|Cuckoo: photo by kind permission of Tom Lee (Flickr)|
Some people would pay anything to hear the sound many fear we are losing from the British countryside. That's what the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) thinks anyway: the bird research organisation is encouraging people to send a donation by text if they hear a cuckoo this spring!
There's such anxiety in thinking something so familiar and iconic might disappear that hearing one of these summer migrants is cause for celebration. The woods were silent the other day as my Granny quoted the rhyme I grew up with: 'The cuckoo comes in April, sings its song in May, tips its tune in the middle of June and then it flies away.' Anxiety has a tendency to enter one's dreams. I thought I was dreaming, but woke to the soft, far away sound of a cuckoo at dawn. I've spread the word among my dog walker neighbours to listen out for the two I've heard in the area over the last three days. I'm hoping we might hear them when I lead twelve bird people on a local walk tomorrow...
|Photo from British Trust for Ornithology's cuckoo tracking project|