The First Cuckoo

When I was out with Ollie on a warm sunny afternoon today, I heard a cuckoo calling.

I didn’t hear one at all last year, so it was very enjoyable to be standing near the tree where the bird was calling from.

I remembered somthing from my past about ‘The First Cuckoo’, so I looked it up.

‘There is quite an extensive folklore tradition concerning the cuckoo, for instance on hearing the first cuckoo in spring one must run three times in a circle, with the sun to ensure good luck for the rest of the year. There is another slightly strange custom and that is if you hear a cuckoo on the 14th of April you should immediately turn over any coins that you have in your pocket. If you are stood on hard ground you will have bad luck but conversely if the ground is soft then good fortune will follow. April the 14th is considered one of the β€˜evil’ days of the year and interestingly enough it was also the day the Titanic sunk. If you wish to know how many years of life you have left then the old thinking was that on hearing the cuckoo you had to count how many times it called, each call equated to one year of life.’

I didn’t do any of that, as when I was walking around Hoe Rough, I couldn’t remember it.

But I heard a cuckoo, even if I have never seen one.

And that made me feel good today. Nature goes on, virus or not.

60 thoughts on “The First Cuckoo

  1. Those old folklore traditions are mostly very silly, aren’t they? People really believed them in the past, though, when superstition held sway. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a cuckoo either, so perhaps they are relatively shy birds, as well as being nest usurpers? Not unattractive visually, though. Cheers, Jon.

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  2. I don’t think we have cuckoos here. I never hear anyone saying they saw one or the wives tales that surround seeing one. The picture you included is quite helpful as I wouldn’t know one if I saw it. Until today! Looks like a fancy pigeon.

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    1. You do have them, but not all over.
      ‘There are three types of cuckoos found in North America. The Black-billed Cuckoo is the most common of the group and has a range throughout most of southern Canada and across the American plains down to Texas and into Florida. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is seen less in Canada but its habitat extends into Mexico.’
      Our one is like a fancy pigeon, I agree. Your cuckoos are completely different.
      https://www.birds-of-north-america.net/cuckoos.html
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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      1. Well Doug, after listening to your messiah of a president, I quaffed down a bottle of Dettol. I don’t think it cured the virus, but my breath smells of a pine forest. So something positive!
        Why doesn’ someone just shoot that buffoon, and put him out of his misery? It’s not as if you lot are averse to gunning down anyone, including the odd president.. πŸ™‚
        Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. Well, old chum.. that fact that you just stated that sentence likely means the Secret Service has a head’s up on a suspect Brit national with pine forest breath threatening the Prez. He might call his buddy, Boris, to extradite you.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s great, Pete – such a distinctive sound. Though when they keep it up it does drive you a bit nuts – or cuckoo! I didn’t know about the April 14 date but have always believed when you hear the first one you must turn your money over and if you have no money in your pocket you’ll be poor all year.

    Liked by 1 person

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