Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Today was the first time in my life I got to see a cuckoo and I was a bit awestruck (simple thing that I am).
And not just one Cuckoo, but 2!! I saw the female first then couldn't believe it when I saw another in flight to the left of her.
I was walking down to the Little Tern colony when I noticed a bird in flight which was too slender and had too long a tail to be anything 'usual'. Couldn't be the cuckoo J and G saw in Sunday could it???
It very much could.
WOW. A Cuckoo.

An actual cuckoo.

The Cuckoos were quite tame and I got a lot of shots, I'm including the flighty ones to show the arty plumage hidden beneath the grey/brown upper feathers. And just look at that eye!
I tried to feel for my phone to ring Niall to tell them to come up and look at the Cuckoos, but annoyingly I'd left it in the car. When I met Niall later he told me he'd texted me about the cuckoos, but I didn't see the text. I'm glad I didn't too, because it way nicer to see them without expecting to.
The browner Cuckko is the female and the greyer, darker one is the male.
Eventually they flew over the other side of the Buckthorn and I headed on down to the colony telling everyone I passed, 'there are cuckoos in the Buckthorn'!.
People still love cuckoos (everyone I told seeemd delirrih) despite their dubious nesting skills.
If you don't know anything about Cuckoos, here are 2 astounding videos which show off their Survival of the Fittest instincts to the point that you nearly cry!! or laugh, depending on your demeanour!

This first one shows the cuckoo finding the host nest and eating one of the eggs, whilst laying one of her own into the nest.

If you thought that was bad - you aint seen nothing yet. The survival instinct kicks in pretty early.

wow - eh?

I'd say they have my Awe more than anything else. It's easy to judge their behaviour as cruel, but it's an obvious survival instinct and it's worked well for them for hundreds of years. Nature is nature and it ain't all cute and fluffy.

Hopefully these 2 will stay around Kilcoole and they're not just on passage somewhere else.

Update on the Little Tern colony is that there are now 44 active nests and the possibility of chicks hatching in the next few days.
In prepararation for this Niall got us gluing stones ans sand to plastic pipes to make cool shelters for the littl Little Terns, should come in handy over the weekend too as the weather is supposed to be a scorcher!
About time the sky realised it was summer eh.