Sub- header

Sub- header

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Second chance for Great Spotted Cuckoo

Just over a week ago, a Great Spotted Cuckoo, usually a summer visitor to the southern Mediterranean, had made landfall at Weybourne in North Norfolk on the Thursday & Friday but had disappeared by the weekend. This is a very rare visitor to these shores and the last one , indeed the only other British bird I had seen was a bright immature seen at Aldeburgh, Suffolk in early November way back in 1992, some 17 years ago! 
However the Norfolk bird was seen again briefly today first thing this morning, then reported as still being by the Weybourne camp radar station. 
Hitching a lift with John, we parked at Kelling and took the mile long footpath to the beach. Where we immediately saw the wonderful adult type Great Spotted Cuckoo perched on a distant wire fence above the compound. It was a somewhat faded bird but a stunner nonetheless!
It quickly flew right and we eventually picked it up perched on a green bush, much nearer to us.
It fed on at least one caterpillar, perched in tall vegetation hunting for food and grubs before it eventually flew over the hill. 
Also seen especially by the beach area were literally hundreds, if not, thousands of Ladybirds of the 7-spot variety, one fence post had over a hundred clinging to it and around 30 alighted onto my person. John had even more on him and was even bitten by them twice! They obviously liked me because I wasn't bitten at all. 
In the last 10 days there have been more 7-spot Ladybirds seen locally but not in the number seen here where hundreds could be seen on the beach sadly squashed. 
The explanation of why there has been so many maybe linked to the rotating weather conditions of hot sunshine and showers which have provided ideal for an explosion in their numbers.  
I remember way, way back during my late middle school years in the summer of 1976, some 33 years ago (I am now 44 years old) seeing literally thousands flying along Worthing road as I walked to Harris Middle school in Lowestoft one morning. They had followed on, weeks after there had been literally tens of thousands of Greenfly, it was almost like a biblical plague. 

No comments: