Are the cuckoos still calling on Exmoor? Earlier in the year we asked everyone to help by letting us know when and where you have heard a cuckoo on Exmoor through Exmoor Wild Watch 2015. Exmoor National Park is a stronghold for the Cuckoo but the population of this enchanting bird has suffered a huge UK decline.
David Rolls (Moorland Education and Outreach Officer) gives an update: “A huge thank you to everyone for all the 2015 Exmoor Wild Watch sightings. The first reported cuckoo, to date, was on Porlock hill on April 14 closely followed by other sightings at Simonsbath and Dunkery; 24 hours earlier than 2014. Incredibly, in just a week, there were over 90 sightings of cuckoos on Exmoor.
“Now is another important time to tell us if you have heard or seen a Cuckoo, as they are already starting to leave Britain for their wintering grounds in Africa. Receiving dates for when the last cuckoos were seen is just as important as those dates of when they were first seen, as it starts telling us the story of how their behaviour might be changing in response to factors such as climate change or breeding success. So please help continue this work by submitting all your sightings, even if you’ve reported a cuckoo from that location before, it is all very useful data. The last departees head off in July on their epic journey back to Africa. When will the last one heard on Exmoor in 2015?”
Recording your sightings could not be easier. Simply go on line to the Wildwatch website www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/environment/wild-watch or ring the National Park Centre in Lynmouth on 01598 752509.
Wild Watch 2015 is also supported by over 25 free wildlife and surveying training events.
“Whether you are interested in butterflies, fungi or river life there is something for everyone. All the training is delivered free of charge by experts to encourage people to learn more about Exmoor’s wildlife through surveying, again just visit the Wild Watch website” highlighted David.
Exmoor Wild Watch is part of the New Ecologists project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor Trust and Exmoor National Park through the Heart of Exmoor scheme. For more details on this work please contact David Rolls on, 01398 322164.