CUCKOO

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

The song of the male Cuckoo is one of the most well-known bird sounds, yet few non­bird­ers ever see the bird it­self. Though very widely dis­trib­uted across the whole of the UK, Cuck­oos are not com­mon birds (fewer than 20,000 pairs) and are painfully shy. They are most fre­quently seen by trac­ing the ori­gin of the song of the male, which fre­quently sings from the top of a tree or bush or even a tele­phone wire. Fe­males don’t make the ‘cuckoo’ song, but in­stead have a pleas­ing, ex­cited bub­bling call. Both sexes are quite sim­i­lar, look­ing like a mix be­tween a slim dove and a fal­con. GREY PLOVER

In North Amer­ica, this wader is known by the much less de­mean­ing name of Black-bel­lied Plover, and at this time of year, you get to see why. They are spec­tac­u­lar look­ing birds in full breed­ing plumage, com­bin­ing span­gled up­per parts and jet black un­der­parts. Though very much coastal birds, they will also cross the coun­try, turn­ing up at suit­able in­land sites.

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