(cuckoo by Edmund Fellowes)

I’ve been thinking I might hear a cuckoo for the past few days, and yesterday (sunday), I decided to wear a GoPro camera during my early morning walk – just on the offchance that I might hear one, and would be able to record it for you. Imagine how excited I was when I managed to do just that, having turned the camera on and walked for 40 minutes! So here’s me hearing this spring’s first cuckoo when I was out walking yesterday. If you can hear me sounding rather breathy, it’s because I’m waving my arms around like a loon and silently cheering. I made even more unwelcome noise when I returned home and woke up Tom with my exciting first cuckoo news.

Who can deny that Spring is here when they hear that sound? When those familiar notes stop me in my walking tracks, I of course call to mind the travails of the wee meadow pipits, whose display flights I’ve been so enjoying over the past fortnight, and who will soon be feeding the outsized interloper in their nests. But mostly I marvel at the truly remarkable journey of this “red-listed” summer migrant from central Africa, crossing the Sahara in a continuous flight of over 50 hours, all the way to to my part of central Scotland.

Do you know this piece by Delius?