Monday, May 27, 2013

Cuckoo clocked

From an otherwise fruitless sky-watching session yesterday here in Filey...

..... this male Cuckoo appeared just below me in the scrubby copse along the undercliff, unperturbed by the tourist masses on the beach just below him (and myself and various occasionally interested passers-by above).

A joy to watch and photograph, as he sang beautifully (while gyrating somewhat comically), put on a few fly-throughs, and then settled in the grass close by to pluck multiple caterpillars from the stalks.

gape open....

His technique - again somewhat comical, involving ungainly hops followed by seemingly clumsy lurches towards the prey - was actually highly effective, with a 100% strike rate.

spot the doomed caterpillar

... in the bill

It seems like an age since I was lucky enough to get such close and entertaining views of this charismatic, iconic and rapidly declining species; hopefully it won't be so long before the next time.