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May 2019 at Gramborough (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Usually 4 Wheatears were present from the start to the middle of the month; then 2; then none. I couldn’t be bothered to count them every day, as far too onerous. May 2018 witnessed five species of warbler, apart from Whitethroat; this month, one. This Spring has seen little variety at the site, for whatever reason. Half of the days in the month have had nothing to ‘write down’. The relentless chomping has continued: the brambles in particular being denuded. The elders have, so far, been ignored. I’d hoped (prayed) these Larvae-from-Hell would have pupated by now. Is their presence sufficient to justify another Clamator ? I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer more common migrants (redstarts and other chats, flycatchers, warblers, crests) than a few glimpses of a rarity.

Compare last year’s May: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3725434&postcount=1
and (April): https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3712039&postcount=1

The GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO was reported until 14 May - present in the area for its 15th day and outstaying the 2009 bird by one day. This bird, described by some as figmental and illusory, was ‘enjoyed’ (depending on the views, since it was mainly secreted away in territoire interdit) by hundreds of people. Or not ? Could this have been one of those famous examples of mass hallucination ? A new Nflk UFOO, perhaps; or a UK Area 51, protected by formidable firepower and state-of-the-art electronics - with the soundtrack of a Close Encounters of the Third Kind jingle ? Why all this ballyhOO: surely, it’s the doubters who are cuckOO ?

“‘This Cuckoo does not really exist.’
Were they high, or exceedingly p*ssed ?
No: quite truly absurd:
‘This bird is notta bird’ ? !
Did they think I should it’ve dismissed ?

Or, woz it a phantastick illusion,
That I had mistook, in confusion ?
A brief chimera –
Or, some large Diptera –
Caused by an excess in my prolusion ?

But, happily, we have some snaps;
They should see off them Doubting Tom chaps.
I’ve sent in my submission –
But, expect no contrition –
As, back to envy they relapse.”

The ultimate irony is that I was accused of suppression by a member of what might loosely be termed an ‘organisation’ seemingly dedicated to such practices. I almost laughed in his face. I confess: it took EIGHT WHOLE MINUTES from my picking up the fone to the first message going out on RBA. Is this slow for Nflk - or, in fact, warp speed ?

♂ (Common) Cuckoo: this bird continued to give many photographers ample opportunity for close shots. Provided you did not run up to it, waving your arms and shouting, it would often sit happily in the open, occasionally regarding you with mild curiosity. It is the first one (in my over 20 years’ visiting; and, similar, for someone who’s been going there for double that) to have taken up residence at The Hill and marvellous to hear it do wot’s writ on the tin, once in a while. I wonder if the Whitethroats were put off by constant Cuckoo.

28-31: 02♪.
27: Cuckoo.
22 - 26: 02♪.
21: ♂ Cuckoo.
19/20: 02♪.
18: Cuckoo.
17: Greenshank.
16: ♀ MERLIN ↑W, Common Sandpiper (foy).
15: 02♪.
14: OSPREY ↑S, Cuckoo.
13: Cuckoo.
12: ♀ MERLIN ↑SE, ♂ Cuckoo.
11: [Other, experienced observer: Cuckoo, Robin.] Probable Willow Warbler in/off, then flew inland.
10: Knot, early a.m.; Great White Egret, p.m.
9: 02♪.
8: Hobby. 2 Cuckoos, Willow Warbler in a’noon.
7: ♀ RING OUZEL early a.m. briefly, then flew towards Quags. ♂ Cuckoo. Swift (foy), 2♂♂1♀ Whitethroats, Willow Warbler.
6: ♂ Cuckoo.
4/5: 02♪2 = 0.
3: GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO flew towards Meadow Lane, again, at about 1030h. ♂ Cuckoo, ♂ Whitethroat.
2: House Martin (foy), ♂ Whitethroat (singing).
1: GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO flushed early morning by unknown ♂ observer. News not broadcast at the time. Seen again and photographed by Dave Griffiths (from Meadow Lane) in the easternmost brambles, late a’noon. ♂ Whinchat, ♂ Whitethroat (singing). ♂ Emperor Moth seen flying around, then landed. (May have been attracted by pheromone residue on backpack. Not one day-flying moth was harmed in the acquisition of this photo. Note the skilful way James L has positioned the grass stem in the shape of a ‘J’.)

“This is a lursh mirth with 4 eyes;
They’re both cute - the girls & the guys.
His colours contrast –
Totally unsurpassed –
Hers ? Grey overall. Well, she tries !

It is not the first time that I’ve seen
These fine mirths on My Hill, oh so green.
Once I shot them in cop –
In the grass, they did flop –
Ev’n before this, they were very keen !

He seemed quite content, on his stem;
I do think he looks quite a gem !
He came to that scent
& J did not torment
Him: he coped with such admirable phlegm.

Antennae like a Silver Fern;
No-one this lep’s beauty could spurn !
NZ’s lovely symbol –
This moth on its gimbal –
To free flight, we did soon return.”


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