Monday, 11 May 2009
Not far from our cottage is a steep country lane leading up onto the moor and the slopes of Kilmar Tor and Hawks Tor. Near the top, the lane passes through Hawks Wood a thick, dark conifer wood full of moss covered boulders and fallen down tree trunks. Deer frequent the woods(plus their ticks), badgers, foxes and other wildlife. The woods also conceal a ruined warfarin mine - but I'll leave that story for another day. Moving swiftly on we (family and me) were standing in a small sunny clearing in the trees near the highest edge of the woods when we were surprised by the unmistakeable ,and very close, call of a cuckoo. Now you often hear these guys up on the moors, but they are a real pain to actually locate with your eyes, but this chap shot through the branches in clear view which was great. Doing my best Dr Doolittle impression (it must have been pretty good because my wife thought it was another cuckoo) I gave a couple of cuckoo-style calls back, but our friend was having none of this and flew off quick. However from some way away, up on the moor, came another call in reply to mine. I gave it a couple more goes, and each time there was an answer from this new mystery cuckoo . Then after a couple more minutes, not wanting to provoke a mass attack from irate male cuckoos I decided to call it a day.