Migrant birds always arrive in a rush during April and there is something new to be seen almost every day. On 18th, I went to Seaforth to catch up with my favourite bird, the Little Gull. Only twenty were present but my visit coincided with an Osprey soaring low overhead – a magnificent spectacle! Another local rarity is the Cattle Egret, two of which turned up at Plex Moss on 22nd. However, in a few years time, these could become as common as the rapidly increasing Little Egrets and Avocets. Peak counts of the latter reached 70 at Marshside and 88 at Martin Mere. Northern Wheatears of the large and colourful Greenland race are a feature of late April. A cloudy night grounded large numbers on 24/25th, with over 100 reported at Ravenmeols sand-
Has anyone heard a Cuckoo? There has been only a handful of reports so far. This formerly common harbinger of spring is approaching extinction in our region, having declined nationally by 59% since 1980. The reasons for this are not fully understood but seem to be connected with food supply, both here and in its African winter quarters. Cuckoos like large hairy caterpillars and there are fewer of those about nowadays, probably because of intensive agriculture.