First Cuckoo 2020
Kate Crawford heard a cuckoo today just outside Dunbar, East Lothian.
She said, “Was walking in the glen behind our house near Spott, with my son and we heard it. Sadly could not see it. But my 3yr son knew what it was as we have a cuckoo clock. 🙂 Will definitely be keeping eyes and ears open.”
Bill Tomlinson heard a cuckoo in a small copse on the lower western slope of Darwen Moor, Lancashire.
He said, ” Listened and watched a cuckoo in a small wooded valley on the way down from Darwen Moor to my home in the village of Tockholes.
“He was perched high on a branch at the top of a tree.”
Pauline Upstone heard a cuckoo on the 19th April while walking by a backwater of the Thames between Long Wittenham and Appleford villages near Didcot.
She said, “I wasn’t particularly listening out, but walking on my own near my home due to social distancing.
“The path by the river isn’t used much because the nettles come up, but they weren’t yet very high and it was such a lovely day to walk by this backwater.
It was about 10.30 am and I heard it only twice and didn’t see the bird, but I feel sure it was a cuckoo, as there are collared doves often in my garden, and the cuckoo sounds distinctive.”
Jemma Campbell-Scott heard and saw a cuckoo at Owlsmoor, Sandhurst.
She said, “Very clear cuckoo song and seen flying over our house as we sat in the garden around 8:00 am.”
Katy Pratt heard a cuckoo at Charlwood, Surrey.
She said, “I heard a cuckoo at 4.00 pm today. I live in a rural area with a mixture of open farmland and woodland surrounding my house.”
Rovhard heard a cuckoo today in Broadwoodwidger, Devon.
He said, “Simply a beautiful moment in time, the cuckoo stayed around for the afternoon and not a single contrail in the pure blue sky.”
Graham Chisholm heard a cuckoo in Silverhill, East Sussex.
He said, “This is the first time this year I’ve heard the cuckoo, when out on my morning walk. Love to hear that call.”
Willie Bennie heard a cuckoo on moorland just south of the village of Greengairs and north of the town of Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
He said, ” I was walking in an area known as Drumshangie Moss when I heard what I believe to be a male cuckoo. Unfortunately it was in the distance so I never actually got to see it.”
Philip Stitson heard a cuckoo in Blackheath, London.
He said, “Very surprised to hear a cuckoo calling from woods at the edge of Blackheath – working from home does have some perks after all!”
Nigel Pickering heard a cuckoo today at Cangate, near Neatishead, Norfolk.
He said, “Heard a cuckoo at 8.20 this morning. We have plenty of wood pigeons and collared doves in our garden so know what they sound like. This was definitely a cuckoo calling. The first one we have heard here in 2 years”
Sarah Link heard a cuckoo yesterday in Essex.
She said, “My garden is next to the trees alongside the Wickford to Southminster train line. I am used to various birds (wood pigeon, robins, blackbirds, magpies, crows).
“Yesterday Wed 2nd April 2020 at 10.00am I heard a cuckoo.
“Haven’t heard one in years and was quite excited at the sound, so used to the doves and pigeons but this was definately a cuckoo.”
Linda Hamlin heard a cuckoo today while working in her garden in Pershore, Worcestershire.
She said, “I was so surprised I stopped work to see if I could pinpoint where the cuckoo was. It appeared to be very close. We have a wetland area about half a mile from us and I assume the cuckoos return to use the nests of the reed buntings which nest there.”
Dr Jenny Daltry heard a cuckoo today in a garden in the Brecks, near Thetford, Norfolk.
She said she woke up this morning to hear a cuckoo calling repeatedly at 6 am. This is a good area for cuckoos but I was surprised to hear one before April.
Russell Price heard a cuckoo today at Blackbird Leys, Oxfordshire.
He said, “I was at the allotment very early to adjust window closing devices on a greenhouse and was taking advantage of the deep frost. I heard the song coming from woods the other side of the Mini car plant”
Anne Matanle emailed us to say she saw a cuckoo yesterday in Woolley Moor, Derbyshire.
She said, “I didn’t actually hear a cuckoo, but a male came and perched on my neighbour’s cherry tree.
“I was siting in my window with my binoculars as many birds are accustomed to landing on my neighbour’s trees as she has been feeding the birds for years.
“I was waiting to see how many greenfinches or chaffinches have recovered and it just landed within my sights!
“It didn’t stay long and I don’t yet know if my neighbour also saw it.”
Pat Bains emailed to tell us she heard a cuckoo today in Sutton, Suffolk.
She said she heard it from the kitchen and ran outside to see it flying over the garden. Her husband saw it too.
They’ve been birding 50 years and this is the earliest for them – she thinks the earliest recorded is the 14th March in Sutton.
Stephen Cooper heard a cuckoo in Winterslow, Wiltshire.
He said, “Heard a cuckoo early in the morning for two days on the trot. Sadly, I’ve not heard it since, despite ranging far and wide!”
