Saturday, 18 July 2020

July's gone Cuckoo!

As July patch birding at Wanstead goes today was almost off the scale! Ok - nothing hugely rare but adding three years ticks is virtually unheard off and this was mainly thanks to the efforts of Tim Harris who first picked out a Cetti's Warbler on Shoulder of Mutton lake - a bird new for this location and was probably overdue here as the habitat is perfect for one. This was quickly followed by Common Tern fishing in the same location, and just as I was leaving a message came through from Tim who had seen a Cuckoo on the Plain in Wanstead Park!

Cuckoo is still a very scarce bird at Wanstead even though just a short drive away in the Lee Valley, Ingrebourne Valley and Rainham Marshes they're a relatively common sight throughout the spring and summer months. I'd only ever seen one previous Cuckoo on the patch back in August 2013 so you can imagine my delight when I met up with Tim and bird he'd found was still on view - well sort off - it was deep in cover, low-down in a tree. It soon took flight across the Plain and again flew into more cover. Bob had now showed-up (In his slippers) but the bird wasn't playing ball, then after a 20 minute search I'd found it again, as it briefly perched-up and this time was staring right back at me! A quick shout to Bob but the bird had again flown across the Plain towards Perch Lake. It was now midday and I had to leave so I left Bob to try and find it again - thankfully he did soon after I'd left.

What a cracking bird and well worth the seven year wait!

Wanstead, London
7 Years in the waiting...a juvenile Cuckoo

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