The Joys of Spring

The Joys of Spring
May 1, 2019 Adrian Walters
In Uncategorized

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.

This newsletter usually reflects and rejoices in what there is to see and enjoy out on Sudbury’s wonderful riverside. It may not be obvious to everyone or it may be ‘off-limits’ but it is still out there. However, this newsletter begins with something that is no longer ‘out there’ in the way that it once was and soon may not be there at all.

The cuckoo is one of the very many birds that have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern. In the 1960s it would have been inconceivable to imagine that the time might come when one would consider oneself to be lucky to hear the call of the cuckoo in our countryside. In those days they could be heard all day long from late April and throughout the merry month of May. The unmistakable sound of the cuckoo confirmed that spring had indeed well and truly arrived and that all was well with the world. The mere thought of that sound conjures up memories of bright sparklingly fresh spring days and although we continue to enjoy such days with each new spring, the sound of the cuckoo is largely and conspicuously absent. As with all declining species they hang on for a while in the best habitats but because populations are fragmented they are not sustainable and may eventually disappear.

Much research is being undertaken to determine the problems associated with the decline and many people like to track the progress of the various tagged cuckoos from their central African wintering grounds but for all that, it seems very unlikely that the distinctive call will once again become a familiar sound in every rural parish. While reed warblers, dunnocks and meadow pipits might rejoice at the greatly reduced prospect of being ‘cuckolded’ it is, nonetheless, a very sad state of affairs. One of the many problems associated with the cuckoo’s egg laying strategy is that the host birds are nesting earlier as a result of climate change but the cuckoo is not arriving earlier to compensate for this. Of course, those host birds themselves may also be in decline which is certainly part of the problem and demonstrates what happens to the web of life if one or two elements of it become thin or break; the whole web begins to unravel. The decline of the cuckoo is merely yet another indicator of this unravelling as the burgeoning human race drives the sixth great extinction.

There is, however, still much to appreciate and be joyful about. At this time of year the returning swallows are already thinking about nesting at the Old Bathing Place and under the Croft bridge. Out on the water’s edge secretive moorhens stalk in and out of reed beds where their beautifully woven, well hidden nests will provide a secure basket for the beige coloured blotched eggs. Long-tailed tits dive into the bushes on the Mill Acre where thick and thorny cover provides a fortress of protection for their nests against predators. The goldfinch on the other hand will be nesting adjacent to the well-used millrace footpath and yet the nest is unlikely to be noticed by anyone until autumn leaf-fall. For the early bird, literally, there is so much more; a black-winged stilt was reported at the mill-pool while every year common sandpipers stop off at the scrape on North Meadow Common. Elsewhere on the riverside our first Cetti’s warblers have been seen carrying nesting materials. Keep a sharp lookout and a surprise may be in store such as this female wheatear perched aloft a willow pollard. She chose to stop off to rest and ‘refuel’ on the Sudbury riverside breaking her long journey from tropical Africa to her northern breeding grounds. Everywhere is getting incredibly busy with renewal and rebirth even though many of us may be largely unaware of it.