(June 2009) Nature Notes

May 4th. Three people have told me that they have heard the cuckoo in Sibford. I heard one today but that was away on the-Foxholes nature reserve. The bluebells there were only at their best in a few sheltered spots.

May 11th. A group of six swifts, the first I have seen this year, were feeding quite high up in the clear blue sky as they slowly worked their way into the strong easterly wind. When I was a child the old three storey thatched houses, that used to stand by the Hook Norton Road out of Sibford Ferris provided nesting sites for a huge number of swifts. I lived there but in a two storey thatched house and we never had more than one or two nests under our eaves, so I think it must have been the extra height that made them favour the other block of houses. Their screaming was deafening as they flew at top speed between the houses and the line of lime trees, in groups of 20 or more. It always seemed to be just a noisy game they were playing.

May 19th. I heard a cuckoo in the valley this morning.