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Cuckoo and Meadow Pipit | by Tim Melling
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Cuckoo and Meadow Pipit

I heard a Cuckoo today but they are getting quiet and elusive now. Not at all like they are when they first arrive in April. There is an old Lancashire couplet:

"The first cock of hay frights the Cuckoo away".

And that seems to suggest that as soon as the farmers start haymaking, the Cuckoos disappear. Although haymaking is getting earlier and earlier. There is also an old expression "Like the Titlark and the Cuckoo" which was applied to someone who follows another person around. And I have noticed that a Cuckoo is never on its own for long as there is usually at least one small bird hassling it, sometimes more. In the hills this small bird is usually a Meadow Pipit, which is the Titlark in the expression. The Meadow Pipit in this photograph was taken aback when the Cuckoo suddenly sprang into the air. This was on the Peak District Moors near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire.

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Taken on May 7, 2020