The Silence of the Cuckoos.

I was sitting in my garden the other day, watching a Firecrest take a shower in the waterfall beside the pond, when it occurred to me that despite seeing more species of avian wildlife in my locality than ever before, I hadn’t heard the sound of a cuckoo around here for more years than I can imagine.

So it was with some surprise, and not a little delight, that whilst working up a sweat thrashing a mountain bike up an Alp located, somewhat improbably, in Hedgerley, that I heard the distinctive call of the cuckoo. Then, I took to considering that this year I have already seen more species of butterfly (Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Large (Cabbage) White) and bird (Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Coal tit, Great tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Sparrow, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin, Starling, Firecrest, Blackcap, Wood Pigeon, Rock Dove, Magpie, Crow, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Greenfinch, Siskin, House Martin, Swallow, Swift) in my garden than I can recall since childhood. And apparently Global Climate Change is causing a reduction in biodiversity. Hmmmmm.

~ by @mmonyte on May 9, 2008.

4 Responses to “The Silence of the Cuckoos.”

  1. I think I understand what you are saying. I bristle when even otherwise intelligent people engage in hysterical rhetoric about how pollution is immediately affecting the environment – and I consider myself an environmentalist. The reason it is so disturbing is that this rhetoric, while probably very pleasing in the moment, in the long term actually undermines the arguments for moderating pollutants by lending credence to pseudoscience. Better to be proactive, which in the case of environmental concerns demands that we are actually more conservative and demand from the experts the rigours required of true science. Only if we do so will we discover the truth, and the truth is always worth the effort.

  2. Careful what with your address being out in the ether HRH you might find a flock of wild bird watchers gathering on your verge with enlarged binoculars…

  3. When I was a kid we still had “pea-souper” smogs caused by the prevalence of coal fires in every household and the emissions from coking plants which produced “town gas” as the alternative domestic enegry source. Petrol was leaded and the River Thames was too dirty to swim in, even for fish, whilst the use of DDT in agriculture was widespread. I think people have forgotten how far we have come in the past 40 years.

  4. I was thinking about your post as I drove home from work today, and recalled that I drive a ULEV (ultra low-emissions vehicle), as do most people living in California. The state requires a biannual smog check before one can register their vehicle (with appropriate waivers for collectible ‘show’ cars and assistance for those unable to afford the required repairs). It was an annoyance and was another example of government interfering in one’s life, but it did work – we see fewer smoke-spewers on the highways.

    I agree that we have made strides. We need to take more steps, but being hysterical and unscientific as so many do is not helpful and feeds the conservative beast that prevents progress.

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