Spring is spreading across the countryside rapidly now. The hedges are white with blackthorn blossom and oilseed rape is turning the fields bright yellow. On Monday (April 18th) I heard the first cuckoo of the year. The bird was hidden somewhere in these woods which are just beginning to come into leaf.
I have noted the date of the first cuckoo over several years and in 2014 I posted that I heard the first cuckoo on 17th April.
The British Trust for Ornithology operates a cuckoo tracking program and the migration patterns of individual cuckoos can be followed here. One cuckoo, Chris, was tracked for five years and during that time spent 38% of his time on migration, 48% in the Congo and just 18% in the UK.
Although the cuckoo arrived in the UK about the same time in 2014 and 2016, spring did not arrive at the same time.
In 2014 I noted that the first cuckoo and the first apple blossom appeared about the same time. I took a picture of the apple blossom on our crab apple tree - picture below.
|Crab Apple blossom - April 17th 2014|
|Bramley Apple - April 19th 2016|