First Cuckoo Denton 2016

Sue Pilfold wrote to tell us she was almost certain she heard a cuckoo calling this morning in the woods near her home in Denton, Newhaven, East Sussex.

She said, “It’s a song that I have heard many times in the past and it was too distinct and was carrying too far to have been a collared Dove. Could this be so as it seems very early?”

We have had a number of reports of early cuckoos this year – more than any previous year in fact. It seems that the earliest cuckoo ever reliably recorded in the UK was on the 20th February 1953 at Farnham, Surrey so if this year’s reports are correct cuckoos have returned much earlier than they normally would do.

The cuckoos that the BTO are tracking have not yet left Africa and as cuckoos aren’t concerned with nest building there is no need for them to arrive early or stay over winter. It’s much more likely that what Sue heard was a collared dove.


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