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Cuckoo progress

May 30, 2011

The Cuckoo called as flew from the Common to the village. It was closely shadowed by a Kestrel. The Cuckoo’s hawk-like flight was weak in comparison to the purposeful mastery of the Kestrel.

It seems that the Cuckoo is extending it’s range becoming the core territory along the reed beds of the Bure. Presumably she is in search of further nests as hosts for her progeny; perhaps the supply of Reed Warbler nests has been used up. Whatever the purpose, she does not hand around for long – her call marking her progress; one or two calls in each location and then move on. This could be reconnaissance prior to a raid on a newly located nest.

Rivals

March 20, 2011

Rivalry is not just a human trait. It is particularly marked amongst in the ever competitive natural world. This morning I saw a fine example and not for the first time.

The Barn Owls on the Common seem to have established their territory and their nest site.  It is a normal morning when you spot one of the pair quietly residing on a fence post whilst the other is hunting in the languid way that they have. I can never be certain if it is always the same one of the pair that is doing the hard work, but I like to imagine that it is a shared work-ethic.

After completing a careful circuit of the Common, the whiter Owl of the pair had settled in the hedge bear Common Lane. After a few minutes, it’s quiet contemplation was ended.  A female Kestrel, having spotted the perching Owl, flew low with great intent and speed directly at it.  As it got nearer it appeared to steeple and tried to strike. I doubt that it made contact but it certainly succeeded in driving it’s rival away.

I had seen this happen before. On one occasion whilst sitting over breakfast, having borrowed Fiona’s house when the builders had taken over at home, we looked out at a flurry in the garden as a Barn Owl and a Kestrel parachuted down connected by their talons. That made us splutter into our cereals.