Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A couple of birds make two old(ish) blokes very happy.

Mr. Cheviot and myself set off only our weekly walk in Northumberland. Not long after setting off we picked up the call of a Cuckoo, first of the year for both of us. Happy with that we approach the wooded area in front of us but there were a number of felled trees so we had to skirt the woods and as we did we saw the Cuckoo sitting on a stone wall with a Meadow Pipit in close attendance. One very quick shot before it flew off.
More than happy with that sighting we continued our walk in changeable conditions with a nice number of sightings of Curlew, a few Skylarks ( haven't seen too many in the last couple of weeks) and loads of Mipits and Chaffinches.
We were interrupted about halfway around when we unfortunately had to take to a road for a short distance by two police cars pulling over another car with a third unmarked car backing up. We were some what concerned when the police officers removed the person from the car and two of them trained firearms (rifles) on him. Our walk was to take us back off the road before we were going to reach the incident but Mr. Cheviot insisted he wanted to find out what was going on. A police officer approached us as we got closer and told us not to worry and that we could pass as it was only a training exercise.
Quite a way into the walk by now and a piercing call alerted us to a Peregrine Falcon overhead. As we continued on the bird kept circling and calling. A second bird appeared very much higher and seemed to keep watch at a distance. The first bird, a female, continued for another 10 minutes or so, calling and observing in between landing above us briefly a couple of times before both birds disappeared from view. Absolutely breathtaking!.That piercing call made the spine tingle.


  1. John,

    great pics mate. Have heard 3 cuckoos so far this year but only caught a fleeting glimpse of one possibly. On the police thing why do a training exercise in the middle of the northumberland hills when there is plenty training areas probably a lot closer to home which would mean less time spent travelling and more time spent policing especially that delightful little picturesque estate equidistant between our abodes.


  2. The police would rather keep us up at night with the helicopter! It would have been a nice day out for them, bless.
    We won't be hearing them (cuckoos) for much longer. Actuaslly John, we had a Chiffchaff moment. After hearing the bird for a good 25 minutes Jeff exclaimed, "I wish it would shut up, it's driving me mad!" There's gratitude.

  3. Aye, nearly as good as your Damselflies.

  4. Thought I'd better take a look as it initially seemed from the title that you may have posted on the wrong site.:-) It wasn't to be, but the photos are still good! Cheers.

  5. We will have none of that on here!
    This is a family blog, i'll have you know.

  6. Cuckoo,nice :)
    I bet they ballsed the exercise up, they didnt need firearms just a chicken sandwich,tinnies and a fishing rod ;)

  7. They did seem to be having "a nice day in the country". We spotted the cars "touring around" while heading back home later.
    The Cuckoo sighting was very nice.......usually heard but hard to see. Shame it spotted us and lifted so quickly.