I had a text from Steve James yesterday as Leigh and I were heading off to Uppingham for The Crown Hotel beer festival. No Ring Ouzel but the Green Hairsteaks were out.
I had toyed with the idea of not bothering but with plenty of broken sunshine I gave it a try. I was quickly into the Green Hairstreak and counted at least 20 with good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell as well.
I thought I’d have a look for any Ouzel – just to wind up Steve – but all I found there were a couple of Wheatear. I had heard the Cuckoo a couple of times but thought it was pretty distant. As I turned round to leave – boom – the Cuckoo was right in front of me. Sadly I was looking back towards the sun. I first off tried digiscoping.
I then switched to DSLR but needed to get closer. I did a bit of hiding – using my tripod and scope as cover – firing off a few images as I closed in.
As I got reasonably close a dog-walker came into view and flushed of the Cuckoo that had been dropping down to feed on the path. I now stalked the bird around the Hills but could never really get it out in the open or with the light behind me.