Thursday, May 15, 2014
Wildlife enthusiasts were in cloud cuckoo land this week as an endangered bird’s distinctive call was heard on Hampstead Heath for the first time in decades.
Excitement swept the Heath’s bird-watching community as the rare sound of a male cuckoo rang out in Kenwood and then by the Mixed Bathing Pond on Tuesday.
Heath staff raced to the pond to listen out for the unique cry as word of its presence spread.
Ecologists believe it is the first time a cuckoo has been heard there for more than 40 years – and they say the wait for another one could be just as long.
Meg Game, senior ecologist at the Heath, said: “I have been living around here since 1981 and I have never heard one on the Heath. It was astonishing and perfect timing because I was with a group of bird watchers, who I lead on a walk every Tuesday.
“We just could not believe our ears, we were elated.”