First Cuckoo

The 14th April is St. Tiburtius Day and is traditionally when you will hear the first cuckoo, as celebrated in Rudyard Kipling’s Cuckoo Song:

Cuckoo, bring your song here!
Warrant, Act and Summons, please,
For Spring to pass along here!


The cuckoo migrates north from Africa and the date of its arrival, although traditionally the 14th April, varies in different parts of the country.

The first sighting is often in the far South West, in the Isle of Scilly and then gradually moves northwards. In recent years the cuckoo has tended to arrive on average five days earlier than usual, likely due to climate change.

On hearing the first cuckoo in spring it is traditional to pen a letter to The Times but you can also send your reports to us here - we'd love to hear from you. Just let us know when and where you heard it.

Previous years: 2017     2016    2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010   

Want to learn more about cuckoos? You may be interested in the following:

Cuckoo: Cheating By Nature
Singing Toy Cuckoo
Cuckoo Call

If you've heard a cuckoo this year we'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form below with details of when and where you heard it along with a message if you want.

Name: *
When did you hear the cuckoo?*
Where did you hear the cuckoo?*
Your message:

First Cuckoo Pulborough 2018

Linda Bailey heard her first cuckoo of the year today at Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve. She said, "They are always a joy to hear. We had actually gone to listen to the lovely nightingales."

First Cuckoo Lewell 2018

Nigel Allen heard his first cuckoo of the year at Knighton Wood in Lewell, Dorset.

First Cuckoo Bolingey 2018

Robert Carswell heard a cuckoo today for the first time this year at Bolingey near Perranporth, Cornwall.

First Cuckoo Midhurst 2018

Diane Wallis heard her first cuckoo at 7:24 pm yesterday on a very warm evening in Midhurst, West Sussex. She said, "Yea! Spring has sprung."

First Cuckoo Lower Combe 2018

Patricia Branch heard a very vocal cuckoo this morning at Lower Combe just outside Shaftesbury, Dorset.

First Cuckoo Lower Aberystwyth 2018

Emma Lloyd heard a cuckoo in Aberystwyth Wales on the 16th April.

First Cuckoo Lower West Tytherley 2018

Myra Bennett heard her first cuckoo of spring 2018 this afternoon at West Tytherley, Hampshire.

First Cuckoo Exeter 2018

Tracey Coombs heard a cuckoo today at 6 am on the outskirts of Exeter. She recorded in on her iPhone and was so excited!

First Cuckoo Godshill 2018

A cuckoo flew silently over Nigel Hacking's garden in Godshill, New Forest today. He said, "I'll wait for the first calls later today."

First Cuckoo Freeland 2018

Mary heard her first cuckoo today in woods backing onto her garden. She lives in Freeland near Witney, Oxfordshire.

First Cuckoo Great Wakering 2018

Ray Beadell heard his first cuckoo at 2:15 pm today at Great Wakering, Essex.

First Cuckoo Milland 2018

Matt Cusack from Milland near Liphook on the Hampshire/West Sussex/Surrey border, wrote to tell us, "With my sheep and lambs still in the barn wanting to go out into their still too wet field, I was thrilled to hear my first cuckoo yesterday at about 3 pm as this is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner, I hope!"

First Cuckoo Pen Selwood 2018

Gillian Bradley heard a cuckoo this morning in Pen Selwood, Somerset.

First Cuckoo Stock 2018

Robert Nourse heard a cuckoo at 9:00 am today at Crondon Park Golf Club near Stock, Essex.

First Cuckoo Penzance 2018

Lu Wray lives on the moors between Penzance and St. Ives and heard her first cuckoo today. She added that it was so great to hear.

First Cuckoo Kippings Cross 2018

Patrick Austin hear and saw his first cuckoo this year at 1:25 pm today in trees surrounding the Kippings Cross service reservoir just off the A21 near Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

First Cuckoo Thelnetham 2018

Susan heard her first cuckoo of 2018 this morning at Thelnetham, Suffolk.

First Cuckoo Yelvertoft 2018

Julie heard her first cuckoo of spring 2018 today in Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire. She said, "It has been absent from this area for the past two years so it was a very welcome sound."

First Cuckoo Rivelin Valley 2018

Christine Anderson emailed to say she heard a cuckoo yesterday at Rivelin Valley, Sheffield. She commented that it seems early.

First Cuckoo Ringwood 2018

Tom Harvey emailed us to say he had just seen and heard his first cuckoo of the year about a mile sort-east of Ringwood in the New Forest, Hampshire.

He said it's the same place that he always sees them but it is a week earlier than usual and in previous years they have always appeared on the 12th or 13th of April.

First Cuckoo Askrigg 2018

Lesley Trivett heard a cuckoo calling on the 3rd April just outside Askrigg in Wensleydale, Yorkshire.

First Cuckoo Breckland 2018

Joanne heard her first cuckoo of the year yesterday in Breckland, Norfolk, She added that she also saw her first peacock butterfly.

First Cuckoo Sudbourne 2018

Clare Best heard a cuckoo this morning in Blacklands Lane, Sudbourne, Suffolk.

First Cucoo Castleford 2018

Lynda Crosfill wrote to say she had seen a cuckoo in Castleford, West Yorkshire yesterday.

We have had numerous reports of cuckoo sitings over the last couple of days. It is far too early and cold for cuckoos to have returned from Africa. What people are actually seeing are fieldfares which have ventured into towns and gardens looking for food because the countryside is covered with snow.

First Cuckoo Hartlip 2018

Marie Evans wrote to tell us that a group of Kent Wildlife Trust volunteers heard a cuckoo today at 1:00 pm in Hartlip, Kent. Of course it is far too early for cuckoos to have returned from Africa so what they probably heard was a collared dove.

First Cuckoo Heybridge 2017

Len Miles head his first cuckoo today in Heybridge, Maldon, Essex.

First Cuckoo Broomfield 2017

Wendy Easton heard her first cuckoo of 2017 in her garden in Broomfield north of Chelmsford, Essex.

First Cuckoo Kingswear 2017

R Hatcher from the Wildlife Sound Recording Society emailed us to let us know they heard a cuckoo calling about twenty times today near Kingswear, Devon.

First Cuckoo New Romney 2017

Peter heard a cuckoo this morning in his garden. He lives in New Romney, Kent near the RSPB Reserve.

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