadcasting David Attenborough’s discourse on cuckoo courting rituals back at him from about 6:00am through our large sound system. But that would probably only inspire the ‘cuckoo’ vocalising to greater effort. So I’m not quite sure what to do, really.

In a similar vein, I’ve thought of recording the incessant barking of dogs (several dogs in several places) across the way some early evening, and playing them back through all 8 speakers (Technics 3-way since you ask) at full volume round about 10pm that night. I know this is the deep country but anti-social noise is noise wherever you are. We’ve been running a circular saw throughout working hours this week, building up new raised beds for a refreshed polytunnel, and, much as you don’t notice immediately how good it feels when you stop banging your head against a wall, so we suddenly noticed, during a workers’ interlude, that the barks had stopped. So perhaps we got our own back on the dogs and their owners, with our own screeching this week, after all.

So far, in general and with some twinkles in mine eyes, I’ve managed to live and let live, being grateful that the dogs are at least half a mile away. . . and Mr. Cuckoo seems to be eager only in the early morning. Really, we can live with that.

And as desperate as he is himself, I hope either that he’ll find a willing mate soon, so the happy couple can settle down to lay some eggs in a sucker pair’s nest, or that he’ll fly away someplace else to try his call; in either case, early morning peace may return. And besides, we’ve got enough bachelor boys around the place just now, between Earnest the love-lost peacock, and Gordon the scatter-brained guinea fowl, the last of his kind on this small-holding, and Plough the great friendly (ex) stallion who decorates the field. Cuckoo lady, wherever you are, you’re wanted, desperately!


  1. Pete heard a cuckoo over near Old Man Bottom yesterday. I know someone who is part of a group which track them on their migration from Africa. We are awaiting the arrival of our lovely house martins and we don’t mind their mess on the car one bit.

    1. We saw two house martins swooping around, checking out the eaves a couple of days ago, and we’re a bit higher than you folks, so they should be with you soon!

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