Thursday 23 October 2014

Going cuckoo

North Ron for a Black-billed Cuckoo? No chance. Chimney Swift on North Uist? Highly unlikely. Porthgwarra for a Yellow-billed Cuckoo? Certainly more do-able - in half a day in fact. Sadly, I don't have half a day until Saturday, so it'll just have to wait. Which is unlikely as this species has a track record of snuffing it shortly after arriving. Something to do with their favourite caterpillars in the States looking very much like another caterpillar over here which is poisonous. Unlucky that. Still, perhaps it will have a day's fast and make it through to the weekend. Or rise again after a couple of days absence like a bird on St Agnes in 1980 which became affectionately known as 'Jesus'.

This is, at least, one of the few mega-rare British birds that's on my tiny world list - I saw one in Florida on a rare trip overseas in 2001. Back in those days Claire worked as an event manager for an international conference company. Her job was to recce flash hotels before booking them up in advance of several hundred City types rolling up for the actual event a few months later. So she tended to be treated like royalty, and I would occasionally tag along, enjoying the perks of the honeymoon suite by night and birding the day away while she worked. Not a bad number, which took us to Dubai and South Africa as well as the sunshine state. So, in the absence of any photos of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, either here or in Florida, here's some other highlights from those care-free days.
Anhinga, Everglades National Park, Florida
Tri-coloured Heron, Everglades National Park, Florida. Would settle for one of these on Portland this weekend.

Alligator, Everglades National Park, Florida. A bit of camera shake due to having to kneel down to take this shot and bricking it as it eyed me up for dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment