Sunday, 13 May 2018

Cuckoo! 100 Up

Since I started doing the Patchwork Challenge, I've reached 99 species each year and then got stuck for a number of weeks. My 99th bird this year was swift on the 28th April; eight days earlier than in the two previous years. This bird turned out to be a lone vanguard, as the swifts still haven't returned to the village.

And so the wait for the hundredth species began. I predicted it would be one of lesser whitethroat, yellow wagtail, whinchat, wheatear, hobby, spotted flycatcher, reed warbler, sedge warbler, grasshopper warbler or redstart. Choosing ten species is barely a prediction and I still got it wrong.

On 12th May I watched a cuckoo being chased by a crow, fly through the treetops at Poole's Waste. I'm thrilled to see one in the village again; when I first moved to Thrintoft in 2006, I took it for granted that I could hear them calling as I played quoits at the pub. It's been many years since they were last heard and I'm sure it'll be many more before they're heard again.

It's been quiet throughout the patch, with migrants seeming very thin on the ground. The biggest sign of the warming weather is the grass and nettles, which seem to have sprung from nowhere to be thigh high in a matter of days.

As such, the photography has played second fiddle to covering the kms on foot each weekend. Grey partridge (above) return to Thrintoft in number in summer, or they certainly become more obvious.

The Tour de Yorkshire was an excellent distraction on a perfect Saturday afternoon last weekend

Patch Year List

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