On a lovely early summer morning in late April, I heard the call of the cuckoo in the wilds of Baskinagh (an adjoining townland) for the first time this spring.
It’s the male cuckoo who sings this very distinctive serenade while searching for a mate, who will, in turn, lay her eggs in another bird’s nest. And when the cuckoo chick hatches, it will cheekily tumble the host’s eggs – or indeed hatched chicks – out of the nest. The unsuspecting host may end up rearing a big ugly chick which grows to five times its own size. Imagine the humble robin rearing a chick that grows to the size of a sparrow hawk.