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: 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

First Cuckoo Capel Curig 2017

Alan and Sue Buxton head a cuckoo today at Capel Curig, Snowdonia, North Wales.

First Cuckoo Marlborough 2017

Peter Fletcher head a cuckoo today in West Wood near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

First Cuckoo Throop 2017

Wendy and her husband heard their first cuckoo today while walking in Throop, a village on the outskirts of Bournemouth, Dorset.

First Cuckoo Cannich 2017

Georgina Parker first heard a cuckoo at 5:00 pm on Sunday 30th April and every morning and afternoon since.

First Cuckoo Heybridge 2017

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

First Cucoo Haslemere 2017

Rev. Fergal Mc Guinness head a cuckoo today at 4:45 am in Haslemere, Surrey.
";s:4:"body";s:234:"Rev. Fergal Mc Guinness head a cuckoo today at 4:45 am in Haslemere, Surrey.

First Cuckoo Cleeve Hill 2017

Kevin Gunn heard his first cuckoo today at 6:45 am on Cleeve Hill, GL52, 3QE.

First Cuckoo Wormshill 2017

Jorgie Vickers heard a cuckoo at 9:45 am at ME9 0UA.

First Cuckoo Naunton 2017

David Porter heard a cuckoo today at 8:00 am at GL54 3AU.

First Cuckoo Broomfield 2017

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

First Cuckoo Lower Shiplake 2017

Christine Priestly wrote to tell us she hear the glorious sound of the first cuckoo sing out over the River Thames at Lower Shiplake, Oxfordshire at 11:00 am today. She commented, "Winter is finally over!"

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 Little Cressingham 2017

Peter Saunders heard a cuckoo this morning while out for a walk at 6:30 am in the village of Little Cressingham, Norfolk.

First Cuckoo Gulval 2017

Geraldine Berryman was very excited to hear her first cuckoo yesterday afternoon at Gulval near Penzance, Cornwall.

She said, "It definitely wasn't a collared dove as I am a keen birdwatcher and know the difference!"

First Cuckoo Waterbeach 2017

Scott Burman heard a cuckoo near the River Cam near Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. He initially heard it then spotted it in an old beech tree.

First Cuckoo Bashley 2017

Melanie Welch heard a cuckoo today at Broadley Inclosure near Bashley, Hampshire.

First Cuckoo Hay Bluff 2017

Paul Smith heard a cuckoo today just below Hay Bluff, a hill in the Black Mountains, Powys.

First Cuckoo Lyme Regis 2017

Michele Hancock heard a cuckoo calling yesterday morning at the back of our house in Trinity Hill Forestry Commission, DT7 3SL. She said it was beautiful to hear.

First Cuckoo Purbeck 2017

Crispin Read Wilson and his wife clearly heard a cuckoo yesterday at 4:00 pm in Kimmeridge Coppice, Dorset.

First Cuckoo Naunton 2017

Sue Clifford heard a cuckoo calling today at midday for half and hour in woodland under the west side of Melbury Hill, Dorset.

First Cuckoo Lincoln 2017

Rachel Johnstone who lives in in South Lincolnshire wrote to tell us that her son who is at the University of Lincoln phoned her on the 31st March to say he had heard a cuckoo which was in a tree in his neighbour's garden. She wondered if they were hearing things.

First Cuckoo Edgehill 2017

Anthony Rapp heard a cuckoo today in the woods on Edgehill, Warwickshire.

First Cuckoo Staplecross 2017

Karen Wake heard a cuckoo today in TN32 5QT.

First Cuckoo Silverhill Wood 2017

David Cooke wrote to say he had heard the first cuckoo of the year quite clearly at Silverhill Wood, Nottinghamshire today at midday. It's still very early for cuckoos to have returned to the UK so perhaps David was mistaken.

First Cuckoo Harrow 2017

Sue said she heard a cuckoo at about 8 o'clock this morning. It is very early for cuckoos to be in the UK. At this time of year they are often confused with collared doves.

First Cuckoo Bridgwater 2017

Stephen Packer wrote to say he heard a cuckoo at 08:45 am today in Bridgwater, Somerset. He asked if it was unusual to hear one this early.

It is very unlikely that what Stephen heard was a cuckoo as they do not return to the UK when it is still so cold. It could have been a collared dove.

About British Bird Lovers


It's Good To Talk

Contact Us
Press & Advertising
Sign Up To Our Newsletter

For More Inspiration

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites