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Great spotted cuckoo

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Offline CDDI

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« on: February 13, 2007, 13:28 PM »
On Madrid's northern edge this morning a great spotted cuckoo among almond trees and calling -- rather optimistically I thought -- for a partner. Extraordinarily early - usually see a pair or two on their way through in March. CDDI

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 12:52 PM »
Just this morning heard on the radio - Radio 5, can't remember the guy's name (he's got a zoo up in Santillana del Mar) - that the great spotted cuckoo can be seen as early as January in Spain and is the only bird which can feed off the procesionaria , which as all kids here know, is doing the rounds these days. The common cuckoo apparently doesn't appear until late spring (I think that's what he said - but seems a bit late to me).
Regards,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline CDDI

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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2007, 12:20 PM »
 Hello Technopat, that's interesting on great spotted cuckoos eating processionary caterpillars -- answers my question I'd just posed on the topic. Regarding the arrival times I'm sure they could be seen earlier in other parts of Spain. But in the Madrid area from fairly regular experience my previous first sitings have been in March.
Received feedback from Sussex last week of woodpigeons seen feeding fledged young. Also first Osprey reported overhead! I think we can say this year is exceptional everywhere.  Will have to wait and see if there's a price to pay among the fruit trees! Cheers, Derek

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2007, 15:40 PM »
Greetings All,
Would it be feasible/playing God for someone to introduce great spotted cuckoos to pine tree areas as a pilot project/experiment in eradicating/controlling the apparent plagues of processionary caterpillars? Are these birds known to actually cause any damage to anything/others? Apart from squatting, do they harm other species? Do they breed so incredibly quickly that the cities would soon be overrun by them (pigeons/sparrows/parakeets)? After reading about Clive's (I think - apologies if not) awful experience regarding spraying, I think we should look for alternative, creative ways of getting results (always bearing in mind the great rabbit caper in Australia) and the delicate balance, etc. etc. Mind you, they obviously didn't/don't calculate the risk to the del. bal. when they spray everything with toxic whatever.
In this day and age of computer-aided projections, can't it be calculated just how many birds would be needed per square km and how many would be considered a risk to the local fauna/flora?
Were the processionary c. brought in to erradicate another plague? - Do the caterpillars/grown butterflies eat mosquitoes? If so, how 'bout the tiger m.? (Just thinking out loud, here.)

Would appreciate feedback from all those of you out there who seem to know about such things - I haven't got a clue!

cross-reference to topic on processionary c's:
 http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?board=7;topic=64.10#msg253

regards,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2007, 09:51 AM »
Hi all

Is this the greater Spotted Woodpecker? Quality poor but taken thru dble glazing and mossie net.
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline Sue

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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2007, 10:22 AM »
Hi SueMac,

great shot, my vote is for a Great Spotted Cuckoo.

Its pretty rare that we see them here. Once saw one flying and feeding with Hoopoes even though they are supposed to be placed with Jays and the like as foster parents.

Regards, Sue
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 17:04 PM »
Sue
Do they make a terrible raucus 'cos this isnt like any cuckoo  sound I would have expected.
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline Sue

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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 21:09 PM »
Hi SueMac and All,

My bird book describes the call for a Great Spotted Cuckoo as “cher-cher-che-che-che” or “ki-ki-ki krie-krie-krie” Does that sound familiar!??

Open up this page which gives a description in Spanish then click on VOZ and on that page there is a link to a brief recording.

http://www.vertebradosibericos.org/aves/clagla.html

Regards, Sue
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com