This article from the Times Online caught my weather eye LOL

Today is Cuckoo Day, when the first cuckoo call of the year should be heard, at least in Sussex. This was a traditional sign of spring, celebrated with a cuckoo fair at Heathfield, East Sussex, where an old woman was supposed to release a cuckoo from her basket that “flies up England carrying warmer days with him”. Indeed, the first arrival of the cuckoo gradually moves northwards, with the first sighting in Yorkshire traditionally on April 21, although the exact date depends on the weather.

The cuckoo has suffered a drop in numbers, though. Nearly two thirds of cuckoos have disappeared from these shores over the past 40 years, but why is not clear. When it arrives in Britain, the cuckoo needs to feed on lots of insects, such as caterpillars, but these are emerging earlier because of warmer springtimes. So if the cuckoo arrives too late it misses out on feeding.

Other problems could lie farther away. The cuckoo winters in deepest Africa, and this area may have become threatened. Maybe its migration route has become more difficult as the cuckoo flies north, possibly in one bound over the Sahara and Mediterranean, reaching Europe’s southern shores in March, before arriving in Britain ready for its breeding season.

The UK Phenology Network would like the public to send in records of the first cuckoo call and other signs of springtime at

Natures Calendar

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