I was quietly eating my brekky this morning when an almighty ruckus broke out up at the front gate: loud snake-like hissing and sound of wings.

Not sure who made the hissing, but what I saw was a huge cuckoo half flying, half running down the road with Maggie divebombing, wheeling around, and diving again. Was that the cuckoo noise, or was it a special magpie call to warn of cuckoos? By the time I got out to where I could get a clear bearing, the cuckoo had disappeared somewhere and Maggie was walking quietly around by the front gate with two crows.

Later in the day, Gitie saw the cuckoo in the mulberry tree, but by the time she got the camera, it had hidden itself again. No cuckoo photos today!

These cuckoos are much bigger than crows, and so they are positively huge compared to magpies. I think it was last year, a cuckoo successfully got two eggs into a crow's nest, and the poor crow parents spent two months slaving hard to get enough food for these two gigantic babies, which did nothing but make a racket even louder than crows. Gitie took pity on the crows and gave them some food for the babies from time to time.

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