Pamela Houghton wrote to tell us that her hubby woke her at 6.40 am this morning and it was definitely a cuckoo that they heard. It was very distinct.
She added, “We live in the country so are used to what collared doves and other birds sound like.”
Edwin Timewell wrote to tell us he and his friend heard and saw a cuckoo on the 5th March near Beaumont Chase, Leicestershire.
He said, “I did not hear the cuckoo but my friend Lee Overton and I saw the cuckoo flying very low skimming over a hedgerow at speed and swerved low over the road between us an oncoming car.
“It maintained its height and skimmed over the hedgerow on the opposite side of the road. Both Lee and I are experienced bird watchers who have seen cuckoos before and had a close up view of the bird.
“We are in no doubt that it was a cuckoo and clearly saw the grey barring of its chest plumage .The weather was cold, windy, and rainy and there had recently been storms from the South West.
“Given its purposeful and low flight, we may postulate that it had been driven down by gales and rain from higher altitude and it was now flying low over the ground for lift and that it was headed North through central England.
“Being so early in the year, maybe this was headed to Scotland on migration?
“Amazing to see so early in the year and a welcome harbinger of spring!”
Hilary Simons heard a cuckoo today in Rossett, near Wrexham.
She said, ” I realise very early but pretty sure I heard him this morning! About 07.20.
“This was not a dove. He called for about a minute. Last year I did not hear him at all.”
Gemma heard a cuckoo today in Bournemouth, Dorset.
She said, “Definitely a cuckoo; he or she comes every year at this time!
“I live behind heathland. I’ve been treated to its dawn chorus for the last two days .”
Ann Blake emailed us to say she definitely heard a cuckoo today in Godshill in the New Forest.
She asked if it was early. Yes it is very early and unlikely to have been a cuckoo.
Robin Howard heard a cuckoo on the 3rd of March in Fulking, West Sussex.
He said, “Fishing in a brief window of calm, late morning, the unmistakable sound of a cuckoo calling. And I have a friend who works on a farm in rural Kent who recorded the same today (5th).”
Sarah Faulkes heard a cuckoo in Cromer, Norfolk.
She said, ” I was putting some rubbish in my client’s dustbin at lunchtime, when I heard the cuckoo. I thought it was early and at first thought I was hearing things, but I heard it again on Monday and again yesterday.”
Marion Burns heard a cuckoo today in Wolverhampton.
She said, “I heard the cuckoo call at 7.40 am from my home. I opened the window to check I was not mistaken and heard it again.
“I have just read on your website that I could be mistaken by the similar call of the collared dove however I have just watched a video on identifying cuckoo sounds versus collared doves, and, mad as it sounds, I still think what I heard was a cuckoo!”
Lisbeth Bennison heard a cuckoo today at Gloucester Docks.
She said, Thought I was hearing things at first, but being familiar with collar doves in our previous home I can confirm it was definitely a cuckoo. The reinforced my views ten minutes later.”
Judi Lampon heard a cuckoo on the 12th February at Hadlow Down, East Sussex.
She asked, “Is this possible? This is the third morning I have heard him.”
It probably isn’t as it’s too early for cuckoos to have arrived back from Africa.
Jo Harris wrote to tell us she was visiting her sister in a village outside Andover and woke up to hear a cuckoo in the woods.
She said, “I know this is very unusual but definitely know the difference between a wood pigeon and cuckoo.”
It is too early for cuckoos to have returned from Africa so what Jo heard was probably a collared dove which often get mistaken for cuckoos at this time of year.
Dan heard a cuckoo yesterday in Alresford, Hampshire.
He said, “I heard the distinctive call of a Cuckoo whilst working in Alresford Hampshire yesterday. It was a lovely warm day.”
Morven heard a cuckoo today at Stonehouse, Lanarkshire.
She said, “Is this not really early for the cuckoo, could I be mistaking it for something else?”
Almost certainly, yes.
Vicki Hooton emailed to say she heard a cuckoo today in Ewerby, Lincolnshire.
She said, “I can’t believe I’m hearing a cuckoo in my garden at the beginning of February?!! I had to stand listening to make sure I was hearing correctly.’
It is far too early for cuckoos to have arrived back to the UK to breed so unfortunately Vicki must have been mistaken.
Ivor Scott emailed us to let us know he heard a cuckoo in Hampshire on the 30th January.
He wrote. “On Thursday morning I was working with 2 staff from the Countryside Restoration Trust at their property, Turnastone Court Farm, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. I heard a bird calling and at first dismissed it as it was far too early for a cuckoo.
“However, the other two confirmed it was a cuckoo. We heard it call on two occasions during the morning. Unmistakably a cuckoo.
“Is this something we should report? It seems significant as very early in the year.”
It is very unlikely that what Ivor heard was a cuckoo as they have not yet returned from their wintering grounds of Africa.
We get some reports of people hearing cuckoos at this time of year which are most probably the calls of collared doves.