BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

Common Cuckoo



Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (Linnaeus, 1758)

(Scarce PM & SV)

  1. One, adult , 27th April-5th May 2000 (N.R. Milbourne).
  2. One, adult , 28th April-5th May 2001 (N.R. Milbourne).
  3. One, adult , 14th June 2003 (N.R. Milbourne).
  4. One, adult , 28th May 2004 (N.R. Milbourne).
  5. One, adult , 23rd June 2006 (N.R. Milbourne).
  6. One, adult , 5th May 2007 (N.R. Milbourne).
  7. One, adult , 22nd April 2009 (M.I. Pearce).
  8. One, adult , 3rd-7th May 2011 (R. Mielcarek, N.R. Milbourne).
  9. One, adult , 24th April 2014 (N.R. Milbourne).
  10. One, adult not sexed, 21 June 2014 (N.R. Milbourne).
  11. One, adult , 20th June to 5th July 2015 (M. Patch, S. Davies, N.R. Milbourne, M.I. Pearce, S. Hale).
  12. One, adult , 15th-25th May 2016 (M. Hynam, N.R. Milbourne, S. Davies), rising to two adult , 26th-17th June (S. Hale, M. Hynam, N.R. Milbourne, M. Gillett), then one adult to 28th June (N.R. Milbourne).

The Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus become increasingly rare at the lake since the start of the century, so I'm gathering as many records since 2000 as I can to see if this is actually the case. There was certainly a drop in numbers recorded but in the last few years there does seem to have been a slight turn-around, but it will be interesting to see if this is maintained. If you can add to these records, please send them for inclusion.

Andy Davis wrote that Cuckoo is "probably under-recorded with only 15 records..." in the 20-year period covered in his paper (1963-1983). So, it would appear that it has not been particularly common at the lake in recent decades, though there were 5 birds on 2nd May, 1964. Davis also records sightings of several juveniles including one with a Dunnock Prunella modularis. The British Trust for Ornithology has been radio-tracking Cuckoos in a bid to understand why they are declining. Today, the Cuckoo, once such a familiar harbinger of spring, is undergoing a rapid decline in England and moderate decline in Europe.

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website
  2. Davis, A.H. Birds at Blagdon Lake 1963-1983. Bristol Ornith. 18: 102-116. Bristol Ornithological Club.
  3. Mielcarek, R. pers. comm.
  4. Pearce, M.I. in litt.

Updated 18 November, 2016