This last weekend we have had reportings of the first Cuckoos being heard at Bickerton on the Sandstone Ridge. There is a strange satisfaction in knowing of the arrival of the first cuckoo, safe in the knowledge that summer is just around the corner.
This is terrific news since we have recently had reported sightings of Red Kites too.
The cuckoo is a dove-sized bird with blue grey upper parts, head and chest with dark barred white under parts.
With their sleek body, long tail and pointed wings they are not unlike kestrels or sparrowhawks.
Sexes are similar and the young are brown.
They are summer visitors and well-known brood parasites, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers.
Their recent population decline makes them a Red List species.